Optibay/drive caddy drive ruining my peace adn quiet!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by inception, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. inception macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ever since I bought my Mac I've had SSDs in it, now I opted for a drive caddy to replace the internal Superdrive. I'm quite pleased with it, but I only need to access it sometimes, and it's constantly spinning, drawing power and making noise.
    Is there a way to selectively disable it or set the HDD hibernation timer manually to 1 minute or so? Maybe making some kind of script that disables it until needed? It's kinda just a media drive for my photography and some downloaded movies.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Why don't you setup a launch daemon that automatically ejects the drive every 10 seconds?
  3. Siggen macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oslo, Norway
    My HDD is quiet as it could be. I have my User folder on my HDD and I can never hear the HDD.
  4. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    The HDD in my optibay is also silent, can't even tell it's there.

    You could always enable the "Put disks to sleep when possible" option in the Energy Saver prefpane, this will spin the drive down if it hasn't been used for a few minutes or so.
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Some people are deaf or live in more noise environments and consider HDDs to be almost impossible to hear. Some also mistake their noise for fan noise and blame those on all the noise. I live more rural and quite and prefer my quite too.

    There are few things you can do.

    a) move the HDD to the main bay. It creates less noise because it is more enclosed and has rubber mounting. Unless you got one of those 2011 SATA 3 issue notebooks I would recommend that in any case.
    b) disk sleep
    Enable it in energy saver settings and set the timer to 1 or 2 min.
    terminal: >> sudo pmset -a disksleep 2
    OR if you have dev tools installed there is an app called SpindownHD which you can find via spotlight (it is somewhere in utilities). It offers you a gui to do the same thing. Default timer is 10 min. Which is way too long imo. 1 is a bit short. 2 is the sweet spot imo. 2-5 min is reasonable imo.
    c) Often some unidentifiable thing keeps the drive from falling asleep. I had apps that kept it, an NTFS driver, NTFS partition, spotlight. It is awefully hard to pin down if that is the issue.
    The absolutely fool proof way to spin it down is manually via scripts.
    Create one script (commands find via google) to mount the disk and one to unmount it. Use Alfred or spotlight to trigger the scripts. Always works but you have to activate the scripts manually and it takes a bit longer than a spinup (not much though).

    If you need it infrequently c) works great. Try b) first it is so easy. As for a) the drives can just be switched you don't have to do anything. OSX boots fine and if it doesn't option boot the first time and from there on you'll be fine.
  6. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    No offense, but you left out the people, like myself, who are very sensitive to sound who have HDDs in optibays that ARE virtually silent.

    Something people don't think about is how sound and vibrations/harmonics can be amplified due to the material under/around what's generating the noise. A perfect example is a desktop, this is great at amplifying HDD noise. I have an external HDD sitting on an isolation pad to prevent the drive noise from being transmitted to my desktop. Even placing certain objects on or around the desktop will change or absorb such noise.

    My cMBP with the HDD in the optibay is sitting vertically inside a 12 South Arc, which has a silicone cradle as well as silicone feet. Zero noise is transferred. I can't hear any noise from the cMBP unless I put my ear directly on the bottom of the case (Or load is driving the fans to come on at high speed, of course).

    Laying my cMBP flat on my desk would likely result in some noise being heard due to the desktop amplifying the drive noise/harmonics.

    My Thunderbolt display makes more noise than my cMBP. ;)
  7. inception thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Thanks so much for your reply, dusk007.
    You kind of listed all the possible solutions I had in mind, I couldn't have hoped for a better reply.

    I tried setting the spindown timer through terminal to 2 minutes, which so far seems to work reasonably good. It would be nice for the system to be able to spin it up again if I'm downloading a movie to it or opening up Lightroom or something like that.

    When my fans are at below 2000RPM it is virtually silent, but the drive is really easy to hear. It's a 7200RPM drive, so it's not the quietest, but that's what I had lying around. Also, the drive enclosure is a 7$ china model, it didn't really have any rubber mountings.
    I know that a 4200RPM drive with proper mounting is fine in most scenarios ,but this is not my case :)

    Do all of you guys have the Optibay model?
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    @ Yahooligan Yes vibration can be a problem as well which is why I mentioned putting the SSD into the optibay. It is dead easy to secure. I have a 5400rpm HDD there is no vibrations from that one. It is just woshing sound of platters rotating at 5400 round per minute.
    I also have a 2 drive 2.5" 2TB external driver for that it makes a huge difference if I put it down on the table as is or have any sort of soft suft underneath to kill all vibrations. Even without any vibration I consider it too noise to run while I am sleeping nearby and also a little annoying when I am just reading stuff and want it to be quite. It is not load but virtually silent is something else in my book. The MBPs fans at 2000 rpm with only the SSD active is virtually silent. I can still hear it but it is almost inaudible.

    I don't know which optibay you mean. I got some from ebay for 15 bucks. To me they are all optibays. Just what I call them.
    I have a Samsung 830 in the optibay and a Samsung M8 5.4krpm 1TB in the HDD bay. Especially with a 7200rpm drive which are much more prone to cause annoying amplifying vibrations than 5400rpm drives it should go into the main bay.
  9. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    I had the same issue and made it a habit to always go into Disk Utility and unmount the drive whenever I was not using it. After a few minutes it would spin down and would be totally silent (and in my opinion seemed to draw far less power). Also look into a little utility called HDAPM which will do the opposite - keep the drive always spinning so that you won't hear the hard drive head parking constantly. I've used that as well.
  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    @ rockstarjoe if you just eject the entire disk, you won't have to wait for anything to spin down.

    open terminal
    >> diskutil list
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *256.1 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS MacSSD                  173.9 GB   disk0s2
       3:                 Apple_Boot                         1.4 GB     disk0s3
       4:       Microsoft Basic Data WinSSD                  80.5 GB    disk0s4
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk1
       1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk1s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS MacHDD                  120.7 GB   disk1s2
       3:       Microsoft Basic Data Data                    879.1 GB   disk1s3
    >> diskutil eject disk1
    to mount again
    >> disktuil mountDisk disk1
    That whole thing can also be easily put into a script and there are was to find the Disk by name rather then ID. Each time the Mac boots what ends up as disk0 and disk1 changes randomly. That is why you need to list first. Google knows the right commands it is something with grep and a regular expression.

    Going into diskutility just to circumvent sleep issues is tedious and takes so much longer. It also resets the timer each time. If you start diskutility, it throws a diskutil list command and just displays the results in a gui. Everytime a diskutil list command is issued all drives spin up even the ejected ones. If you stick with the normal 10min timer, that seems like a terribly inefficient way to handle it.
    Diskutility only allows to unmount partitions but not eject entire disks, it is a poor substitute for terminal or scripts.
  11. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    put the HDD back in it's bay and the SSD in the optibay..
  12. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    There have been some problems/concerns with putting SSDs in the optibay, so while that would take care of the noise problem it may introduce any number of other problems. It's definitely worth trying, if it works fine then I would also make sure that it's operating at the correct SATA speed so that you haven't introduced a bottleneck that will hurt performance.

Share This Page