Spinning down external hard drives

A while back I wrote a little app called sumount, for safely unmounting usb hard drives.  While try to make it work a little more reliably, I came across hd-idle.  Hd-idle does a fantastic job, much better than my little hacky script.
I've requested my app be deleted from the AUR (it is stupid and redundant), and am posting this to the forum so the four people who use it know to switch :-)

The drive will spin down if Energy Saver tells it do so in Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Energy Saver. I have found though, spinning down an external hard drive sometimes is not desired because Energy Saver may not be able to give back all the power the drive desires when it wakes up. This can lead to an improperly dismounted volume causing occasional directory damage. My suggestion is to simply dismount it, and leave Disk Utility up so you can mount it again. Disk Utility is in Applications -> Utilities folder.

Similar Messages

  • MANUALLY spinning down the hard drive/s?

    I have a early 2004 G5.
    I want to know if there is a way to MANUALLY (as is on demand) spin down the hard drive/s WITHOUT putting the computer to sleep.
    As I recall this was a piece of functionality that was in the old pre OSX operating system but as far as we can see is no longer available (besides checking the "put the hard disk to sleep when possible" box in the Energy Saver system pref).

    Hi RTM,
    All I can think of only comes close to your query: spinning them down sooner than the default ten minutes that you have to wait for when checking the "put the hard disk to sleep when possible" box in Energy Saver.
    Set it to one minute, by running this Terminal command:
    *sudo pmset -a disksleep 1*
    (set it back to default ten minutes with this command:
    *sudo pmset -a disksleep 10* )
    Note that spinning HDs up and down and up and down all the time shortens their life.
    I guess you need to spin them down as soon as possible because they dont wake up often in the way you use your Mac?

  • MacBook Pro running Lion constantly spins up external hard drives while sleeping

    My MacBook Pro 8,2 running Lion 10.7.2 constantly spins up its external hard drives (one Firewire 800 and two USB) while sleeping. Is there any way to prevent this? The drives will spin down for a minute or so and then spin back up, which is incredibly annoying. Have to shut the computer down to prevent this.
    Thanks. I’m happy to provide more details if needed.

    Might be Spotlight indexing...  you can turn that off.
    Turning Off Spotlight | Mac Tricks And Tips

  • How do I automatically spin down the hard drive to save power?

    I have searched for this in the wiki and the forums, so if I've missed something, please point it out to me, but is there a way to have Arch automatically spin down hard drives and/or suspend the machine to ram to save power? I'm not really interested in the full suspend to disk because I don't think my BIOS will do a wake on lan, and I'm trying to run a home server here.
    Anyway, I'm just looking for ways to save on my electricity usage. Any ideas?

    If the HD is just used for storage, hdparm is your friend. with hdparm -S you can set the timeout until the disk spins down.
    If its a system disk hdparm will work too, but the HD will spin up after 2 secs (or less, depending on your HD) again because of the OS accessing the disk (logs, journal etc). Laptop-mode-tools works very well on laptops because it automatically sets the journal-rewrite time, file-write-cache size and the time when new data gets written to the disk. If you are not reading anything or anything thats not in the cache, it works very well - but thats on laptops. I tried using laptop-mode-tools on my desktop, but without luck (yes, it detected that i wasnt using a laptop).
    You could try using cpudyn with the cpu-idling stuff disabled (option  -i 0). I know it has a feature that spins down a specific HD after a certain amount of time. But i don't know for sure if cpudyn automatically remounts the HD, so that it caches all the write activity (like laptop-mode-tools).
    Good luck.

  • When iMac sleeps... it shuts down external hard drives

    When I wake my iMac I get the error message that my hard drives were removed, could cause damage, etc. This just started today. It's almost like the iMac kind of goes into a deeeeeeeep sleep... but the computer doesnt shut down totally. I can still wake it, takes a little longer than usual though.
    Anyone know what the issue can be?

    Do you have an external drive attached?
    The reason for asking is I have seen similar errors when I fail
    to properly unmount or removes an external drive.
    There may be a better way but when I want to turn off my
    external drive (used for TM and SD), I right click on he
    external HD's icon and select the EJECT option. This unmount
    the drive so the power can be turned OFF and removed
    from the back of the iMac. You can also do with the Disk
    Try unmounting your external drives and restart to see
    if this helps.

  • External hard drive spinning down (and up) on it's own

    I thought my 5 month old external 1tb dual drive was dying at first, but now am seeing a pattern. There is a forum over at macrumors about this. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=445690
    I always make sure in my energy settings i have spin down external drives unchecked, because it's known that spin downs and ups can cause drives to fail sooner. Yet I now find my external drive spinning down whenever it's not in use while I'm sitting at my computer, and i hear it spin up at the most random times, even when i'm not using my computer. sometimes in the middle of the night. This did not happen in tiger.
    It's connected by firewire 800. At first I thought it was time machine but others in the macrumors forum claim it isn't that. I almost think its network activity. I'm considering using an applescript to access the drive every 5 or ten minutes automatically yet not do anything just to see if this stops it from spinning it down. I do consider this an annoyance and would hope apple will figure out what it is very soon, before it causes any detriment to the life of my expensive drive.

    did you ever find a fix for this?
    my ext FW800 drives constantly spin down, then when i do something later i get the beachball until they spin back up

  • External hard drive not spinning up

    I have a 160GB Freecom FHD-3 external hard drive connected to my iBook with USB 2.0 that I use to store all my music / movies etc. I have a slight problem with this drive and i was wondering if anyone could help me.
    Firstly when i turn the iBook on with the drive connected it takes a long time (>3 mins) to boot up. Secondly if the drive is connected and i put the iBook to sleep, the drive spins down and automatically powers off. When i wake the iBook the external drive does not spin up and my iBook freezes with the spinning pizza of death as it is desparately searching for the external HD with my iTunes music folder in.
    I did not have this problem with my Mac Mini and i was wondering if there was anything i could do to sort it out.

    dickonhowell, Welcome to the discussion area!
    I am guessing that the Mac mini keeps the USB ports powered even when sleeping. I would bet that the iBook turns off the USB ports when sleeping. That is probably why you experience different things with the 2 different Macs.

  • External hard drive won't shut down after switch from OS10.5 to OS10.4.11

    i recently chanded my OS from 10.5 to 10.4.11 (as a programme i want to use is not compatible with leopard), but since i have done this my external hard-drive won't shut down automatically when i shut down my mac. i have to switch it off at the plug instead.
    can anyone suggest how i can get it to do this again?
    i'm a little concerned that i'm damaging the external drive by turning it off manually all the time..

    Some hard drives shut off with shutdown, some don't. Sometimes hard drives that did shut off with one system will not do the same with a different system. My hard drives which did shut off, prior to 10.5 now stay on.
    This is not really a problem as all hard drives spin down after 10- 20 minutes when not in use, whether your computer is on or off. Leaving the drive on is fine, shutting it off manually is fine.
    [email protected]

  • External Hard drives spooling after display power down

    When I shut off my MBP thats connected to a 27" thunderbolt display, the external hard drives that I've got connected to the display shut down, then spool back up after everything has been shut down.  How can I get them to stay off?
    Current set up: MBP-Thunderbolt display-USB hub-2 external drives
    Thank you!

    I decided to try KeepDriveSpinning for my issue and I found that 30 sec was the optimal time to stop my drive spinning up/down. I tried 35 sec and up to 60 and the issue kept occuring. You could try a different time setting if you haven't already.
    It does sound like Mountain Lion is the issue in your case.
    Sorry, I don't really have the technical skills to help you. I'm really just fumbling around.
    On a related point I think my external drive is also the cause of my mac not automatically sleeping. I came across acommand that lists the things that are preventing the mac form sleeping. Maybe, [thats a big maybe], the command might help you with your issue
    pmset -g assertions
    and there is a related command that continually logs the things that prevent sleep
    pmset -g assertionslog
    If you ran the logging one and then slept the screen and tired accessing your drives it might log something that may help??? Its a long shot though.

  • Delay on save as external hard drive spins up

    I have an issue with Snow Leopard that seems new.
    Often when I go to save a document there is a significant delay while the external hard drive spins up. This happens also sometimes when I go to open a file from within an application.
    I have spotlight set to not index that drive. How can I stop my computer from thinking that something I may want to save to the external hard drive? I would like to ignore it all together except for when I use Time Machine.

    You can try the energy saver settings, telling OS X to not spin down drives. However, for external drives, often they do their own thing.
    There's no way to do what you want, unfortunately. The standard file dialog will probe all attached drives, so when you try to save, and the drive is spun down, it will wake and respond. As you've noted, this can take a few seconds.

  • Why are my external hard drives always spinning up?

    I came home to my Mac after a day away, and found one of my external hard drives had been running apparently all day. The only thing I had open was Camino and iTunes, and also Activity Monitor.
    I often find the other hard drive(s) spin up at seemingly random times, for instance as soon as I sat down and started browsing the Web, the other external hard drive also spun up.
    Why? I didn't do anything which would call for them to be active.
    Is there any way to tell if certain applications have incorrectly placed important files on the external HD's (i.e. Safari putting its cache there, or iTunes linking to songs on an external)?
    Are there utilities which can tell me which applications are banging on which disks or volumes?
    DESKTOP MAC. Not laptop. Please do not give answers which use the words "sleep", "clamshell" or "battery". Again this is a desktop Mac not a laptop.
    Oh and one other thing. It's a desktop Mac. Not a laptop. External drives are USB. Also it's a desktop Mac.

    If it is a desktop machine, you want the hard drives to keep running all the time; it is disastrous to their longevity to be stopping and starting repeatedly.
    I have a Seagate (that is NOT a recommendation) that I bought at a local PC outlet, and it insists on stopping and starting every 35 seconds or so, when I am not using the machine.
    I found the utility Keep Drive Spinning on Apple’s web site ( www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/systemdiskutilities/keepdrivespinning.html ) and I added it to my login items. During the boot process, it shows a dialogue; I click on a volume on the drive and type in 33 (seconds).
    Thanks, Jon Stovell!!
    p.s. There is a setting “Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible” in System Preferences: Energy Saver. This should be off, for the same reason; this is strictly for laptops, in my opinion.
    p.p.s. If I leave my machine on, while I am not using it for a day or so, I put it to Sleep; under those circumstances, Keep Drive Spinning does allow the machine to sleep properly.

  • I am trying to get space on an external hard drive which has some old time machine back up files that I do not need but can not eliminate, even by going into the time machine, clicking on the backup file to be eliminated and using the drop down eliminate

    I am trying to get space on an external hard drive which has some old time machine back up files that I do not need but can not eliminate, even by going into the time machine, clicking on the backup file to be eliminated and using the drop down menu with the gear box symbol to eliminate

    I cannot find this 300GB "Backup" in the Finder, only in the Storage info when I check "About This Mac".
    You are probably using Time Machine to backup your MacBook Pro, right? Then the additional 300 GB could be local Time Machine snapshots.  Time Machine will write the hourly backups to the free space on your hard disk, if the backup drive is temporarily not connected. You do not see these local backups in the Finder, and MacOS will delete them, when you make a regular backup to Time Machine, or when you need the space for other data.
    See Pondini's page for more explanation:   What are Local Snapshots?   http://pondini.org/TM/FAQ.html
    I have restarted my computer, but the information remains the same. How do I reclaim the use of the 300GB? Why is it showing up as "Backups" when it used to indicate "Photos"? Are my photos safe on the external drive?
    You have tested the library on the external drive, and so your photos are save there.  
    The local TimeMachine snapshot probably now contains a backup of the moved library.  Try, if connecting your Time Machine drive will reduce the size of your local Time Machine snapshots.

  • I have an older macbook pro and the hard drive is starting to go (making loud noises). i tried to back up to an external hard drive (my passport essential se) using time machine and the computer keeps shutting down. suggestions to complete backup please?

    I have an older macbook pro and the hard drive is starting to go (making loud noises). i tried to back up to an external hard drive (my passport essential se) using time machine and the computer keeps shutting down. the same thing happens when just trying to save my pictures from iphoto to a flash drive. suggestions to complete backup please?

    Sounds like you'll need to access that drive while it is not booted. You need to replace it anyway, so do that, then one way or another (ext enclusure, et), access it and copy files.
    If you keep trying to boot it, you might kill it for good and not get your files, so just swap it out first.

  • I have itunes directory on an external hard drive and want to direct a new installation of itunes on windows 8 to use it. I tried holding down ctrl and clicking itunes and after many tries got it to work one time. When I went back in later it had reverted

    I have itunes directory on an external hard drive and want to direct a new installation of itunes on windows 8 to use it. I tried holding down ctrl and clicking itunes and after many tries got it to work one time. When I went back in later it had reverted back to a blank version of itunes and I cant get ctrl to work again. Any other ideas?

    This is sometimes caused by a problem with the iTunesPrefs.xml file, normally found at C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml. Try dragging this to the desktop and trying again.
    Alternatively the problem may be that you have McAfee AV and it is preventing iTunes from updating the same file and thus causing the problem. See Why does iTunes delete my itunesprefs.xml? for details.

  • External Hard drive shut down

    External hard drive, shut it down or leave it running 24/7.

    Hi Tom
    Yes they do have their own power supply, however no on/off switch.
    I don't suppose it will do any damage to leave them on. Seems a bit of a fact to have to unplug them when not in use.
    Thanks again

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