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

0004838

Suspended
Original poster
Oct 1, 2014
193
64
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.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
695
151
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.
 

0004838

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Original poster
Oct 1, 2014
193
64
I stopped using usb3 enclosures. They are nothing but a pita, at least with late model MacBooks.
What kind of issues were you having? Did your MacBook have USB3.0 ports natively?

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.
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.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
695
151
What kind of issues were you having? Did your MacBook have USB3.0 ports natively?

3.0 natively. Same issues many if not all have with 2013/2014 MacBooks: improper ejects, failure to mount, failure to appear in Disk Utility, occasional restarts required to use drives. I have the 5th enclosure coming in the mail. So far 3 different brand enclosures, 2 different brand hdd's, all the same behavior. No issues when the same 3.0 drives are used with a 2.0 cable. The 3.0 spec is garbage, my view.

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.
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?
 

0004838

Suspended
Original poster
Oct 1, 2014
193
64
Put the drives in another enclosure and see what happens. If they play well, its the enclosure. If not, likely the drives.
The drive previously behaved perfectly well in an IcyBox FW400/USB2.0 enclosure, so I've concluded it's not the drive

What enclosure, what hdd? Are they well accepted in Mac circles?
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…
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,000
152
NH
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.
 
Last edited:

0004838

Suspended
Original poster
Oct 1, 2014
193
64
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.
I decided just to side-step the whole issue and returned the enclosures.

Cheers for the assist.
 

capnh

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2018
1
0
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.
[doublepost=1537426592][/doublepost]Hi I bought an
ORICO 4-Bay Aluminium USB 3.0 External Hard Drive RAID Enclosure for 4x 3.5 Inch SATA III HDD and SSD - Support UASP & 6TB . I added two existing 2TB Seagate drives and two 4TB Seagate Barracuda drives one new one used. The new 4TB drive won't power down - all the others do - any ideas why?
 
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T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,167
4,716
Denmark
I haven't been able to get my external drives to spin down automatically since OS X 10.7 Lion - It was working perfectly before that. It has been SO annoying, and clearly an OS issue, as it affects both USB and Firewire drives.
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
I belong to the school of thought that says spinning down hard drives frequently, shortens their lifespan.
 
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