Seagate GoFlex Desk Issue

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by theappleguy, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. theappleguy macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2005
    I have a 2TB Seagate GoFlex Desk hard drive which I am running with the Firewire 800 dock on Mac OS X 10.7.1, but I am experiencing the following problems:

    • It seems to spin down after about a minute of inactivity, which is fine but then after another minute or so it randomly spins back up even though it isn't being used.

      This annoying because it basically sits there spinning up and down (regardless of whether the disk is mounted or ejected). If the cable is unplugged it doesn't spin up, but if it has spun up after being ejected whilst plugged in, sometimes the only way to stop it is to unplug the power which doesn't really seem like it would be good for the drive while it is running.

    • If I use the USB 3.0 base instead (obviously plugged into the USB 2.0 port on my MacBook Pro), the drive doesn't seem to spin down at all unless ejected, and then when I unplug the USB cable from my computer seems to spin up as soon as unplugged.
    From memory, I think it was the same under Mac OS X 10.6 but I only got it right before I upgraded so don't remember specifically. I downloaded the latest software from Seagate but it doesn't make a difference in respect of the USB 3.0 controller, but now the Firewire 800 controller doesn't seem to spin down at all (it still randomly spins up a minute or so after being ejected).

    Has anyone had any similar issues?
    Thanks. :)
  2. yashrg macrumors regular


    Feb 21, 2008
    No, I haven't had this kind of problem. But the Seagate drive has been causing issues with Finder freezing and Time machine being unable to get past the "preparing backup" stage. I think these drives are nothing but trouble.
  3. kirsch92 macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2009
    I've had a Goflex Desk 1TB drive on FW800 for about a year now.
    Things been rock solid as my media drive for iTunes. Always mounts when I start up the iMac, stays mounted,unless I unmout manually, sleeps when the iMac sleeps, and wakes up when the iMac wakes. Every Time.

    You mention downloading software from Seagate. When I see people having problems with their drives, it always seems to be software related.
    I see no reason for using any software. The moment I got the GoFlex, I reformatted to HFS+, go rid of the junk. All that software hocus pocus is just begging for trouble, regardless of drive manufacturer. That is likely the source of your troubles.

    It might also be Time Machine related, if TM is writing to the drive, maybe that's it.
  4. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    Seagate GoFlex spins down, spins up, spins down, spins up ...

    It's funny that I found this post concerning spinning up and spinning down - I just prepared an own GoFlex (FreeAgent, in this case) problem post. As I found this one at the very top now, I probably just place it here. This is what I wrote:

    Hello everybody,

    my external Seagate GoFlex Free Agent contains solely my iTunes library. When not playing music, it soon spins down to sleep - BUT: after a few minutes, WITHOUT accessing, spins up again, spins down the next time after a short period, spins up again, spins down ... You get the idea. This doesn't happen one or two times a day, but a lot. That much that I have to be afraid it wears out the GoFlex to a sooner crash someday. Quite a few people have this problem with the GoFlex or other hard disks, and I googled a lot, but found no solution to my problem. Everything which helps most of the people, doesn't do the trick here: 1. I disabled the "Enable sleep modus of hard disk if possible" option in the Energy Setting of Lion. 2. I tried to track down the process/program which obviously somehow accesses the GoFlex. No luck. (It also happens when I am doing nothing on my computer - it's not like the GoFlex spins up when I am saving a new Word document or something like that ...) Mabye Time Machine is the problem? I excluded the whole drive, however ... 3. I installed the Seagate GoFlex software which didn't help. 4. I installed "Keep Drive Spinning" ( which basically accesses a small file on the target disk every XX seconds to prevent it to sleep. I went down to every seconds - still, my GoFlex goes to sleep with the following problems ...

    I have to give up at this point and ask for help so that my Seagate GoFlex FreeAgent doesn't wear out long before its time and kills my precious iTunes library (although backuped, of course).

    Thanks a lot in advance and have a nice weekend!
  5. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010
    I bought three of these because I like the design, two with 3TB drives and one with a 1TB drive. I bought and returned a 2TB drive model which I had intended to use with a media centre, as it was too noisy. I equipped all of these with the firewire 800 bases. Since buying them, I have removed the 3TB drives and replaced them in the enclosure with 1.5TB drives.

    I find the firewire 800 base units to be flakey and unpredictable. Sometimes they are not recognized at all, they do not chain, and they show the behaviour you describe. My "solution" has been to unplug the power from the drive when not in use. I use the original 1TB drive to clone my iMac weekly, but I use it with the USB2 base. With the USB2 base, it seems to be fine.
  6. lars666, Feb 17, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012

    lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    Hi mike,

    unplugging wouldn't be a solution for me as I need the drive for iTunes, but thanks for your reply. Mabye the OP and me will find a solution for the random spinning down and spinning up. To the OP: If you haven't tried, have a look and my posts and what I already tried. It didn't work for me, but mabye does for you ... (especially a program like "Keep Drive Spinning" if it would be okay for you if the drive never spins down, but also doesn't keep to spin down and spin up all the time.)
  7. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    I have the goflex 3tb for mac (the one with the soft touch plastic on the outside) and it has the same spin up and down problems. It practically chirps not stop when idle. Strangely during active transfers it is silent, besides the whooshing sound over the vents on the top. I've found that with or without software, the drive sleeps automatically if the computer is set to sleep at all. Only when the computer is set to never sleep have I found it to be fine, but I don't want that to be my only work around. I'm taking this seagate back today as soon as I've taken all my media off it, hoping the WD studio is better. If not, it looks like only 2.5 drives lack these issues.
  8. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have my Mac set to never sleep, too, but the spinning up and down issue with my GoFlex still is here. Strange thing.
  9. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    apparently WD's set fire to themselves
    . It sounds like only the 2.5" are safe bets for either mfg.
  10. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    I guess the GoFlexes are Seagates, aren't they?
  11. JB Tipton macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2011
    Seagate Sirens

    I have 2 Seagate 2TB GoFlex Desk disk drives connected via firewire to my MacBook Pro. One is primarily for video editing work, the other hosts Time Machine. When they were 6 months old, the work drive crashed. It would "beep" repeatedly for a while after power-up, apparently re-re-retrying to perform an initial seek successfully. I replaced it with the same model of drive, and (luckily!) was able to restore everything from Time Machine.

    Then I noticed that in a very short but unpredictable time 'after I would step away from the computer,' the drives would begin making "dual siren" sounds. Not too loud, but loud enough to make it difficult to sleep in the same room.

    I cannot hear the disks spin-down. But I certainly hear them spin up, then do a quick series of seeks. This occurs randomly with a statistical frequency of every minute or so once they "get into this mode."

    I believe that this constant spinning- up and down is what caused the original drive to fail in such a short time. I live in fear that I will not be so lucky as to be able to recover all my data the next time one of these Seagate drives destroys itself.

    I have tried everything I know how to do to identify the cause of this problem. In the first place, I cannot understand why a drive would be designed to spin-down within a minute of having been previously accessed. In the next place, I cannot understand what, on an idle computer, is causing 2 independent drives to spin up every minute or so, but not simultaneously. The drives seem to spin up about 5-10 seconds delayed from each other. If I leave my computer on, this continues all night.

    The drives must be connected to the computer for this to occur, and the computer must be powered on.

    Installing/removing Seagate software (and its various selections) seems to have no effect. Setting MacBook to sleep/not sleep does not fix the problem, but it seems to take longer to "get into the failure mode" when the computer is set to not sleep.

    {As an aside, the Seagate disk software has a very unusual characteristic of requiring a VERY LONG time to install itself. (15 min to a half hour each to shutdown/reboot "after" (during) installation.) If this process is interrupted (i.e., computer powered-off because you think it has crashed), the MacBook gets into a mode where it runs so slowly that it takes a half hour to boot. If you are VERY patient, you can sssslllloooowwwwllllyyyy uninstall the (apparently partially) installed Seagate software, and your machine will work normally again.}

    I have spoken to Seagate customer support about this. They are perfectly happy to accept the disks which this destroys as returns, so long as it has been less than 2 years since they were purchased. But they will NOT talk about the disks "spinning-down". My attempts to do so have met with feigned ignorance. The 3 representatibes I have spoken with all pretended that they did not know that a disk would ever spin-down while it had power for any reason.

    I don't know what is causing this situation. Perhaps it is a "perfect storm" between the MacBook Pro "touching" the disk every minute or so (EVEN WHEN IT IS ASLEEP!), and Seagate building into its drives an aggressive spin-down algorithm. Maybe it's something entirely different. In any case and for whatever reason, this is a case of Seagate having built and sold a disk that is incompatible with the MacBook, even though it says right on the box, "For PC & Mac." Seagate's policies have apparently subsequently made it impossible to get Seagate to take notice that they have a problem, or to fix the problem -- or anything. Where can Seagate management possibly think such a corporate policy is heading? Such continued irresponsible head-in-the-sand behavior can lead inexorably only to the dumpster of dead corporations!

    I would like very much for Seagate to solve their problem by revving the support software for their GoFlex disk drives so they spin-up and down only in reasonable circumstances. Seagate should want to do this, if for no other reason than they won't have to continue to replace so many GoFlex drives under warranty! HELLO??? HELLO, SEAGATE??? ANYONE HOME???
  12. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    I hear you - old thread, still existing problem (see my posts above). I don't know what do do anymore, I also tried EVERYTHING including "Not spinning down" scripts who access to the drive regularly within a short interval to keep it spinning. No luck here. I don't know if this is a problem deeply buried in the Seagate GoFlex hard drive itself or not. I will find out soon, as I just (because of lack of choices) ordered another Segate external drive. This time not from the GoFlex series, but the Backup one (4TB). I hestitated a LONG time considering my problems with the current drive, but as I at least didn't find problem reports by Mac users with this specific drive (although I didn't search very long, I have to admit ...). We'll have to wait and see. You can't imagine how aggressive the spinning up sound every five minutes or so does make me after all the time not finding a solution - knowing that the life span of my hard drive will most definitely be shortened a lot ... (not to mention the beachball and 30 seconds waiting I have to do every time I want to play a song as this is my iTunes hard drive.)

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