External hard drive startup delay

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by yanathin, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. yanathin macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Hey there, I had a question about external hard drives. I have a USB external drive hooked up to my Mac mini that is mainly used to playing media through Plex. It plays back any files just fine directly from the hard drive, but what is kind of annoying is waiting for the initial boot up time that the hard drive has to go through after it isn't used for a little while. Is there a way to tell that USB hard drive to never go into that "sleep" mode or whatever it does? I unchecked checked the box in my system preferences under Energy Saver that says to put the hard drives to sleep when possible, but I guess this doesn't apply to external hard drives. I just need something to ping it every so often so it never shuts off. Would a FireWire 800 hard drive do the same thing?
  2. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    I don't know for sure, but I think that behavior is built-in to the external drive and is not controllable from OS X. You don't say what drive you have, but this sleep behavior seems to be built in to many external drives and enclosures these days.

    I have two Firewire 800 externals: a Seagate Freeagent Desk for Mac and a drive in a Rosewill enclosure, and both "spin down" and go to sleep after a few minutes of non-use. Luckily, for the way that I'm using them, that's what I want them to do.

    I don't know of any way to change this, but maybe someone else does?

  3. yanathin thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2006
    I have a Western Digital. I actually JUST came across a little app somebody made to solve this problem. It's called "Keep Drive Spinning" and seems to do exactly what I want. The link is here:


    I just installed it and applied it to my Western Digital External that kept auto-sleeping. I haven't waiting enough time to see if it actually worked and kept the disk spinning, but if it does what it says it does, then my problem is solved. :)

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