Does never sleeping hard drives improve their life?

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

  1. bigwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #1
    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

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #3
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #4
    What do you think of turning on "sleep hard drives when possible"? That could cause dozens of restarts a day.
     
  5. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #5
    I keep mine on permanently and we must be talking around 4 years of use now with no problems (15inch MBP 2006 base model).
     

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