Leaving external drive on or off

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Jshwon, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Jshwon macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    So I just purchased an Iomega Ultra 750G hard drive for my backup with Time Machine. While the computer is on it backs up hourly (but when done dose not unmount the drive grrrr) but my question is should I leave the HD on despite my iMac set to sleep after a certain time? Will this cause any issues on the HD or will it spin down once the mac is sleep? What is best practice here, this is my first time backing up.
  2. jmadlena Guest

    If I were you, I would turn it off when not in use. Not to say turn it off frequently, but whenever you go to bed, or what not. You know it won't be backing up anything when your Mac is asleep, so I think it would be best to just turn it off.

    It is an emergency back up, so you don't want to run the risk of all of the wear and tear of leaving it on: the heat, the spinning, etc...

    That's what I do. Anyone else know if it is better to just leave it on?
  3. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Thanks, that is kind of what I had in mind. I guess the point would be to use it when on the computer. Should be no changes while asleep. What about the mounting/unmounting thing? Shouldn't it do this automatically?
  4. jmadlena Guest

    I don't think all external drives do this. IIRC, the My Book does mount and unmount when it is being used/inactive.

    Maybe there is an AppleScript or Automator task that could fix this?
  5. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well, if you have the box checked for "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" checked in the Energy Saver panel in your System Preferences it could help with your desire as I really don't think you are talking about mounting/dismounting. Mounting and dismounting refers to removing it from the OS's drive pool which results in the drive icon disappearing from the desktop. Drive parking or spindown is what I sense you are wanting but I have been confused before! :confused:

    Just make sure that you do NOT check that box if you are doing any long jobs that access the disk (like iDVD project finalizing) as it can lead to failure of the job if the drive goes to sleep!
  6. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Yeah I'm clear on what unmounting involves. And that is what I was trying to clarify. My question was "shouldn't" my Iomega unmount itself from my iMac once the TM back up is done then mount itself again when it the next back up is due. Actually now that I think about it, it should be a built in function or option within Time Machine but it is not. I think this is something the OS should control (ie:automout). But as someone suggested this could be archived by a script or automator task I guess.

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