External HDD goes to Sleep (APM)

Discussion in 'PS3 - Hacking & Homebrew' started by Ganjagrinda, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Ganjagrinda
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    Ganjagrinda Member

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    Hello,
    I have a problem with my external HDD (Western Digital, 3TB):
    When I play a game stored on the external HDD (USB3.0), the drive turns off after a few minutes, well not really "turn off" but it goes to sleep. The games do not crash there, but strange things happen like the music turns off or I can't walk through doors or the background is not loaded etc... The problem is usually fixed (at least for some time) if I disconnect the drive and reconnect it soon after.

    I found a partial solution that (surprisingly) works for some games: I connect the drive to my PC and run a program (CrystalDisk or HDDScan) to disable the AAM (Automatic Acoustic Management), APM (Automatic Power Management) and PM (Power Management). But of course, those settings are not permanent and I'm not even sure if they are lost after unplugging the USB cable or after switching off the drive. As I said before, this method does seem to work for some games (recently tested: Bioshock Inf, Portal 2, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Killzone 3), but other games like Dead Space 2 or Fifa don't work with this method, I have to restart the drive every few minutes (or copy to internal HDD).

    My question would be: Does anyone know a solution for this problem? Unfortunately, I can't return the drive because I bought it a year ago. I read somewhere that a DEX console is capable of recognizing a HDD connected to a router, if correct then that could be my solution.

    CECH-L PS3 (Piano sized)
    Rebug 4.40.1
    External HD
    Seagate Barracuda
    ST3000DM001
    Firmware: CC44

    Thanks everyone :)
     
  2. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    This is a known issue with some drives. And yeah, it's really freaking annoying. Even playing games on a PC with a drive similar to that, it goes to sleep and you get huge sections of lag when the drive has to spin back up for it to access something.

    Unless the drive manufacturer offers a solution to disable the "power management" in the firmware of the drive (one of the big ones does - it's a program you run on your PC that messes with the drive), there is no way around this.

    Sorry I can't be more specific, I can't remember the details. But yeah I was in the same boat as you, and it sucks.
     
  3. jagerstaffel

    jagerstaffel GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Install the Western Digital drive management programs, that is usually included inside the drive. From there, there is a way to raise the standby times, or turn them off completely.

    I don't know what brand you have so this is a good place to start: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=940
     
  4. Ganjagrinda
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    Ganjagrinda Member

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    Thanks PityOnU and jagerstaffel so far!! :)

    Sorry, but I gave wrong informations concerning the HDD. It is a
    Seagate Barracuda
    ST3000DM001
    Firmware: CC44

    I already tried their "SeaTools", but it's not possible to disable APM there. That's why I'm still using HDDScan to do it.
    Code:
    "C:\Program Files\HDDScan-3.3\HDDScan.exe" "\\?\usbstor#disk&ven_intenso&prod_usb_3.0_device&rev_cc44#317000000000000014dd&0#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}" -APM 0 -PM 0
    
    Unfortunately, and I've just tested it again, it doesn't work with some games (I guess those who don't write something to the HDD constantly). Tested with Uncharted 2 and it ran for about 40 minutes, then the drive switched to stand-by again. I could still get out of the game and launch mM, but the "Games" list would only show the games from Internal. After Cold-Boot of the external HDD, it also showed the games from USB (as expected).

    Maybe someone knows an inofficial tool for Seagate HDDs.
    Would a DEX FW help me?

    Thanks again. :)
     
  5. jagerstaffel

    jagerstaffel GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well, this link mentioned similar to what I was saying. Was there some kind of software in your disk when you first bought it? Looking on the Seagate site, it's very bare of any drive manager the person mentioned. Maybe this program, Disk Wizard, is the one. I know it doesn't mention power management, but the WD tools didn't either, and I didn't know until I installed it anyways, so maybe Disc Wizard is like that too.
     
  6. Ganjagrinda
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    Ganjagrinda Member

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    Yes there was a disk that came with the drive. It contained the "SeaTools". I have installed the "DiskWizard" from their site because it was not on the disk. But both programs don't provide a choice to change anything APM/AAM related... :(

    I could think of 3 possible ways to solve the problem (without unplugging the drive):
    1) Send the command generated from HDDScan over FTP to the drive. Couldn't figure out how to do that.
    2) Run "hdparm" on PS3 Linux.
    3) USB Y-Adapter (probably stupid idea...)
     
  7. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Do try out: quietHDD (should give you the option to set the Idle Timer to ridiculous values, such as 255 hours)

    This may or may not help you in your quest - I haven't found any tools better than CrystalDisk (which you tried) and HDParm (which has to be ran under Linux conditions) that could do this job. If quietHDD fails, I suggest trying out a Live CD of some sort (many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Mint release those) and working from there.
     
  8. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    If the PS3 modding scene is still active, you might put a request in to include a feature in whatever CFW you are using to touch the drive every so many minutes, keeping it alive.

    Other than that, there is no real solution to this problem if the drive manufacturers does not make tools/firmware with the ability to change the settings on the embedded controller in the drive housing.
     
  9. Ganjagrinda
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    Ganjagrinda Member

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    Thanks for the answers. :)
    Thanks for the suggestion, but I already tried quietHDD. It does allow setting the PM/APM/AAM values to 255 or to 0 (disabled), just as the other programs do. Unfortunately, the problem is that I have to send this command from my computer to the drive and it "forgets" this value as soon as I unplug the USB cable. If I reconnect the drive and then run quietHDD (or any of the other tools) again, the value is reset to 128, which seems to translate to 15 or 30 minutes of idle time. That's why I asked if the command could be sent over FTP to the drive (in my case mounted as \dev_usb006 on the PS3), which would circumvent unplugging the drive and therefore not forget the value.
    The HDParm solution could actually work. If I understand correctly, it would require to boot into Linux on the PS3, then run the command with HDParm, boot back into mM and start the game. I can't really tell if that's possible. Can I boot into Linux on any PS3 using a Live CD? I thought this was restricted to some early PS3s.
    That would be the perfect solution. I thought about that too. I use Rebug. And depending on how common this problem is, someone might even create such a custom FW. I would know who to ask if it were a Wii related problem, but I don't really know the PS3 scene. :(
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    OtherOS was blocked, but you can use OtherOS++ which does support LiveCD's (an .iso image of a FreeBSD distro for PS3 is on the linked page). That being said, as far as I know, HDParm sets those parameters "for good", not just until the drive is disconnected, so you should be able to use it on a PC just fine. This is also why you have to be extra careful when using the application - you may render your drive inoperable if you screw something up, so be 100% sure which values you're changing.
     
  11. Ganjagrinda
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    Ganjagrinda Member

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    Thanks for the quick answer. Now that is interesting!! If it sets them for good that would be just perfect. :)
    I'll have to look if I already got a Live CD laying around or at least an empty disk. Will try as soon as possible and post results.
     
  12. Ganjagrinda
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    Ganjagrinda Member

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    Alright, I still had an old Debian Live CD. After some research, I found the correct commands. What I did was:

    Code:
    ~$ sudo hdparm -B 255 /dev/sde1
    and then I tested if the values were still there:
    Code:
    ~$ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sde1
    and so far it worked. But then I restarted Debian and the settings were lost again. On Wikipedia I found this:

    So it does not remember the settings between boots, it just restores them using a script (in principle that's the same thing I'm doing already with this drive by running the HDDScan-Command on Windows boot [...]-APM 0 -PM 0).

    The OtherOS++ solution looks really complicated. Do I need a specific FW, such as 3.55 to run it (I'm currently on 4.40)? Also, do I have to format/partition the internal drive? Got a bit overwhelmed by all the informations on that site.