Most of the non-SSD hard drives allow for a noise reduction by decreasing head movement speed while accessing data. This ability is called Automatic Acoustic Management or AAM. This tutorial will show how to manipulate AAM values to reduce or increase head movement thus directly affect hard drive's noise level.
The best tool for this job is hdparm. hdparm is available for all major Linux distributions and is available for install via hdparm package. If hdparm command is not available on your system yet, you can install it using following commands:
UBUNTU/DEBIAN
# apt-get install hdparm
OR
FEDORA/RED HAT
# yum install hdparm
First find a correct block device for a hard drive you would like to work with. This can be done by:
]$ lsscsi -g
[2:0:0:0]    disk    ATA      HTS721060G9SA00  MC3I  /dev/sda   /dev/sg0

Next, we use hdparm to determine current head speed movement:
# hdparm -M /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 acoustic      = 254 (128=quiet ... 254=fast)
If your drive does not support AAM you will get message: acoustic = not supported. Our current drive is set to maximum speed thus no noise reduction is applied. From the above output we can see that any values between 128 ... 254 are accepted. Not all hard drives accept all multiple values. For older drives your options may shrink to on 0-(OFF), 128-(quiet) or 254-(fast).The option 0-(OFF) will turn AAM off and thus setting it to maximum value of 254.

It needs to be pointed out that any head speed reduction also comes with a price of slower hard disk's access time. Let's reduce the noise level of our drive to minimum that is AAM value 128:
# hdparm -M 128 /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 setting acoustic management to 128
 acoustic      = 128 (128=quiet ... 254=fast)
Feel free to fine tune the balance between noise and speed by setting values between 128 .. 254 ( if available ).
# hdparm -M 150 /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 setting acoustic management to 150
 acoustic      = 150 (128=quiet ... 254=fast)
# hdparm -M /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 acoustic      = 150 (128=quiet ... 254=fast)
To turn off Automatic Acoustic Management set AAM value to 0:
# hdparm -M 0 /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 setting acoustic management to 0
 acoustic      = 254 (128=quiet ... 254=fast)
# hdparm -M /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 acoustic      = 254 (128=quiet ... 254=fast)


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