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Thread: spin up and spin down over and over

  1. #1
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    Gurus,

    I am running a G4/933 and OSX 10.2.4. I have a Seagate Cheetah connected to a Miles2. It basically works fine except it constantly spins down. Every time I go back to the finder i get the spinning ball until the drive spins up. I have most of my work files on this drive so I am going back and forth to it often. I also have it as my scratch drive for Photoshop so it doesn't happen then, much.

    Really cancels out a lot of the advantage of the speed with the general use slowdown - any clues about this one?

    The system, BTW, is on the stock ATA drive as are all the Apps.

    Thanks,
    Greg W

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    The first thing to check is that you have set Energy Saver to Never Put Hard Disks to Sleep When Possible.

    I came upon OS X Tips that has a direct link to a file to "fix" external hard drives from spinning down.
    Try www.macmaps.com and look for the file or use
    http://www.macmaps.com/Spindownfix.sea.hqx

    Then, I would run Disk Warrior. I had a drive sounding funny, and it was from damaged boot blocks and directory. Very common. Somehow prevents the system from communicating with the disk drive.

    [This message has been edited by Gregory (edited 09 March 2003).]

  3. #3
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    Gregory,
    I *do* have Energy Saver set to never spin down.and it is an internal not an external drive, btw. I have also recently run DW, but i will try it again.

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    While the drive is physically inside your G4, since it is connected to a PCI card, Energy Saver may not be controlling it (sure does not seem so). So the fix for external drives at macmaps might still be the ticket to success. k

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    I got the script and it will not run. So I tried the terminal command that it is supposed to run "sudo pmset -a spindown 0" and terminal said it was a bad command.

    The downside to the script, is that it needs to run everytime the computer is turned on from a shut down or one logs out and back in. Not a big deal, if it would work, but not the kind of answer I would prefer. Is this some odd OSX thing or is it a failure on the part of the Miles2 card? I realize that the firmware for the card is still a beta from Initio. Maybe i should get a hold of an Atto card that is ready to go with OSX. Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks,
    Greg Wostrel

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    I was going to suggest that if you have recent Cheetahs (capable of >50MB/s) that you want an ATTO card anyway. It could be that applying the combined 10.2.4 update again would help, or that it is the firmware on the Miles2 in your QS933 (usually though it won't go into deep sleep, aka advanced power management support).

    There are enough changes in 10.2/10.2.4 that Apple could be tweaking different areas and vendors are caught off guard. But UL3/4 cards (they are the same price afterall) would be one option, especially as the new SCSI drives are all Ultra320 compliant (and backward compatible of course as well).

    ...or wait for Initio and/or 10.2.5+ if you aren't feeling ready to spring for new card.

  7. #7
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    The Cheetah is a new one. Bought it last summer so it is a 160LVD drive.
    I did just find someone who has a OEM Apple/ATTO ExpressPCI UL2D Ultra160 LVD SCSI card for sale - pull from a B&W G3 with a 18.2GB Quantum Atlas 10K Ultra160 LVD SCSI hard drive attached for $125.

    Maybe I should go for it and put the Miles2 in an old 7600 that I have - my upgrade project.

    That card is ready to go with OSX, I assume?

  8. #8
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    I take it you are using this drive because you either want the speed or already have two internal drives on the bus. My thought is, if you are going to spend for more stuff (card or drives) get another ATA drive and use it for this purpose, they are pretty fast mow and cheap with lots of space - it may not spin down as quickly especially if like kaye said, energy saver can control it like it does your boot drive.
    I had similar problems when I had installed a Miles2 and 18gig cheetah in a 7500 some years back: whenever I wanted to access the cheetah I had to wait quite some time for it to spin up, essentially negating the advantage of all that speed for my purposes. I think even made the cheetah the boot drive at one point and then even the finder had to wait because the cheetah had spun down and well, I wound up selling the Miles2/cheetah rig in the end.
    My main machine now is a G4/500 with two drives in the stackable sled and even they spin down at times but they come back to life pretty quick. They are 80 and 60 gig - plenty of space - seagate IVs I think.

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    You're not going to get better performance from UL2D (it's still Ultra2 like the Miles2), unless you were using two drives. The 10K Cheetah? then it is likely ST336706LW which is 33-57MB/s (the newest 10K is 40-70MB/s. Any LVD SCSI drive is going to be Ultra160. Not all cables mind you, but I don't think anyone has made a drive that is not "LW" or is UW/SE only in a long time.

    As for Atlas 10K, the 10K II is okay (hot and noisey) but the 10K III is nice. Anything earlier I'd avoid.

    Looking at www.storagereview.com and click on database and then sort you'll see that the IBM 180GXP and many other drives outperform in many environments, and under OS X, SCSI drives and controllers take longer during shutdown. Of course adding an ATA drive, you might want a PCI IDE card to avoid having two drives on one bus, and so that it is recognized as master in order to (?) be fully Jaguar bootable etc.

    You should be able to find UL2D for $50 - at one point OWC sold theirs for $29 until they saw how popular it was and upped the price.

    I have a 39160 that only works in later G4's (Sawtooth+) under OS X, and even then not always I guess as I read mixed reports - so I can only use it under OS 9 (dual channel).

  10. #10
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    Bif, you get it exactly right, I am looking for the speed. I am using it as the drive for any current work files and as the scratch for Photoshop. I do lots of copying and saving and so on. The Cheetah that I have right now works great for this, when it doesn't spin down. It did not have this behavior in OS9 It was originally in my old 7300 that the G4 replaced.

    You know, I could probably sell the card/drive and have the cash for another ATA drive. Can I get something close to the performance of this combo in an ATA set? I get a sustained transfer of 32mb/sec with it, after it spins back up

    The scsi thing can be a real pain sometimes...

  11. #11
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    Is there a option on the internal drive to disable spin down?

    Bob McWilliams

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    do you mean physically on the drive itself? I have no idea.

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    Bob,

    I see from your profile that you are at Initio. Possibly you may have some information about the status of firmware for the Miles2 card?

    The drive I am using is a Cheetah 18gig that I purchased from the Gurus last summer - July I believe.

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    Hey Greg,

    ?Bob is a gracious techie(a tribute!) who frequently jumps in and resolves lost causes for all of us. Before you get to far into requesting his help you might go through Initio's site and read which the wherefores are as to firmware.

    ?Not to jump on you, not at all, but asking an open firmware question without filing in all the details means your question is unanswerable. Questions like what firmware you're running, what model puter, what OS, what driver on the drives, exactly which drive model and so on.

    ?Some of that is apparent from earlier posts but a bunch isn't and it would help enormously to have it listed in one posting.

    ?If you have the drive model number all any of us would do is goto Seagate.com, type in that number and open the configure/installation guide to see what jumpers it has. You can also do that and easily see if the drive has a disable spin down jumper.

    ?Just a suggestion to help you on the road to solving this. Hope it helps.

    Rick

  15. #15
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    ricks,

    I have been to the Initio site and have the latest firmware. (at least as of a month or so ago). Foolishly, I never even thought about checking at the Seagate site to see if there was a jumper for the spin down

    I will have to check. If I come up empty handed I will be back with more specifics. Thanks for the gentle slap and the suggestion. As for the open firmware question, it was meant mostly as an inquiry of an insider to see if something was in the works.

  16. #16
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    If 10.2.3 was working, is this a "change in behavior?" For someone else, the problem was the Miles2 in G4 (MDD?) prevented deep sleep. For me, I just installed an ACard in B&W recently, updated the firmware, but my Mac doesn't support deep sleep. And, if the system went to sleep, the drives would not "stay awake" until I restarted. Also, the boot blocks were damaged so that Disk Warrior was required to get it working. I ended up removing the ACard and drive and relying totally on two 10K Cheetahs (one of which is the same model you are using, one older model) but even the revision/firmware of the drive can be of help or interest), and this on UL3S - which doesn't have any trouble with sleep/deep sleep. In fact, the card is better supported under Jaguar than it was under OS 9.2.

    Because the drive is being used for scratch exclusively? it would be easy and nice to partition the drive fresh with Disk Utility 10.2.x and go from there. Even try a clean install of Jaguar.

    And if you haven't reset your Mac's open firmware, you might want to try doing that, too, which does store power management settings.

    Wasn't there a thread where reflashing the firmware on the Miles2 helped? even though it was the same revision? I thought he said that the 10.2.4 combo update may have accidentally corrupted the settings? Possible?

    Sometimes I wish there was a "user profile" with all the ASP data dumped in there, like they sometimes do on a professional beta team and everything is in a database. I can't remember all the scenerios of what transpires and we've learned - even in the last month!

    [This message has been edited by Gregory (edited 10 March 2003).]

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    ???"I can't remember all the scenerios of what transpires and we've learned - even in the last month"

    ?Ain't that the truth! In spades.

    Greg,

    ?Thanks for your kind response. I wish I had some fixes for you, I haven't had a clue and so was just lurking around wondering myself what the solution would turn out to be. Bob's question did fire up the brain cells enough to ask if getting all your particulars down in one place might make it easier to see.

    ?It's always pretty neat when I get a sizable portion of all seventeen brain cells working all to once.

    Rick

  18. #18
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    Gregory,
    Deep sleep hasn't been a problem for me. I know many have that trouble. It does take an awfully long time to come all the way back from sleep however. If I remove the SCSI stuff the Mac wakes up in a flash. With the SCSI it comes back to the display but everything is frozen for about 20 - 30 seconds while the drive spins up and whatever else goes on.. Startup and shutdown are a lot slower as well, but I expect that and understand why.

  19. #19
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    ricks,

    you are welcome. thank you!
    OK, I will check the Seagate site, and I will reset the Mac. I have been having some weird software issues (mostly with iApps: iSync, Safari, Sherlock, iPhoto) so I have been doing a lot of permission repairs, PRAM zaps even a few full reinstalls of Jag. I could easily have screwed up something somewhere. I apologize for the incompleteness of the info. It always seems that once I initiate a thread like this I start remembering (or am reminded!) that there are a few trouble shooting steps that I did not attend to.

    I will check back with more info - or results.

  20. #20
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    You have the latest Miles2 OS X.2 Firmware? I thought Bob said about a week ago that a new one was out. k

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