Ubuntu – USB hard drive sleeps even when in use

9.04hard drivesleepusb

I have very small ARM computer with Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) running as a backup and media server for my house.

I have attached a new "WD My Passport" 750GB USB drive to it. The drive is recognized and I can mount it and read/write files fine.

After several minutes, the drive goes to sleep, even if I was in the middle of writing a backup to it. I can force it to start again with sdparm, but it needs to not shut itself down while it's being written to in the first place.

I have tried this command to disable the standby state but it doesn't work:

root@Plug:~# sdparm --clear STANDBY -6 /dev/sdb
/dev/sdb: WD        My Passport 0730  1008
change_mode_page: failed setting page: Power condition


I have also been told to change /sys/block/sdb/device/allow_restart from 0 to 1, but no such file exists and one cannot be written there.

The hardware itself is fine, if I plug it into a Windows computer, it will not sleep while in use.

Is there anything else I can try to make this drive workable in Linux?