Mac Mini sleep question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Cave Man, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I'm doing a little experimenting with my GMA 950 2 gHz Mac Mini. I'm seeing how it behaves as an ATV server as the sync computer. However, it is set to sleep after an hour of inactivity, at which time it disappears from the network and none of the other computers can see it in a Finder pane and the non-sync'd content disappears from the ATV's menus. I have wake on network activity enabled, but that does not seem to be functional. Surely I don't have to have it set to never sleep?
  2. Donar macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2008
    As far as i know "wake on network activity" does only work if you have an AirportExtreme or TimeCapsule in your Network. The AE/TC will "advertise" the services (printer/files) when the Mini is asleep, and will wake it with a Magic Packet if someone want's to use one of the services.

  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    it also works with express. (I'm guessing since mine shows up, and i don't have a tc or extreme)

    you can use a program like wakeonlan to wake the mini from your mac, it also comes with a dashboard widget you can use to wake.

    If you mini is close to the :apple:TV, it should wake whenever you use the remote. although that could be annoying on the mini.
  4. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    the problem i have is KEEPING the mini asleep...i use a BT kb with it, but it seems every BT device in the house will wake it up. The mirrored seagate drives (at least one of them) also seems to hang up a lot and prevent the system from going to sleep. Make sure you set the power button to be able to put it to sleep manually...i push that thing all the time, otherwise it will be awake all night...
  5. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    As waw74 suggested above, you could use the apple remote if it's in range or a wireless keyboard to wake the mini, depending on it's location.

    Will you let us know the location of your various devices in relation to one another? Like where's the Mini, the AppleTV and the Hackintosh (not sure if this is involved in the setup or not). Also, what are you using to control each device?
  6. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    Was just reading this old thread that somebody dredged up at 123macmini.

    It's a home automation setup that runs on your Mac and can send signals over power lines. The software is called Indigo and one of the possible hardware suppliers is called INSTEON.

    I know this might be overkill for the setup your attempting, but it's worth a look to maybe get some ideas rattlin' around that Neanderthal brain of yours.:D
  7. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    You could try an app called Power Manager: it lets you set shutdown/sleep/wake times on a schedule that can be as complex as you like. I have my mini set to come on during the evening each weekday, then earlier in the day at weekends then to go off last thing at night so it's not on when we're out or asleep. When it's on I just leave it on, I don't bother getting it to sleep - have been meaning to set up the wake on lan facility but never got round to it! After all, it's only 15 watts at idle or something like that.
  8. name99 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2004
    "the problem i have is KEEPING the mini asleep...i use a BT kb with it, but it seems every BT device in the house will wake it up. The mirrored seagate drives (at least one of them) also seems to hang up a lot and prevent the system from going to sleep."

    The disk manufacturers all seem to be competing with each other in who can produce the most crappy USB implementations, so I sympathize with your hard drive problems.

    One possibility that may work (depending on your situation) is a shareware app called Time Machine Scheduler. This allows you to schedule Time Machine backups at a different rate from once an hour, BUT, more importantly, it handles backups to an unmounted drive.
    The way it works is
    - you run the app and set up a schedule, making sure you tick the box that says "handle unmounted volume"
    - you then go to the Time Machine prefs pane and SWITCH OFF the big button for Time Machine. (This is important. If you don't do this, things won't work.) What that button switches off is not really Time Machine, but the scheduler for Time Machine, which doesn't matter since we have a new scheduler.
    - unmount your time machine volume.

    Now, once an hour or every twelve hours, or whatever you choose, your Time Machine volume will be mounted, will backup, then will unmount. This is safer (drive is not visible on the desktop to be screwed with), is less cluttery, and saves power if your drive is one that spins down when it is unmounted. (It should, but see my point above about the sheer crapulence in this field, and brand names are no guarantee of competence.)

    I performed an analysis of all my hard drives and grouped them from the best (spins down automatically when not in use, no matter what the CPU is doing) to the absolute worst (drives by fabrik CAN NOT BE SPUN DOWN because if you do so, there is a 10% chance when they power up that they will be corrupt beyond recognition) with various intermediate shades (like drives that simply do not spin down and reduce power, even when they are ejected or the CPU is put to sleep).

    I then re-arranged my drive usage across all the drives bearing these facts in mind. eg the drives that can't be spun down I hooked up to my media mac (which uses low power, and which is generally in use one way or another most of the time, so I set I to never sleep, and never sleep the HDs).
    The drives that never reduce power I set up as archive drives, so that most of the time they are switched off.
    And the generally reasonable drives I hooked up so that the CPUs power down drives when possible, and all have their time machine volumes running unmounted now, mainly backing up every twelve hours rather than every hour.

    This was something I should have down a while ago, and is definitely worth it. I used to have about five fans running to cool various crappy drives; with this new system no fans are necessary since all the worst power drives are usually switched off, or unmounted. I'm probably saving 100 to 150W 24/7 which is nothing to sneer at, and keeps the house a little cooler.

    I'd recommend anyone with multiple external drives perform this sort of analysis and rebalancing.

Share This Page