Put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible...

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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On my iMac G4, I have this option checked and I can hear the hard drive spin down after being idle for a while, then 15min later or so, it spins back up. This process repeats over and over throughout a period of time when it is not used.

Is this not more stressful for the hard drive than just letting it spin non-stop?
 

Arcus

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2004
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of my hand will get me slapped.
someguy said:
On my iMac G4, I have this option checked and I can hear the hard drive spin down after being idle for a while, then 15min later or so, it spins back up. This process repeats over and over throughout a period of time when it is not used.

Is this not more stressful for the hard drive than just letting it spin non-stop?
More stressful. Let em spin.
 

FF_productions

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Apr 16, 2005
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Maybe if you had a laptop and somehow wanted to conserve battery power, I'd let the hard disks go to sleep, but on a desktop just don't do it.

Would it even make a difference on a laptop?
 

~Shard~

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Jun 4, 2003
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Thanks for this thread, I was not even aware of this setting! I'll be checking mine out when I get home from work today and will make sure mine isn't checked for some reason as well.
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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~Shard~ said:
Thanks for this thread, I was not even aware of this setting! I'll be checking mine out when I get home from work today and will make sure mine isn't checked for some reason as well.
:D

You're welcome. :)
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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If they decide not to send you anything, no worries. You can simply send me your best Mac and we'll call it even. ;)

And if it's tips you are looking for.. we all know that holding Shift slows down the minimize effect to a slow crawl, but did you know that holding CTRL will slow it down as well, but to a lesser extent? And also, holding CTRL & Shift together while minimizing slows it down to an almost unbearable speed?

I accept PayPal. :D
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
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someguy said:
If they decide not to send you anything, no worries. You can simply send me your best Mac and we'll call it even. ;)

And if it's tips you are looking for.. we all know that holding Shift slows down the minimize effect to a slow crawl, but did you know that holding CTRL will slow it down as well, but to a lesser extent? And also, holding CTRL & Shift together while minimizing slows it down to an almost unbearable speed?

I accept PayPal. :D
Thanks for the tips, but I'm onto you and your clever schemes... :p ;)
 

worriedmac

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Jul 15, 2006
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It does save a lotta battery if you have a laptop but it's still not worth it. The computer becomes a bit glitchy if you leave lots of programs open.

Useless function
 

dex22

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2003
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Round Rock, TX
I disagree. It's a nice opinion but it's not really grounded in reality.

Spinning hard drives experience the same amount of wear as non-spinning drives - none. Fluid dynamic bearings don't wear. Whether spinning or not, heads aren't wearing against the platters.

When the drive is spun down, the drive's cache and logic state are maintained. It consumes far less power and produces far less heat. While this makes no difference to the drive, it can represent as much as a third of the thermal and power burden on your Mac.

If anything, it's statistically safer to have a spundown drive than one that isn't, because when the drive receives a spindown command, the heads are parked and that position is confirmed before the drive spins down, and the head is always over the landing zone when that happens. That cannot be assured if power fails. The state of the drive cannot be guaranteed.

The real disappointment is that OS X does a task that spins the drives up every 15 minutes. It bugs me that Apple doesn't recognize this unnecessary condition in an idle machine and suspend that operation.
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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dex22 said:
The real disappointment is that OS X does a task that spins the drives up every 15 minutes. It bugs me that Apple doesn't recognize this unnecessary condition in an idle machine and suspend that operation.
That must be what keeps causing the hard drive to start spinning and then spin down every 15-20min or so.

So, I'm confused. Where do you stand on the setting?
 

dex22

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2003
248
0
Round Rock, TX
I was hoping someone would mention thermal stress, but they didn't.

Drive platters expand and contract caused by heating from friction in the bearings, and this used to cause some interesting problems.

Now, drives have fluid dynamic bearings that are almost frictionless, and manufacturers have learned methods to move the heat in different ways. Now, more heat is generated by the platter's friction with air than by the bearings.

Also, drives used to have literal head positioning, but now drives are positioned by an actuator that homes in on the track, wherever heat expansion may have shifted it to.

So, all in all, drives are more stable now than they ever were, in a broad range of conditions.