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Old 2nd May 2005, 23:39
falko falko is offline
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You can use hdparm to tune your hard disk. On Debian, you would run

apt-get install hdparm
to install it.

hdparm --help
shows a list of all available options. To get more information about your hard disk, run

hdparm -i /dev/hda
This will look like:


 Model=MAXTOR 6L060J3, FwRev=A93.0500, SerialNo=663214759549
 Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs }
 RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=32256, SectSize=21298, ECCbytes=4
 BuffType=DualPortCache, BuffSize=1819kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
 CurCHS=4047/16/255, CurSects=16511760, LBA=yes, LBAsects=117266688
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:120,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes:  pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
 DMA modes:  mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
 UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 *udma2
 AdvancedPM=no WriteCache=enabled
 Drive conforms to: ATA/ATAPI-5 T13 1321D revision 1:

 * signifies the current active mode
To see how fast your hard disk currently is execute

hdparm -tT /dev/hda
The output:
 Timing cached reads:   972 MB in  2.00 seconds = 486.00 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:   72 MB in  3.08 seconds =  23.38 MB/sec
Now you can run
hdparm -c1 -d1 -X 66 /dev/hda
to tune your hard disk. The X flag stands for the transfer mode (PIO: 8; DMA: 32; U-DMA: 64) + the number of the mode (2 for udma2: 64 + 2 = 66).

Now run
hdparm -tT /dev/hda
again, and if you're lucky, your hard disk should have become "faster".
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