External HD Spins 24/7

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by cdogg44, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. cdogg44 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2014
    I have a mid 2010 iMac running Mavericks 10.9.5 that I leave on 24/7.

    I have an older 1.5TB Seagate external connected (USB 2.0) that I perform a daily (4:00 AM) Carbon Copy Cloner backup on. The main backup is done and only daily incremental backups are updated each night.

    Meanwhile, the external hard drive spins 24/7. Is that normal? Is there any way to have it spin down when it's not being accessed?

    I have the external disabled from Spotlight indexing and not selected for backup through Backblaze.

    Does a program exist to force spin down of hard drives on a schedule? For instance, since this external's only job is the daily CCC backup, it could be spun up at 3:50 AM and then spun down once the task was complete.

  2. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Open System Preferences->Energy Saver, make sure that "Put hard drives to sleep when possible" is checked. The hard drive may not sleep if you have file sharing turned on and the external hard has been added to the shared folders. When the external hard drive has been accessed through file sharing that will prevent the hard drive from sleeping. Also, if you have the hard drive mounted to another computer over the network that could also prevent the hard drive from sleeping.
  3. cdogg44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. The "Put hard drives to sleep" option is checked and since the external is only used for a CCC backup it isn't shared by any other computer.

    It still spins 24/7. Any other ideas?
  4. Taz Mangus, Apr 1, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    A couple more things to try:
    • If you force the computer to sleep does the HD spin down?
    • Repair permission and reboot.
    • Reset PRAM. Hold down CMD-OPTION-P-R while rebooting, continue holding the keys down until the computer reboots twice and you hear a full volume bong sound.
    • Boot into safe mode, hold down the shift key while rebooting. Force the computer to sleep, does the HD spin down?
    • Create a new admin user, reboot and login to the new admin user. Force the computer to sleep. Does the HD spin down?
  5. Sumleilmus macrumors member


    Nov 6, 2011

    If you unmount the external drive in Disk Utility does it still spin?

    If not, then use a shell script to unmount it at boot. If you want to use mine, ask me for it.

    Carbon Copy Cloner 4.0.6, the one I use, has a tab for advanced settings. Click that, look right for the "AFTER TASK RUNS" section. From the pick list for Destination Volume, choose "Unmount the underlying volume."

    Don't worry, CCC will find and mount the unmounted backup volume.

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