I have a Western Digital Green 3Tb hard disk WD30EZRX-00DC0B0.
I can put to sleep the disk with
hdparm -Y /dev/sdX
I can hear the disk spun down, and go to sleep
I get slep status with
hdparm -C /dev/sdX
and it reports
drive state is: standby
I access it to exit from sleep, and I setup 15 minutes timeout with
hdparm -S180 /dev/sdX
But the drive does not enter sleep anymore.
Disk is not accessed in any way, because if I leave it in manual sleep state (-Y) it does not wake up for days.
Have you tried smartctl -t short /dev/sdX first? It made my Hitachi respect sleep timeout.
smartctl -t short /dev/sdX
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