External Hard Drive Constantly Working/Reading

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Fox11, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Fox11 macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2009
    I recently bought an external hard drive (like 2 weeks ago)- I put two partitions on it, one set as a Time Machine backup (HFS+) and one as file storage (FAT32 to make compatible with Windows XP boot on my Macbook Pro). When I first got it, I remember being surprised by how quiet it was.

    I filled it up and now, whenever I plug the drive in, it makes a sound like it's constantly reading (reminds me of the sound old, old computers used to make when thinking a lot, i.e. with the blinking orange light). As soon as I start 'using' it (for instance, turning Time Machine backup on, etc.) it suddenly starts running quiet again. I made sure to make it 'invisible' to Spotlight so it doesn't index the drive... what else could be accessing the drive and making it work so hard? The constant 'grinding' of the drive is really bothersome!
  2. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2007
    There are two tools that you can try to help you figure out what is accessing the drive: opensnoop or lsof. Both require root access (sudo is fine), and both are going to give you a lot of things to track down (a lot of noise). With lsof there are a lot of flags that you can use (the manual page is long, but useful).

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