Hard drives spinning up before I can move on ... what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mgpg89, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. mgpg89 macrumors 6502a

    mgpg89

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    When I'm on my MacBook Pro, I have two 1TB drives connected to it.
    2x Iomega Ultramax 1TB -> both through FireWire 800

    One for media storage.
    One for time machine back-ups.

    Now ... sometimes when I load the finder or have to choose a location to save my file in an application (doesn't matter which one) ... I can hear one of the drives (presumably the media storage one, right?) spinning up until it reaches its full speed and after that the finder loads.

    So, to me, it sounds like the speed of my machine is being held back by the speed of the external drive ... is there a reason for this? And more important a solution?

    Does my machine need to index the external drive before being able to show folders in the Finder? And if so, doesn't OS X automatically index the connected drives at start-up?


    Thanks in advance !
     
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    While I can't specifically comment on your Iomega drives (some searching in their support materials might illuminate) what you are describing sounds most like the power management routines that are being built into more and more external drives that cause them to spin down to save power after a drive has not been accessed for a predetermined time period (a matter of minutes normally).

    Western Digital's MyBook drives have it built in (and after researching it in their knowledgebase I found out it is hardwired in- not an option that the user can change). I had four of them and the so called "feature" finally wound up driving me nuts and I wound up writing a little Applescript (or Automator, I can't really remember) that automatically wrote a one line text file to each drive every four minutes or so (the same file, just replacing the earlier one) so that the spindown (drive inactive) time was never reached, thus the drive never spun down. BTW- from what I remember, Maxtor One Touch drives do this too, so it would not be unreasonable to think your Iomegas do it too.

    You should probably check the support info for your drive to see if by chance this is a user selectable option on your drives. If not, some people have reported success in unchecking the "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" option in the Energy Saver pane of your System Preferences, although that did nothing for mine as I already had it unchecked.

    And no, it is not indexing anything- just coming up to operating speed. :(
     
  3. mgpg89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mgpg89

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    Thanks a lot!
    That script might come in handy then ... you still got it?
    I got absolutely no experience with Applescript
     
  4. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #4
    My recommendation would be to just keep the drive from spinning up. Uncheck the box under the power options in System Preferences.
     
  5. mgpg89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mgpg89

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #5
    I thought that only applied to internal drives. I'll try that then ... thanks!
     
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #6
    Well I am going to assume that the "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" option didn't change anything, so will take a look and see if I can locate it-- I should have it somewhere!
     
  7. mgpg89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mgpg89

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #7
    Actually, the option did solve it ... for now. only been testing for about a few hours. But I'm guessing they don't stop spinning anymore.
     
  8. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #8
    That's great to hear- and what that says is that Iomega does not have that spindown function hardwired into their controller boards in the enclosure then-- which I for one am glad to hear! At least in their drives, the user can select to let it spin or not-- not the forced spindown of Western Digitals and some others that the option in the Energy Saver pane doesn't change! ;)
     

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