Harddrive Idle, Standby, and Sleep

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Can anyone give a technical description for differences between a Harddrive being Idle, in Standby, or in Sleep mode.

I am looking for information like can/should the heads be parked and can/should the disk be spinning for any or all three.

I am a novice at writing a disk driver and am not sure what should be happening when I try to set these conditions.
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