SATA drives in USB3.0 enclosures won't spin down?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CliftonHighgrov, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. CliftonHighgrov macrumors regular

    CliftonHighgrov

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi,

    I've just purchased two different USB3.0 SATA enclosures from Amazon, and in both cases the drives in them will refuse to spin down when told to.

    For example, when I eject a USB2.0 or FW400 attached drive, it spins down. Or if I sleep my Macs, all attached external drives will spin down. But this doesn't happen with either of the USB3.0 enclosures.

    Is it to do with the fact that I'm using USB2.0 ports on each of the Macs I've tried? I've used the cable supplied by the manufacturer each time, and the same thing happens on two different Macs, one running Mavericks and the other Mountain Lion.

    I'm waiting for a USB3.0 PCIe card for my Mac Pro which is why I'm using the new enclosures, but my MBP will always be USB2.0 so if this spindown issue is related to USB2.0/USB3.0 incompatibilities, I'll not be chuffed. :(

    EDIT: Looks like I'm not the first to have this issue, but this guy got no responses.
     
  2. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #2
    I stopped using usb3 enclosures. They are nothing but a pita, at least with late model MacBooks.

    You can set drive sleep times via Terminal. I use it for FireWire, always worked perfectly to the minute. No idea with USB. Some drives' energy management is in firmware and cannot be controlled via the Mac. I use only Hitachi's, no problems there.
     
  3. CliftonHighgrov thread starter macrumors regular

    CliftonHighgrov

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    What kind of issues were you having? Did your MacBook have USB3.0 ports natively?

    No, it's not a matter of sleep times - I'm not waiting for the drive to idle itself to sleep. The drives won't spin down when they're ejected through the OS, or when I put my Mac to sleep. In the former case it means that I have to unplug the drive with it still spinning, which I don't like, even though the heads are probably parked. In the latter, it means the drive keeps spinning (and using power!) when the Mac it's attached to is otherwise completely asleep - little breathing power light and all.
     
  4. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #4
    Put the drives in another enclosure and see what happens. If they play well, its the enclosure. If not, likely the drives.

    What enclosure, what hdd? Are they well accepted in Mac circles?
     
  5. CliftonHighgrov thread starter macrumors regular

    CliftonHighgrov

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    The drive previously behaved perfectly well in an IcyBox FW400/USB2.0 enclosure, so I've concluded it's not the drive

    It's an Inateck FEU3NS-1 (the "Classic" model), the most popular 2.5'' USB 3.0 enclosure on Amazon UK, and there are reviews from Mac users who report success with it.

    The other drive was a Rocketek RT-HDDE, which is, apart from the eSATA port, identical to the "Aluminium/Support UASP" version of the Inateck enclosure above. That itself makes me a little suspicious…
     
  6. ColdCase, Oct 15, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #6
    I know just enough to be dangerous here but most enclosure firmware have configuration settings that adjust the behavior and can override the OS. You will probably need the vendor's (chip set) firmware app to see and manipulate the config.

    For example, I have a couple orico 2588US3 enclosures and the firmware delivered with them put the drive to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity, which neither the Mac OS nor windows 7 liked (would not eject). Setting the firmware sleep parameter to "no sleep" solved that issue. The drives now spin down under OS control (no spinning when Mac is sleeping for example) and eject. I have no issues using this enclosure with a recent rMBP (USB3) and Mini and and 2008 MacPro thats running 10.6.8 (USB2). I use seagate and WD 2.5 drives or Samsung and PNY SSDs without issue. Off hand I don't know the chip set orico uses.

    I have to agree that USB is full of Hard Drive issues (its a bandaid) and USB3 is terrible. Since I've moved on to Thunderbolt enclosures, my user satisfaction has improved. No more fiddling with frustrating quirks, just seamless operation. I do continue to Use USB for portable applications.
     
  7. CliftonHighgrov thread starter macrumors regular

    CliftonHighgrov

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    I decided just to side-step the whole issue and returned the enclosures.

    Cheers for the assist.
     

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