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Keeping the disk spun down with squid?

I am trying to set up an older laptop for use as a router in my flat. I chose this approach over a stand-alone device (such as this one) because I want to have fuller control over my router, such as the ability to add a transparent caching proxy (squid).

A main concern with setting up this machine is noise. Ideally, I want it to be completely silent, but I do need a hard drive. Thus, I am trying to configure the drive to spin down when not in use. Thanks to the laptop-mode-tools package, and syslog-ng's caching functionality, this works like a charm...

... until I start squid. For some reason, squid likes to read blocks on /var every few seconds, even if it is not being used at all. I imagine this is some cache replacement/maintenance stuff. So now I need to find out how to disable it, or how to control the interval. Ideally, I would like squid to doze when it's not in use. Only when it serves requests is it allowed to do cache maintenance.

If you know how I could accomplish this, please let me know! Unfortunately, I do not have enough RAM to put my entire cache onto a shmfs.