My HDD "Load Cycle Count" has been dropping (128 -> 51), is this bad?

On my Munin graph for the “smartctl” plugin, it shows that since last month, the Load Cycle Count has been continually dropping (not sure if it was high in the first place…) on my harddrive.
It’s dropped from about 128 down to 51.

Is a high or low load cycle count good or bad?

This is on a laptop running openSUSE 12.2 (x64) KDE.

I have had it sitting in Runlevel 3 (for 8 days uptime) without a DE/WM loaded because it is acting as a pilot server for some services in the office and it’s doing what it does very well.
It’s primary services are vsftpd (FTP) and PostgreSQL/PostGIS (RDBMS).

I know a laptop is not designed to be left on for extended periods of time b/c one of the major problems is the Power Management features that a laptop uses for its hard drive. (ie, placing it into idle mode when I/O’s have been nil for some time, constant startups will wear the HD faster reducing life span/read-write performance). This power management can be turned off with hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda. Currently it’s at a laptop friendly setting of 128.

hdparm -B /dev/sda

  APM_level = 128

smartctl -a /dev/sda
smartctl -H /dev/sda

…both report no errors

I don’t have the exact details for the partitioning, but I know it’s an encrypted LVM.

/Boot *(sda1)*
/LVM *(sda2)*
 /(root) as ext4
 /home as ext4
 /var/lib/pgsql as ext4
 /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_xlog as ext3

NOTE: I’m using this laptop as a server for test purposes and a pilot project to convince the local government here to adopt open source solutions into their existing work flow. I’ve been promoting openSUSE. What’s interesting is that we have a proprietary spatial database on an enterprise level server and it is not performing to par with my postgresql/postgis db on the laptop! Management is very impressed, given that our proprietary spatial servers were installed and configured by the companies that built the software and I set this up on my own…

S.M.A.R.T. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some laptop drives are programmed to unload the heads whenever there has not been any activity for about five seconds

Cool, so in other words, lower is better! That’s what the green down arrow means in the chart :slight_smile:

That is what i would believe, but i am no expert. We should probably wait for replies from the real GURUS on this subject who lurk around these forums.
I am just a passer by offering free advice :slight_smile: