Disk Enclosure and External Hard Drive Spindown Survey

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dborja, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #1
    I'm trying to figure out which enclosures and external hard drives sleep/spin down when either my iMac sleeps/powers down or after a certain period of inactivity. I'm trying to find this out both for drives connected directly to my iMac ports and drives connected through my AEBS. I've gone through a couple of enclosures and external hard drives with mixed results and it's frustrating (and expensive). I would like to solicit your experiences with respect to drives and enclosures that do spin down both for direct connections and when connected through the AEBS. I've started a list below and would appreciate your inputs.

    TIA,
    Dale


    Drive: WD Dual-option™ External USB Hard Drive - 120GB
    Connected to AEBS and sleeps after inactivity: Yes
    Connected to iMac and sleeps when iMac sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: Yes

    Drive: Maxtor OneTouch III 320GB USB/Firewire
    Connected to AEBS and sleeps after inactivity: Yes
    Connected to iMac and sleeps when iMac sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: Yes

    Drive: IOmega silver series 500GB - USB
    Connected to AEBS and sleeps after inactivity: No
    Connected to iMac and sleeps when iMac sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: Yes

    Drive: Acomdata Samba Enclosure w/ Seagate 320GB PATA
    Connected to AEBS and sleeps after inactivity: No
    Connected to iMac and sleeps when iMac sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: No

    Drive: Maxtor 500GB OneTouch 4
    Connected to AEBS and sleeps after inactivity: Yes
    Connected to iMac and sleeps when iMac sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: Yes
     
  2. Cybix macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #2
    Vantec NexStar 3 (any) spin down after xx period of time of no activity, and when the machine sleeps
     
  3. dborja thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    Thanks, Cybix!

    Any other experiences out there?
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    All standard drives spin down in OS X with inactivity and with sleep.

    You can change the spin down behavior (i.e. if you are a DJ and can't have any disk spin downs).
    To do that, go into System pref / Energy Saver / Sleep (show details) and change
    "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible".

    I think you are thinking about spin down of external drive fans?
     
  5. dborja thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #5
    My preference has been set that way. No, I do mean the hard drive itself is not spinning down; I'm using fanless enclosures...

    Thanks for the suggestions, though.
     
  6. appleicious macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    #6
    Icy Dock external enclosure (MB559UEA-1S) with 320 GB Seagate 7200 RPM spins down on computer sleep and after X minutes when connected either directly to macbook or to AEBS (only with newest AEBS firmware).

    I'm looking to buy a new, inexpensive external enclosure that supports spinning down when connected to my AEBS (my Icy Dock is nice but a little spendy). So if you have experience with one, I'd love to hear about it.
     
  7. indiekiduk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #7
    Are you using Firewire or USB to spin down the Icy Dock?
     
  8. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #8
    Macally Cases

    I have had mixed results with the spin-down feature of some Macally cases.

    PHR-100AC (IDE - USB2;FW400) - spins down when the Mac sleeps and after a long duration. Tested only with Firewire.

    PHR-100SU (SATA - esata;USB2) - does not spin down when Mac sleeps or after a long duration.

    PHR-100SUA (SATA - esata;USB2;FW400) - I was told by Macally that this enclosure would spin down when the Mac sleeps or after a long duration.

    NSA2-S350U (2xSATA - USB2) - I can test this weekend ... if I remember. I have it set in 'normal' mode, not JBOD.

    PHR-250CC (IDE - USB2;FW400) - spins down when Mac sleeps and after a long duration. Tested only with FW.

    PHR-S250CC (SATA - USB2/FW400) - spins down when Mac sleeps and after a long duraiton. Tested only with FW.
     
  9. dborja thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #9
    Here's another enclosure experience:

    Drive: Eagle Consus W-Series w/ 500GB Seagate Barracuda
    Connected to AEBS and sleeps after inactivity: Yes
    Connected to iMac and sleeps when iMac sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: Yes
     
  10. systimax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    #10
    Any updates on this?

    Anyone care to share some more experiences?
     
  11. jdryyz macrumors regular

    jdryyz

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #11
    Here are mine:

    Drive: Micronet "Mini Mate" w/ WD 500GB IDE "blue" HD
    Connected to 2007 Mac Mini and sleeps when Mini sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: Yes


    Drive: Acomdata "Mini Pal" w/ WD 500GB IDE "blue" HD
    Connected to 2007 Mac Mini and sleeps when Mini sleeps/shuts down or inactivity: No

    Simple explanation on this: My original Minimate enclosure is suffering from an unrelated problem. I found an Acomdata MiniPal really cheap and since it is nearly identical (even down to the circuit board) to the Minimate, I ordered it.

    Now the same hard disk that spun down just fine attached to the old enclosure's innards no longer spins down attached to the Acomdata! Incidentally, you noted the same thing with your Acomdata Samba! This doesn't quite make sense to me in terms of these two Mac Mini-style enclosures since they are so similar. Unless, this no spin-down "feature" was something Acomdata implemented on purpose. Sigh.


     
  12. name99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    #12
    Here are some of my experiences.

    First: Avoid duo pro drives like the plagues. I have two of these, one the 1TB version, one the 2TB version. Both of these are extraordinarily flaky when put to sleep. On wake from sleep there's about a 10% chance that they will simply be dead --- the OS will not recognize them and will ask you if you want to reformat them! (Not reformatting, and powering them off and on, or other such variants will not help.) These come with FW800, FW400 and USB connectors. I've tried them connected by all three, and always the same behavior. If I had to guess I'd say they are caching data, then when told to sleep they get the operations ordering wrong and power down before flushing the cache, or something like that.
    This occurs both as a result of CPU sleep, and a result of using the "Allow HDs to spin down" energy saver setting.

    These drives run cool and quiet, so it's not an overheating issue. I guess if you have a situation where you know you never want to sleep your drive they are fine, otherwise no.

    Next we have Seagate.
    I have a wide variety of these.
    - 400 GB in a curvy grey enclosure. Very well behaved.
    - 320 GB FreeAgent Desk. Very well behaved.

    (by very well behaved I mean runs cool, powers down when told to, even powers down automatically when not told to --- good if connected to an AEBS)

    - 300 GB PATA 7200.10 in a noname brand enclosure. Very well behaved.
    - 300 GB SATA 7200.10 in an EverTech enclosure. Powers down when the Mac is sleeping, but NOT otherwise, eg not when ejected, not when "power down idle hard drives" is selected

    This is an interesting situation because the drives are almost identical (one PATA, one SATA), and presumably the issue is that the EverTech enclosure is crappy.

    - 400 GB 7200.10 in a Mad Dog enclosure. Doesn't power down when told to, and runs incredibly hot. Seems combination of crappy enclosure and really hot drive.

    - 500 GB 7200.10 in a noname brand enclosure. Runs very hot (Seagate's fault), but powers down very well.

    - 640 GB Seagate Freeagent Go (ie 2.5" portable drive). This runs so cool and so quiet, and spins up so fast, that I honestly cannot tell if it sleeps or not. I guess it powers down because trying to access the drive after a delay there is a short wait time, but much shorter than the wait time on 3.5" drives. This is a pretty cool drive, at least from the point of view of power and noise.

    - 1.5 TB FreeAgent Xtreme. This is a pretty crappy effort on Seagate's part. The physical drive is fine. It spins down and spins up when told to. BUT the electronics run INCREDIBLY hot, and they don't cool down even when the drive is spun down. This occurs regardless of whether the drive is connected via FW or USB.

    This collection of Seagate data is interesting in that it tells us that, unfortunately, in this business brand means nothing. Some Seagate drives run really cool, some really hot. The all-in-one drives (ie bought as a single unit, not a bare drive plus enclosure) all do a good job of sleeping when told to, and sleeping automatically; but that may not be especially valuable when, like the FreeAgent Xtreme, the electronics are burning twice as much power as the drive and they never power down.

    I have one old WD all-in-one (160 GB) which sleeps well. Not enough data to generalize.

    I have that same Maxtor 320 GB mentioned by the post author which runs really cool, and sleeps well.

    I have a 1TB acomdata which has behaved very well (and is cool, small, and looks good). Unfortunately acomdata don't provide any info about the internal HD they use, so I've no idea if I bought another unit (mine is 2 years old) or a 2TB unit if I would get the same quality or some crap that ran hot and had sleep issues.

    All in all it's a real problem, and no-one seems interested in helping. Energy star ratings for HDs don't seem to exist, so you have no grounds to reject a drive if it runs hot or doesn't sleep properly; and few manufacturers provide power data for their drives. WD seems to be the only manufacturer that talks about power and which implies that their green drives do a good power job. Does this mean they are better than Seagate, or just have better marketing? Who knows? Especially since they do a crappy job (even worse than Seagate if such a thing is possible) of providing FW800 drives.

    The best solution I can think of is to try to lean on the EPA to force energy star ratings on hard drives and enclosures --- presumably that way at least the most egregious crap in this field, like duo pro drives that wipe themselves when using sleep, or enclosures that never spin down their drives, or electronics that burn twice the power of the drive itself, will presumably disappear from the market.
     
  13. timmymaxi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    #13
    Hi all,

    sorry to warm up that old thread here, but I need you guys' advice.

    Following set up: Time Capsule (newest version) with 2tb - internal Drive is only used for Time Machine for my MB aluminum. I would like to hook up a 2,5 external hdd to the TC so that I can access it from my Mac and a Windows PC that is in the same network.

    Since I still have an internal 2,5 hdd left, I would just like to put that into an external enclosure and hook it up, instead of buying a completely new one.

    However, so far the enclosures that I used (one called IcyBox, the other no-name) did not go to sleep on the TC. So the question is: Does anyone have a suggestion which external 2,5 '' hdd-enclosure might work on the TC, so that it sleeps when not needed (most of the time)?

    Thanks!
     

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