Does never sleeping hard drives improve their life?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bigwig, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. bigwig macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2005
    I have an iMac that I never let sleep because of the belief that desktop hard drives are most reliable when spinning 24/7, and that spin-up/spin-down cycles caused by sleeping or shutdowns stresses them and causes them to break. Of course, I built that belief over many years. Is that still generally true for modern drives? Are the so-called "green" drives, seemingly designed to frequently stop/start what with their automatic sleep modes, hardened against this stress? By contrast, aren't laptop drives are expected to be frequently spun up/down and so are specifically designed to handle it?
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'm pretty sure that current hard drives are made to handle that stress, as that is how most users use their computers. I wouldn't worry about it and let it sleep, because it uses a decent amount of power even when idle and awake. I would say most drive failures are due to a defect in the drive or very hard use, rather than spinning up and down.
  3. MacinDan macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    I sleep/wake my computer several times a day, and I've never had a hard drive failure (except for the one I physically dropped). I think operating temperature is a much more important factor in a hard drive's longevity.
  4. bigwig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2005
    What do you think of turning on "sleep hard drives when possible"? That could cause dozens of restarts a day.
  5. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    I keep mine on permanently and we must be talking around 4 years of use now with no problems (15inch MBP 2006 base model).

Share This Page