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Old March 15th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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External drive spinning down

Here's something annoying which has had me stumped for awhile. I have a Seagate 300GB 7200 external firewire drive which works very well. However it spins down if inactive for some unspecified time period. This is very annoying for video editing; you sometimes get a long pause while the drive spins back up if you haven't done anything for awhile.

I don't see any software option to disable this in either disk utility or system preferences. The energy saver panel is set to NOT spin down the drives. There was no Mac software with the drive and the manual says none is needed. No mention at all of this feature in the manual. I've got 6 other firewire drives and none of them do this.

Do you suppose it's just a builtin feature of this particular 300GB mechanism? Aside from this annoyance the drive works great. Any ideas?
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2005, 09:46 PM   #2
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I've experienced similar issues. My conclusion is that it's a drive firmware setting that is overiding the Mac system setting. You might look for a data sheet at Seagate and see it there's something you can do. My guess is that it will involve a PC to modify the firmware settings.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 09:46 PM   #3
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Google "spindownfix"

It is a little script that turns off the spin down function of the drives upon startup. It helps to have it in the startup items folder, for it needs to be run right after booting. Oh, and make sure the drives are powered up before you start up so that it can see them.

That always annoyed me too...
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Old March 15th, 2005, 09:56 PM   #4
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Boyd - My 2 Lacie d2 120GB external drives sometimes behave exactly the way you described. According to the manual, d2 drives "will spin down after a period of inactive," which is not specified. So I'm assuming yours came with the same power-saving feature. Needless to say the first that happened to me, I freaked out since I didn't know about this feature.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #5
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Just to add I have a Granite Digital case and Wiebetech case that i installed Hitachi?IBM HDs in and a Lacie portable and they all spin down after a certain amount of time.Yes this can be quite bothersome if editing on these disks.havent tried the spin down fix.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #6
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Wow, thanks... I thought I was the only one with this problem. Will have to look into this. I was thinking I could also write a simple cron job that reads a block from the disk every couple minutes. Maybe that's what the spinfix program does?
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 05:16 PM   #7
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Boyd when i was searching for Spindownfix today i found the Terminal command that will stop this spin down, at least it is working for me in 10.2.8.

sudo pmset -a spindown 0
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 06:10 PM   #8
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Cool.. nice find Matt!
Quote:
NAME
pmset - modify power management settings

SYNOPSIS
pmset [-a | -b | -c] [dim minutes] [spindown minutes] [sleep minutes]
[womp 1/0] [ring 1/0] [autorestart 1/0] [dps 1/0] [reduce 1/0]
[boot] [powerbutton 1/0]
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Old March 31st, 2005, 02:06 PM   #9
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Interesting - I was having the same problem with my Maxtor 300gb 7200 speed external - I wrote tech support and they replied to just turn off the "shut down disk drives whenever possible" under the energy saver tab which did the trick for me.
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