sdparm, is a Linux command line to get info form SATA disks, and seems not to be a replacement of hdparm tool, as it has different options, I got a question from one of our readers, you can read his posts here, I googled for an answer and got this entry at this forum, as you can see, someone says that SATA disk are usually tuned to work well, maybe there is no need to improve them.

I have a SATA disks on my PC and this is the output of them for DMA

debian:~# hdparm -I /dev/sdb | grep DMA DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6 * WRITE_{DMA|MULTIPLE}_FUA_EXT * URG for READ_STREAM[_DMA]_EXT * URG for WRITE_STREAM[_DMA]_EXT

I have also copied below the man page of sdparm, so you can read it without having to install it, If anyone have another idea to help our friend please post in the comments (Please try twice to post, there seems to be a bug in the anti-spam module)


NAME sdparm - fetch and potentially change SCSI device attributes, send com? mands

SYNOPSIS sdparm [–all] [–clear=] [--command=] [--dbd] [--defaults] [--dummy] [--flexible] [--get=] [--help] [--hex] [--inquiry] [--long] [--page=[,]] [--quiet] [--save] [--set=] [--six] [--transport=] [--verbose] [--version]

   sdparm  --enumerate  [--all] [--inquiry] [--long] [--page=<pg>[,<spg>]]

DESCRIPTION This utility fetches and potentially changes SCSI device (e.g. disk) mode pages. Inquiry data including Vital Product Data (VPD) pages can also be displayed. Commands associated with starting and stopping the medium; loading and unloading the medium; and other housekeeping func? tion may also be issued by this utility.

   If no options (other than <scsi_device>) are given then a selection  of
   common mode page attributes for that device are listed. If the ’--long’
   option is also given then a description of the attributes is placed  on
   the  right  of each line. If the ’--all’ option is given then all known
   mode page attributes for that device are listed. Individual  attributes
   can be displayed with the ’--get’ option (e.g. ’--get=WCE’ to fetch the
   state of the Writeback Cache Enable attribute).

   By default this utility shows mode pages that a common to all transport
   protocols.  These  are  termed here as "generic" mode pages.  Transport
   protocol specific mode  pages  are  selected  with  the  ’--transport=’
   option. See the TRANSPORT section below.

   Although  originally  for SCSI disks (or storage devices that appear to
   the OS as SCSI disks) many of the mode pages are for other SCSI  device
   types.   These include CD/DVD players that use the ATAPI (or any other)
   transport, SCSI tapes drives and SCSI enclosures.

   When the ’--inquiry’ option is given without a  page  number  then  the
   Device  Identification  VPD page (page number 0x83) is requested and if
   found it is decoded and output. If no page  number  is  given  and  the
   ’--all’  option  is  given then a list of VPD page names (but not their
   contents) supported by the  given  device  is  output.  When  both  the
   ’--inquiry’  and  ’--page=’  options are given then the VPD page can be
   specified as an abbreviation (e.g. "sp" for the SCSI ports VPD page) or
   numerically  (e.g. "0x88"). If a VPD page is returned by the device but
   sdparm cannot decode it or the ’-H’ option is given then it  is  output
   in hex.

   --all | -a
          output all recognized attributes for the device type (e.g. disk)
          of the given device.  Without  this  option  (or  the  ’--page=’
          option)  the default action is to output a relatively small num?
          ber of commonly used attributes from  different  pages.  When  a
          specific  (mode)  page number is given with the ’--page=’ option
          then all the attributes of that page are output (irrespective of
          the  setting  of  this  option).  For use with the ’--enumerate’
          option see ENUMERATE section below.

   --clear=<str> | -c <str>
          The <str> contains a comma separated list of attribute acronyms.
          In   the   absence   of   an   explicit   value  argument  (e.g.
          ’--clear=WCE=1’), each acronym has its value  cleared  to  zero.
          Utility  exits  with process status 0 if successful, else 1. See
          the PARAMETERS section below.

   --command=<cmd> | -C <cmd>
          Perform given command. See section below on  COMMANDS.  If  suc?
          cessful  then  the  exit  status is 0, else 1. To enumerate sup?
          ported commands use ’-e -C x’ (using any command name, valid  or

   --dbd | -B
          disable block descriptors. This is a bit in MODE SENSE cdbs that
          rarely needs to be set. The one known case is  a  MODE  SENSE  6
          issued  to  a  Reduced Block Commands (RBC) device where the RBC
          standard says it shall be set.

   --defaults | -D
          sets the given mode page to its  default  values.  Requires  the
          ’--page=’  option  to be given to specify the mode page. To make
          the default mode page values also the saved mode page values use
          the ’--save’ option as well.

   --dummy | -d
          when  set  inhibits  changes  being  placed in the device’s mode
          page.  Instead the mode data that would have been sent to a MODE
          SELECT  command,  is  output  in  ASCII hex to the console. This
          option is mainly for testing.

   --enumerate | -e
          lists out descriptive information about the pages and attributes
          known  to  this  utility. Ignores the <scsi_device> argument and
          other options apart from  the  ’--all’,  ’--inquiry’,  ’--long’,
          ’--page=’ and ’--transport=’ options.  If ’--enumerate’ is given
          without other options then the known (generic)  mode  pages  are
          listed. See the ENUMERATE section below.

   --flexible | -f
          Some  devices,  bridges and/or drivers attempt crude transforma?
          tions between mode sense 6 and 10  byte  commands  without  cor?
          rectly rebuilding the response.  This will cause the response to
          be mis-interpreted (usually with an error saying the response is
          malformed).  With  this  option,  the  length of the response is
          checked,  and  if  it  looks  wrong,  various  corrections   are
          attempted.  This  option  will  also allow mode pages that don’t
          belong to the current device’s peripheral type to be listed.

   --get=<str> | -g <str>
          The <str> contains a comma separated list of attribute  acronyms
          whose  values  are  to  be  fetched.  See the PARAMETERS section
          below. The ’--long’ and ’--hex’ options effect the  output  for?
          mat.  Also  if a value of "1" is given (e.g. ’--get=WCE=1’) only
          the current value is output.

   --help | -h
          output the usage message then exit.

   --hex | -H
          rather than trying to decode mode (or VPD) pages, print them out
          in hex. When used with the ’-get=’ option the corresponding cur?
          rent, changeable, default and saved values are  output  in  hex,
          prefixed by "0x" and space separated. If a value of "1" is given
          with the ’--get=’ option (e.g. ’--get=WCE=1’) then only the cur?
          rent value is output in hex, prefixed by "0x". If a value of "2"
          is given with the ’--get=’ option then only the current value is
          output  as  a (signed) integer. Can be used multiple times (e.g.
          ’-HH’). Useful with the ATA Information VPD page  which  usually
          outputs  its  IDENTIFY  (PACKET)  DEVICE  response in 16 bit hex
          words; with ’-HH’ outputs that response in hex bytes; with  -HHH
          outputs  the  same  response  in  a  format suitable for ’hdparm
          --Istdin’ to decode.

   --inquiry | -i
          output INQUIRY VPD pages. In the  absence  of  this  option  the
          default  action  is  to  output  mode  pages. If the ’--inquiry’
          option is given without the ’--page=’  option  then  the  device
          identification  VPD  page  (0x83) is decoded and output. If this
          option and the ’--all’ option are given then the  supported  VPD
          pages page (0x0) is decoded and output.

   --long | -l
          output  extra information. In the case of mode page attributes a
          description (with units if applicable) is output to  the  right.
          If  used  twice, then for some attributes more information about
          its values is given on one or more following  lines,  each  pre?
          fixed  by  a tab character. For usage with ’--enumerate’ see the
          ENUMERATE section below.

   --page=<pg>[,<spg>] | -p <pg>[,<spg>]
          supply the page number and optionally the sub page number of the
          mode  (or  VPD)  page to fetch. These numbers are interpreted as
          decimal unless prefixed with "0x". Sub  page  numbers  are  only
          valid for mode pages (not VPD pages). Alternatively an abbrevia?
          tion for a page can be given (see next entry).

   --page=<str> | -p <str>
          a two or three letter abbreviation for  a  page  can  be  given.
          Known  mode  page  abbreviations  are  checked first followed by
          known VPD page abbreviations.  For example  ’--page=ca’  matches
          the  caching  mode  page.  If no match is found then an error is
          issued and a list of possibilities in  the  current  context  is
          given  (so  ’-p  x’ can be quite useful). If the <str> matches a
          known VPD page  abbreviation  then  the  ’--inquiry’  option  is
          assumed.  For usage with ’--enumerate’ see the ENUMERATE section

   --quiet | -q
          suppress output of device name followed by the  vendor,  product
          and  revision  strings fetched from an INQUIRY response. Without
          this option such a line is typically the first  line  output  by
          sdparm.  Reduces output from the device identification VPD page,
          typically to one line (or none)  for  each  of  di_lu,  di_port,
          di_target and di_asis.

   --save | -S
          when  a  mode  page  is  being modified (by using the ’--clear=’
          and/or ’--set=" options) then the default action  is  to  modify
          only  the  current  values  mode page. When this option is given
          then the corresponding value(s) in the saved values mode page is
          also  changed.  The  next  time  the  device is power cycled (or
          reset) the saved values mode page becomes (i.e.  is  copied  to)
          the current values mode page. See NOTES section below.

   --set=<str> | -s <str>
          The <str> contains a comma separated list of attribute acronyms.
          In the absence of an explicit value, each acronym has its  value
          set  to  (all)  ones.  This  means a 16 bit field will be set to
          0xffff which is 65535 in decimal. Alternatively each acronym may
          be  followed  by  "=<n>"  where  <n>  is  the  value to set that
          attribute to. This utility exits with process status 0  if  suc?
          cessful, else 1. See the PARAMETERS section below.

   --six | -6
          The  default  action  of this utility is to issue MODE SENSE and
          MODE SELECT SCSI commands with 10 byte cdbs. When this option is
          given the 6 byte cdb variants are used. RBC and old SCSI devices
          may need this option. This utility outputs a suggestion  to  use
          this  option  if  the SCSI status indicates that the 10 byte cdb
          variant is not supported.

   --transport=<tn> | -t <tn>
          Specifies the transport protocol where <tn> is either  a  number
          in  the range 0 to 15 (inclusive) or an abbreviation (e.g. "fcp"
          for the Fibre Channel  Protocol).  One  way  to  list  available
          transport  protocols  numbers and their associated abbreviations
          is to give an invalid transport protocol number such as ’-t  x’;
          another way is ’-e -l’.

   --verbose | -v
          increase  the  level  of verbosity, (i.e. debug output). In some
          cases more decoding is  done  (e.g.  fields  within  a  standard
          INQUIRY response).

   --version | -V
          print the version string and then exit.

   A  mode page for which no abbreviation is known (e.g. a vendor specific
   mode page) can be listed in hexadecimal by using the option combination
   ’--page=<pn> --hex’.

   Numbers  input  to  sdparm  (e.g.  in  the  command line arguments) are
   assumed to be in decimal unless there is  a  hexadecimal  indicator.  A
   hexadecimal indicator is either a leading ’0x’ or ’0X’ (i.e. the C lan?
   guage convention) or a trailing ’h’ or ’H’ (i.e. the convention used at  ).  In  the case of ’--page=’ either a string or number is
   expected, so hex numbers like ’ch’ (12) should be prefixed  by  a  zero
   (e.g. ’0ch’).

PARAMETERS The ’–clear=’, ’–get=’ and ’–set=” options can take a string argu? ment which is a comma separated list of attributes. Each attribute can be either an acronym name or a :: tuple. Either form can optionally be followed by "=". Acronyms (e.g. WCE for "Writeback Cache Enable") that this utility supports can be listed with the ’--enumerate’ option. Alternatively, a mode page attribute to be changed can be described in terms of a (origin 0) within the mode page, a (0 to 7 inclusive) and (1 to 64 inclusive). For example, the low level representa? tion of the RCD bit (in the caching mode page) is "2:0:1". The and the can optionally be given in hex (e.g. ’--set=0x2:0:1=0x1’ or ’--set=2h:0:1=1h’).

   When the attribute(s) following ’--clear=’ is  not  given  an  explicit
   ’=<val>’ then the value defaults to zero. When the attribute(s) follow?
   ing ’--set=’ is not given an explicit ’=<val>’ then the value  defaults
   to  "all  ones"  (i.e.  as  many  as  <num_bits>  permits). For example
   ’--clear=WCE’ and ’--clear=WCE=0’ have the same meaning:  clear  Write?
   back Cache Enable or, put more simply: turn off the writeback cache.

   When  an  acronym  is  given  then  the  mode page is imputed from that
   acronym (e.g.  WCE  is  in  the  caching  mode  page).  When  only  the
   start_byte:start_bit:num_bits  form  is  used then the ’--page=’ option
   must be given to establish which mode page is to be used. A restriction
   placed  on  ’--clear=’  and ’--set=’ is that if multiple parameters are
   given, they must all be in the same mode page. Hence an  invocation  of
   this utility can only modify one mode page.

ENUMERATE The ’–enumerate’ option essentially dumps out static information held by this utility. A list of ’–enumerate’ variants and their actions follows. For brevity subsequent examples of options are shown in their shorter form.

       --enumerate          list generic mode page information
       -e --all             list generic mode page contents
                            (i.e. parameters)
       -e --page=rw         list contents of read write error
                            recovery mode page
       -e --inquiry         list VPD pages this utility can decode
       -e --long            list generic mode pages, transport
                            protocols, mode pages for each
                            supported transport protocol and
                            supported commands
       -e -l --all          additionally list the contents of
                            each mode page
       -e --transport=fcp   list mode pages for the fcp
                            transport protocol
       -e -t fcp --all      additionally list the contents of
                            each mode page

   When known mode pages are listed (via the  ’--enumerate’  option)  each
   line  starts  with a two or three letter abbreviation. This is followed
   by the page number (in hex prefixed by "0x") optionally followed  by  a
   comma  and the subpage number. Finally the descriptive name of the mode
   page (e.g. as found in SPC-4) is output.

   When known parameters (fields) of a mode page  are  listed,  each  line
   starts  with an acronym (indented a few spaces). This will match (or be
   an acronym for) the description for that field  found  in  the  (draft)
   standards.  Next  are three numbers, separated by colons, surrounded by
   brackets. These are the start byte (in hex, prefixed by  "0x")  of  the
   beginning  of  the  field  within  the  mode  page; the starting bit (0
   through 7 inclusive) and then the number of bits. The descriptive  name
   of  the parameter (field) is then given. If appropriate the descriptive
   name includes units (e.g. "(ms)" means  the  units  are  milliseconds).
   Adding  the  ’-ll’  option  will  list information about possible field
   value for selected mode page parameters.

   Mode parameters for which the num_bits is greater than 1 can be  viewed
   as  unsigned integers. Often 16 and 32 bit fields are set to 0xffff and
   0xffffffff respectively (all ones) which usually has a special  meaning
   (see  drafts).  This  utility outputs such values as "-1" to save space
   (rather than their unsigned integer  equivalents).  "-1"  can  also  be
   given  as  the value to a mode page field acronym (e.g. ’--set=INTT=-1’
   sets the interval timer field in the Informational  Exceptions  control
   mode page to 0xffffffff).

TRANSPORTS SCSI transport protocols are a relatively specialized area that can be safely ignored by the majority of users.

   Some transport protocols have protocol specific mode pages.  These  are
   usually  the  disconnect-reconnect (0x2), the protocol specific logical
   unit (0x18) and the protocol specific port (0x19) mode pages.  In  some
   cases  the  latter  mode  page  has  several subpages.  The most common
   transport protocol abbreviations likely to be used are "fcp", "spi" and

   Many of the field names are re-used in the same position so the acronym
   namespaces have been divided between generic mode pages (i.e. when  the
   ’--transport=’  option  is _not_ given) and a namespace for each trans?
   port protocol. A LUPID field from the protocol  specific  logical  unit
   (0x18)  mode page and the PPID field from protocol specific port (0x19)
   mode page are included in the generic  modes  pages;  this  is  so  the
   respective  (transport) protocol identifiers can be seen. In most cases
   the user will know what the "port" transport is (i.e.  the same  trans?
   port as the HBA in the computer) but the logical unit’s transport could
   be different.

   The logic in sdparm requires acronyms to be unique within a  namespace.
   This  becomes difficult if a mode page has multiple descriptors each of
   which has the same set of acronyms. The SAS phy  control  and  discover
   page  is an example of this. The current solution is to prepend "2_" to
   the second set of acronyms.

COMMANDS The command option sends a SCSI command to the given device. If the command fails then this is reflected in the process exit status of 1. To obtain more information about the error use the ’-v’ option.

   The ’capacity’ command sends a READ CAPACITY command (valid  for  disks
   and  cd/dvd  media).  If  successful  yields  "blocks: " [the number of
   blocks], "block_length: " [typically either 512 or  2048]  and  "capac?
   ity_mib: " [capacity in MibiBytes (1048576 byte units)].

   The  ’eject’  command  stops  the medium and ejects it from the device.
   Note that ejection (by command or button) may  be  prevented  in  which
   case  the  ’unlock’  command may be useful in extreme cases.  Typically
   only appropriate for cd/dvd  drives  and  disk  drives  with  removable
   media. Objects if sent to another peripheral device type (but objection
   can be overridden with ’-f’ option).

   The ’load’ command loads the medium and and starts it  (i.e.  spins  it
   up).  See ’eject’ command for supported device types.

   The  ’ready’  command  sends  the "Test Unit Ready" SCSI command to the
   given device. No error is reported if the device will respond  to  data
   requests  (e.g. READ) in a reasonable timescale. For example, if a disk
   is stopped then it will report "not ready". All devices should  respond
   to this command.

   The  ’sense’  command  sends  a REQUEST SENSE command. Reports hardware
   threshold exceeded, warning or  low  power  condition  if  flagged.  If
   progress  indication  is present (e.g. during a format) then it will be
   output as a percentage.

   The ’start’ command starts the medium (i.e. spins it up).  Harmless  if
   medium  has  already  been  started.  See ’eject’ command for supported
   device types.

   The ’stop’ command stops the medium (i.e. spins it down).  Harmless  if
   medium  has  already  been  stopped.  See ’eject’ command for supported
   device types.

   The ’sync’ command sends a SYNCHRONIZE CACHE command. The device should
   flush any data held in its (volatile) buffers to the media.

   The  ’unlock’  command  tells a device to allow medium removal. It uses
   the SCSI "prevent allow medium removal" command.  This  is  desperation
   stuff,  possibly overriding a prevention applied by the OS on a mounted
   file system.  The "eject" utility (from the "eject"  package)  is  more
   graceful  and  should  be tried first. This command is only appropriate
   for devices with removable media.

   For loading and ejecting tapes the mt utility should be used (i.e.  not
   these commands). The ’ready’ command is valid for tape devices.

NOTES The SPC-4 draft (rev 2) says that devices that implement no distinction between current and saved pages can return an error (ILLEGAL REQUEST, invalid field in cdb) if the SP bit (which corresponds to the ’–save’ option) is not set. In such cases the ’–save’ option needs to be given.

   If  the  ’--save’  option is given but the existing mode page indicates
   (via its PS bit) that the page is not savable, then this utility gener?
   ates  an  error message. That message suggests to try again without the
   ’--save’ option.

   The functionality of this  utility  overlaps,  somewhat,  with  another
   utility  called  blktool. This utility can be considered as more "SCSI-
   centric". For example, with ATAPI CD/DVD drives this utility will  con?
   centrate  on  the command level as such drives use the Multi Media Com?
   mand set (MMC) which is a SCSI command set. This utility ignores trans?
   port related settings at the ATA(PI) transport level. Such settings can
   be accessed with blktool (and viewed with ’sg_inq -A’).

   Since the device identification VPD  page  (acronym  "di")  potentially
   contains  a lot of diverse designators, several associated acronyms are
   available.  They  are  "di_lu"  for  designators  associated  with  the
   addressed  logical  unit, "di_port" for designators associated with the
   target port (which the command arrived via) and "di_target" for  desig?
   nators associated with the target device. When "di" is used designators
   are grouped by lu, then port and then target device.  To see all desig?
   nators  decoded  in  the  order  that  they  appear in the VPD page use

   In the linux kernel 2.6 series any device node that understands a  SCSI
   command  set (e.g. SCSI disks and CD/DVD drives) may be specified. More
   precisely the driver that "owns" the device node must support the SG_IO
   ioctl. In the lk 2.4 series only SCSI generic (sg) device nodes support
   the SG_IO ioctl. However in the lk 2.4 series other SCSI  device  nodes
   are  mapped within this utility to their corresponding sg device nodes.
   So if there is a SCSI disk at /dev/sda then ’sdparm /dev/sda’ will work
   in  both  the  lk  2.6  and lk 2.4 series. However if there is an ATAPI
   cd/dvd drive at /dev/hdc then ’sdparm /dev/hdc’ will only work  in  the
   lk 2.6 series.

   In  FreeBSD  the  "atapicam"  device may need to be configured into the
   kernel in order that sdparm can access (s)ATAPI cd/dvd drives.

EXAMPLES To list the common (generic) mode parameters of a disk:

      sdparm /dev/sda

   To list the designators within the device identification VPD page of  a

      sdparm --inquiry /dev/sda

   To see all parameters for the caching mode page:

      sdparm --page=ca /dev/sda

   To see all parameters for the caching mode page with parameter descrip?
   tions to the right:

      sdparm --page=ca --long /dev/sda

   To get the WCE values (current changeable default and saved) in hex:

      sdparm -g WCE -H /dev/sda
   0x01 0x00 0x01 0x01

   To get the WCE current value in hex:

      sdparm -g WCE=1 -H /dev/sda

   To set the "Writeback Cache Enable" bit in the current values page:

      sdparm --set=WCE /dev/sda

   To set the "Writeback Cache Enable" bit in the current and saved values

      sdparm --set=WCE --save /dev/sda

   To set the "Writeback Cache Enable" and clear "Read Cache Disable":

      sdparm --set=WCE --clear=RCD --save /dev/sda

   The previous example can also by written as:

      sdparm -s WCE=1,RCD=0 -S /dev/sda

   To  re-establish  the  manufacturer’s defaults in the current and saved
   values of the caching mode page:

      sdparm --page=ca --defaults --save /dev/sda

   If an ATAPI cd/dvd drive is at /dev/hdc then its common (mode)  parame?
   ters could be listed in the lk 2.6 series with:

      sdparm /dev/hdc

   If  there is a DVD in the drive at /dev/hdc then it could be ejected in
   the lk 2.6 series with:

      sdparm --command=eject /dev/hdc

   If the ejection is being prevented by software then that can  be  over?
   ridden with:

      sdparm --command=unlock /dev/hdc

   One  disk  vendor  has a "Performance Mode" bit (PM) in the vendor spe?
   cific unit attention mode page [0x0,0x0].  PM=0  is  server  mode  (the
   default) while PM=1 is desktop mode. Desktop mode can be set (both cur?
   rent and saved values) with:

      sdparm --page=0 --set=2:7:1=1 --save /dev/sda

   The resultant change can be viewed in hex with the  ’--hex’  option  as
   there are no acronyms for vendor extensions yet.

AUTHORS Written by Douglas Gilbert.

REPORTING BUGS Report bugs to .

COPYRIGHT Copyright © 2005-2006 Douglas Gilbert This software is distributed under a FreeBSD license. There is NO war? ranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PUR? POSE.

SEE ALSO hdparm(hdparm), sg_modes, sg_wr_mode, sginfo, sg_inq(all in sg3_utils), smartmontools(, mt, eject(eject), blk tool(

sdparm-0.98 May 2006 SDPARM(8)