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ATACTL(8) NetBSD System Manager's Manual ATACTL(8)
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atactl -- a program to manipulate ATA (IDE) devices and busses
atactl device command [arg [...]]
atactl allows a user or system administrator to issue commands to and
otherwise control devices which reside on standard IDE and ATA con-
trollers, or the ATA bus itself. It is used by specifying a device or
bus to manipulate, the command to perform, and any arguments the command
The following commands may be used on IDE and ATA devices. Note that not
all devices support all commands.
identify Identify the specified device, displaying the device's vendor,
product, revision strings, and the device's capabilities.
idle Place the specified device into Idle mode. This mode may con-
sume less power than Active mode.
standby Place the specified device into Standby mode. This mode will
consume less power than Idle mode.
sleep Place the specified device into Sleep mode. This mode will
consume less power than Standby mode, but requires a device
reset to resume operation. Typically the wd(4) driver per-
forms this reset automatically, but this should still be used
Places the specified device into Idle mode, and sets the Idle
timer to idle-timer seconds. A value of 0 will disable the
Places the specified device into Standby mode, and sets the
Standby timer to standby-timer seconds. A value of 0 will
disable the Standby timer.
Will print out if the device is in Active, Idle, or Standby
power management mode.
apm [disable | set #]
Controls the Advanced Power Management feature of the speci-
fied device. Advanced Power Management is an optional feature
used to specify a power management level to balance between
device performance and power consumption.
disable Disable the Advanced Power Management.
set # Enable the Advanced Power Management feature
and set its level to the value #, where # is
an integer within the scale 0-253; being 0 the
mode with the lowest power consumption (and
thus the worse performance) and 253 the mode
which provides the better performance at a
cost of more power consumption.
It should be noted that the effect of the
value need not be continous. For example, a
device might provide only two modes: one from
0 to 126 and other from 127 to 253. Per the
specification, values of 127 and higher do not
permit the device to spin down to save power.
smart [enable | disable | status | offline # | error-log | selftest-log]
Controls SMART feature set of the specified device. SMART
stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technol-
ogy. It provides an early warning system by comparing subtle
operation characteristics to those determined in vendor test-
ing to precede device failures.
enable Enables access to SMART capabilities within
the device. Prior to being enabled, a SMART
capable device neither monitors nor saves
SMART attribute values. The state of SMART,
either enabled or disabled, will be preserved
by the device across power cycles.
disable Disables access to SMART capabilities within
the device. Attribute values will be saved,
and will no longer be monitored.
status Reports whether SMART is supported by the
device, and whether SMART is enabled on the
device (can only be determined on ATA6 or bet-
ter devices). If SMART is enabled, then a ta-
ble of attribute information is printed.
Attributes are the specific performance or
calibration parameters that are used in ana-
lyzing the status of the device. The specific
set of attributes being used and the identity
of these attributes is vendor specific and
Attribute values are used to represent the
relative reliability of individual performance
or calibration parameters. The valid range of
attribute values is from 1 to 253 decimal.
Lower values indicate that the analysis algo-
rithms being used by the device are predicting
a higher probability of a degrading or faulty
Each attribute value has a corresponding
threshold limit which is used for direct com-
parison to the attribute value to indicate the
existence of a degrading or faulty condition.
The numerical value of the attribute thresh-
olds are determined by the device manufacturer
through design and reliability testing and
analysis. Each attribute threshold represents
the lowest limit to which its corresponding
attribute value can equal while still retain-
ing a positive reliability status.
If the crit field is ``yes'' then negative
reliability of this attribute predicts immi-
nent data loss. Otherwise it merely indicates
that the intended design life period of usage
or age has been exceeded. The collect field
indicates whether this attribute is updated
while the device is online. The reliability
field indicates whether the attribute value is
within the acceptable threshold.
offline # Runs the numbered offline self-test on the
error-log Prints the error log.
selftest-log Prints the self-test log.
security [freeze | status]
Controls ``security'' (password protection) features of modern
ATA drives. The security commands are intended to be issued
by low-level software (firmware / BIOS) only. Generally, the
security status should be ``frozen'' before the operating sys-
tem is started so that misbehaving or malicious software can-
not set or change a password. Older and buggy BIOSes neglect
to do so; in these cases it might make sense to issue the
``freeze'' command early in the boot process.
freeze freezes the drive's security status
status displays the drive's security status
The following commands may be used on IDE and ATA busses. Note that not
all devices support all commands.
reset Reset the bus. This will reset all ATA devices present on the
bus. Any ATAPI device with pending commands will also be reset.
ioctl(2), wd(4), dkctl(8), scsictl(8)
The atactl command first appeared in NetBSD 1.4.
The atactl command was written by Ken Hornstein. It was based heavily on
the scsictl(8) command written by Jason R. Thorpe.
The output from the identify command is rather ugly.
NetBSD 5.0 November 18, 2007 NetBSD 5.0