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External Hard Drive/Sleep mode/Advice needed

Discussion in 'Computers / Software' started by Guitarfreak, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I know this should probably be an inquiry to the company and not a recording forum, but you guys are the pros and I want pro opinions, not a product recommendation.

    My external drive is a Western Digital 7200 RPM 500GB drive and it's great, I really have no complaints. The recording speed seems to be fine, it can go up to 96k as long as my computer is performing that fast. The only thing that I don't like is that it seems to go into sleep mode if I don't touch it for ten or more minutes. Then, when I need to access the HD or something on it (say a folder or the music in my iTunes library) I need to wait a few seconds while it boots up and my computer freezes temporarily until it finishes its boot up process. It's just an unnecessary annoyance that builds frustration from running into it so frequently.

    I have thought about getting a new HD and/or trying to disable the sleep feature on this one, but I've always talked myself out of it because the feature is most likely a good one and disabling it would be detrimental to the drive. I know all drives can't be like this though, should I get a different make or model when I upgrade? I am running out of space on this one so I need an upgrade soon. I was thinking of getting a FireWire drive because this one is USB and transfer times would be faster and I'd get better throughput. I use reamping so throughput is good.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    If you upgrade:
    I love my Glyph 050Q 1TB external HD.
    Wish I had 2 or 3 of them, as a matter of fact.

    Think I got mine for around $230.
    eSATA, FW800, FW400, and USB 2.0 connectivity... very fast, very stable

    <edit> So long as you turn it off when not in use, you shouldn't have to worry about the wear and tear that your sleep mode is trying to reduce. </edit>
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You are on a Mac if I recall. In Windows you can go into the drive properties and disable the power off feature. There must be a similar function for Mac somewhere but I wouldn't begin to know where to tell you to look.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    And I also have several Glyph drives but since it is the OS that is trying to put the external HDD to sleep, then the brand won't matter at all inre this issue.
  5. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    I would disable the sleep mode for your external drive. In fact, your computer should never go into sleep mode while you are recording or mixing. Just disable it in the System Preferences. You can then turn the sleep mode option back on when you are finished using the computer as a DAW.
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I'm heading out the door right now, so I apologize for a quick response, but I appreciate the responses. I browsed quickly through System Prefs and didn't find any way to control the external drive's sleep function. I've got sleep disabled for the onboard drive, but I don't see a comparable option for the external. I'll definitely keep those Glyph drives on the map for when I upgrade, thanks.
  7. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    This is what my Energy Saver preference shows. If that will not control the external hard drive, then there must be software/firmware on the drive itself that is controlling it.

    This is my settings for my MacBook Pro right now -- not for recording:
  8. ericzang

    ericzang Active Member

    Years ago I had WD drive that had that annoying "feature". Somewhere on the web I found a short little .bat file (PC) that would write a tiny little file every 5 minutes or so which would then always keep the drive awake.
  9. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    hah, that's neat. I'll have to see if I can find one for mac. Thanks, feel better that I'm not the only one annoyed by it.
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    For the Glyph drive, you said to turn it off when not in use. Is it acceptable to just turn it off while I sleep?
  11. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    There might also be a USB hub power management scheme that you should turn off or disable. Windows has this and if your external drive is USB then that might where it's getting turned off. Not sure if Mac's have that but I'm sure they have something like it!

    In Windows this is in the Control Panel/System/Hardware/USB/properties.
    There is a "Power Management" tab in properties for each of your USB hubs.
  12. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Turn it off whenever you're not going to be needing it for an extended period of time. I understand the annoyances while doing different things on the computer, but if you're not going to use it for a few hours, just turn it off and deal w/ the one-time boot-up.

    But, as John mentioned, it may be your OS doing this, in which case the Glyph won't be any different.
    They are nice external drives, though.
  13. fishmonkey

    fishmonkey Member

    the handiest way i've found to change the drive sleep interval on a Mac is to use TinkerTool System.


    i have mine set at 33 minutes so my external drives don't spin down too quickly.

    and personally i avoid WD drives with all the Smartware crap on them that you can't remove.

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