Constant HDD noise -> how to stop it?

Hi all! I have a very basic setup for simple local home use. 1 SSD to boot and 1 HDD to store data. (I know it’s not redundant but I don’t require high availability, at least not for now.) My concern is that the HDD constantly works and it’s loud. I don’t move any data, no apps are running, this is a vanilla Scale install so far, yet the HDD is in constant work. I moved the system dataset to the boot pool. I set power mode to Idle and advanced power management to the lowest setting (1) which should spin down the disk after 5 mins. (I know this can be problematic, I just want to set a baseline quietness and work up to an optimum setting from there.)

One more thing. I have a 2GB SWAP on both the SSD and the HDD. This was the default. I obviously don’t want the swap on the HDD. How can I remove that? Although it’s empty, so this is probably not the source of the constant HDD noise.

What causes the constant load on the disk? What else can I do for quietness? Thanks for the help!

For quietness, a noise reducing case, move it somewhere else, quieter drives, maybe SSD instead of hard drives, etc. The system is never idle really, it’s a server. Background tasks are always running and logging.

Yeah, it’s not helping, thanks. These are fairly obvious semi-solutions that are (fairly obviously) either already implemented or out of the question. I’m looking for a software solution, if possible, to make the HDD idling for most of the time when there is no load.

For the sake of completeness. The server is behind a soundproofed door, in a noise dampening case. It’s a datacenter drive, very loud, so it’s still audible. Replacing the drive is financially out of the question.

I moved my Scale server into the next room, laundry room, just so it’s out of sight. My Seagate Exos enterprise drives make almost 0 noise actually. Even standing next to it, I can’t really hear it. I guess it depends on the drives, but don’t think you’ll find any software solution. I suppose you could turn it off when not in use.

It’s hard to imagine why your drives are that loud!

I also set the tunable vfs.zfs.txg.timeout to a somewhat large value so the regular syncs don’t happen every 5 seconds.

I would still recommend against idling your drive as that reduces longevity. Keeping it spinning but not accessing data is safer.

I had a unit with some rather noisy Toshibas and this helped quite a bit; just know that naturally this puts more risk on your already quite risky setup. Just be aware of your footguns and if that’s acceptable go for it. :slight_smile:

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Thanks Tsaukpaetra! How can I set this value on the Truenas interface?

However, I found the culprit of the constant HDD activity: it was the SMART monitoring! I turned it off, and right then the HDD went silent! I’m sure it makes some sense for the experts but it is quite counterintuitive that a monitoring feature would constantly stress the drive when there is absolutely no workload whatsoever.

For future reference:
Storage > Disk health > Manage Disks > Select the disk > Edit > untick “Enable SMART”

I will optimize settings later for the security/quietness tradeoff however, I’m very pleased with it for now. It is dead silent finally! :slight_smile:

i use noise cancelling headphones Edifier WH700NB. Cheap and effective. Made the sounds drop from 100% down to 1% or less even when the server rack is in close proximity even.

it’s more convenient solution than relocating everything though you could definitely do that.