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Author Topic:   Hard Drive Spin Down Do or Don't?
Overload
Maximum Newbie

Posts: 16
From:
Registered: May 2002

posted July 22, 2002 18:25     Click Here to See the Profile for Overload   Click Here to Email Overload     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering if it is a good idea to let my hard drive spin down every 30 minutes of inactivity? Is there a better interval, or is it not needed at all? This information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Overload

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People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Genius, that power that dazzles mortal eyes, is oft but perseverance in disguise.

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neotatsu
Highlie

Posts: 609
From: A place my soul no longer resides
Registered: Jun 2002

posted July 22, 2002 19:52     Click Here to See the Profile for neotatsu   Click Here to Email neotatsu     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I usually do on my older PC because it speeds up loading times when I'm just chating and surfing the net...other than that I don't know the advantage/disadvantage of doing so...

P.S. I often spend 6-7 hours chating in one sitting at that computer (between mindight and 6/7 oclock in the morning(I dun sleep, much..))

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"so what are you going to do?"
"Oh, just take her out to dinner, then I'm going to take her back to my apartment and introduce her to my monkey"
"And to think, he's *not* being metaphoric"

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neotatsu
Highlie

Posts: 609
From: A place my soul no longer resides
Registered: Jun 2002

posted July 23, 2002 00:46     Click Here to See the Profile for neotatsu   Click Here to Email neotatsu     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does no one have a proper answer? Mayhaps no one saw it in 'todays active topics'?? I'm kinda curious as to whether or not it's good or bad...

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"so what are you going to do?"
"Oh, just take her out to dinner, then I'm going to take her back to my apartment and introduce her to my monkey"
"And to think, he's *not* being metaphoric"

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ilovemydualg4
Highlie

Posts: 525
From: *GASP* THE 3RD DIMMENSION
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 23, 2002 03:15     Click Here to See the Profile for ilovemydualg4   Click Here to Email ilovemydualg4     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ta-da!
the magic eight ball says...

if it is a laptop running on battery, it is obviously better to spin down to save power.

on a desktop, when the hard disk isn't being used much, it may have an advantage, as long as you don't end up bringing it right back up after you spin it down continually (might run down the hard disk depending on what kind it is). Personally, I make sure that it never does on my g4.i don't care about power draw, and the disk is allmost constantly accessed for one reason or another.

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my geek code
Hazards: "There is an island of opportunity in the middle of every difficulty, miss that, though, and you're pretty much doomed."

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tafkact
Highlie

Posts: 669
From: nowhere, man
Registered: Jan 2000

posted July 23, 2002 19:09     Click Here to See the Profile for tafkact     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
DO NOT

always on, or shut off the PC


take this from the guy who knows

(www.harddrivehell.com)

i think i've come into every problem that has to do with harddrives ove my last 19 years in the world of PCs
letting them spin down isn't a good idea, not only cuz it takes more time for the OS to respond, but the added stress of starting and stopping just won't do them any good

quote:
Originally posted by ilovemydualg4:

if it is a laptop running on battery, it is obviously better to spin down to save power.

and that's the ONLY exception to the rule, but if you have the option to plug in the wall wart, do it -

and if yer gonna be away from the laptop THAT long, not only is there a good chance it will grow legs and run away, but you may as well power off to save the battery

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Bregalad
Alpha Geek

Posts: 346
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: Jan 2002

posted July 24, 2002 00:17     Click Here to See the Profile for Bregalad   Click Here to Email Bregalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tafkact:
DO NOT
and if yer gonna be away from the laptop THAT long, not only is there a good chance it will grow legs and run away, but you may as well power off to save the battery

Maybe I'm asking for trouble but my iBook is set to spin down after 3 minutes of "inactivity" when running on its battery. That setting works fine for me because I'm plugged into the wall for serious work and only float around on battery power when I'm chatting online or taking notes at a meeting.

It sounds like the laptops you've used don't spin down their drives unless there is zero user activity. My iBook is perfectly happy to shut down the drive and let me type away in an IRC client for a full hour without once trying to spin the drive back up. That's what I call intelligent power management software.

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neotatsu
Highlie

Posts: 609
From: A place my soul no longer resides
Registered: Jun 2002

posted July 24, 2002 01:39     Click Here to See the Profile for neotatsu   Click Here to Email neotatsu     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
thats what my PC does too...

------------------
"so what are you going to do?"
"Oh, just take her out to dinner, then I'm going to take her back to my apartment and introduce her to my monkey"
"And to think, he's *not* being metaphoric"

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ilovemydualg4
Highlie

Posts: 525
From: *GASP* THE 3RD DIMMENSION
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 24, 2002 03:43     Click Here to See the Profile for ilovemydualg4   Click Here to Email ilovemydualg4     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
it caches what you type in the ram or somewhere(duh), it would only spin up when you save the file.If you computer is only for wordprocessing (nnot saying your is, but if it was), then this may be a good idea depending on how frequently you saved.

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my geek code
Hazards: "There is an island of opportunity in the middle of every difficulty, miss that, though, and you're pretty much doomed."

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MacManKrisK
Super Geek

Posts: 236
From: Southwest Lower Michigan, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted July 24, 2002 10:22     Click Here to See the Profile for MacManKrisK   Click Here to Email MacManKrisK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's two theories on the issue, but everyone agrees on one thing, if you're running on batteries, power it down as much as possible. Now, the two theories...

The first theory stems from the belief that if a drive is going to fail, it will most likely fail upon startup. This is true and lends people that subscribe to this theroy to want to never spin down their drives (because if they're going to fail, it's gonna' be on powerup).

The second theory stems from the belief that if your drive isn't constantly on, it's expierencing less wear and tear on the motor. These people say that even though the drive is (most likely) going to fail on startup, that if you don't run it all the time there will be less wear and tear and thus less chance that the drive will fail at all.

Choose which theory best suits you. Also, keep in mind that having the drive spin down and then spin back up and then spin back down and then spin back up over and over again is probably worse for it then just having it spin constantly (and really annoying too).

As for me, I have the drives on my fileserver at home actually set to spin down after only one minute. I'd like to leave them up all the time (since it's a fileserver) but the noise (and heat) from the 7200RPM drive is just too much and, suprizingly enough, a 1 minute spindown works fairly well for my situation.

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KK (a.k.a. The MacMan)
Now with more tidbity goodness!

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frankflynn
Newbie Larva

Posts: 2
From: Palo Alto, CA
Registered: Jul 2002

posted July 31, 2002 16:22     Click Here to See the Profile for frankflynn   Click Here to Email frankflynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have an external HD case with 4 SCSI disks in it, I'm using an Adaptec 39160 SCSI card - all high performance stuff, at least it cost enough.

The problem is if the disks spin down (as they do when I'm not using them) it can take fooorrreevveerr (OK 30 seconds or so) to come up to speed. This will freeze whatever program wanted to access them (you can switch to other programs who will work fine - thank you OS X). Usually it's the finder but it can be Entourage which is strange since it is not on the external disks.

You can sit there and watch the little red lights come on as it spins up.

Other programs like Retrospect will always have this problem but you'd expect Retrospect to check for disks when it starts.

So needless to say I do not have them spin down.

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