This default value causes hdd spin-ups/spin-downs every minute. This can't be a good for a drive and it creates 2 second delay whenever user do something, while it waits for the HDD to spin up.
There are lot of discussions about it:
I think the default value should be increased to 128 because value 1 is bad for hard drive, causes a delay, and likely don't extend the battery live time(because spin up consumes a lot of energy).
I totally agree with the original reporter. Setting APM to 1 by default on battery is almost insane. This will make the harddrive to spin down every few seconds of inactivity. The user expirience in this case is very bad. Every now and then the pc freeze while the drive spins up again.
A more sane default might be 128, but also 127, or in the middle of 1 and 128. Spin down, if done ot a sane frequency, is not a bad thing.
Please correct this issue. pm-utils is used by almost every linux running with HDDs.
For a quick workaround just create a file in /etc/pm/conf.d and write DRIVE_POWER_MGMT_BAT=128 (or whatever you like) in it:
echo DRIVE_POWER_MGMT_BAT=128 > /etc/pm/conf.d/localhdd
pm-utils hasn't been touched in eight years, none of this is likely to get addressed. Closing bugs and disabling the bz product.