allowing hard drives to sleep - any harm?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by slicedbread, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. slicedbread macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2006

    Under energy saver there is the hard drive sleep option (the tick box). I started using it, but recently I find that my hard drive keeps powering down alot more often than I expected they would- ie. pause itunes for 10mins and its gone to sleep, press play again and it takes 2-3s for the HDD to power back up first before resuming. Clearly this normal behaviour, just more frequent that I expected.

    However I am worried that my HDD's will die alot sooner with all the additional powering up and down they do, outside of the booting up/reboot cycles in my own day-to-day use. The common belief is that HDD's fail more often if you continually power them up and down compared to having them spinning all the time (usage rates being the same).

    Should I be worried?

    NB. is there anyway to change the time before the HDD's go to sleep? There isn't an option in OS X afaik, just the tick box?
  2. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    It might take a small bit of life off them but they'll probably spend so much time sleeping that you'll save that time anyway from them not spinning.

    I always let my hard drives sleep.
  3. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Well, sleeping the drives is really for power savings. Therefore makes more sense in a laptop.

    An HDD usually die from the bearings of the slider wearing out. When you sleep a drive, it's not really 'off' per se. The slider parks, and the platters spool down.

    I find that sleeping a drive on a desktop isn't really beneficial, and if you have a lot of drive, it can be a PITA waiting for all of them to spool up.
  4. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I never sleep my drives unless I sleep the whole system. I hate waiting for them to spinup whenever I need them. If I'm away from my system for more than an hour or two, I just put it to sleep. I don't see the advantage in a MacPro to sleep your drives independently from the system.
  5. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    You can change how long until they sleep by going into the developer tools folder(install from your 10.4 disk) so developer>application>performance tools>CHUD>hardware tools>spindown HD There you can adjust the amount of time before they spin down.
  6. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Uh... why go though the hassle when you can do the same thing in energy saver? The only benefit I would see for doing that is IF you could control spin down on individual drives. Now, that would be cool.
  7. Help! macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2006
    energy saver only provides the option of either allowing the drive to sleep or not. It doesn't allow you to specify how long the computer should wait before putting the drive to sleep.
  8. slicedbread thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2006
    thanks! I'll try that!
  9. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Laptops yes, desktops....not so much. Also sleeping your display prolongs backlight.
  10. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I onlt sleep the drive on my PB, OS X runs system maintenance through out the night and the drives will end up spinning up anyway.
  11. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    I don't allow HDD's to sleep in any of my desktop systems. That's all I'll say for fear of tempting fate.

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