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Thread: To Sleep or Not to Sleep, that is the question...

  1. #1
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    Default To Sleep or Not to Sleep, that is the question...

    Right now I've got my MacBook Pro which has a burly enclosure attached to it via an express34 card set to 'Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible' checked...

    Better for the hard drives, both the mbp and the enclosure, to leave 'em spinning all the time? Not?

    I just realized I had it set this way to save power on the mbp battery, but lately I've basically been using my laptop as a workstation at home, rarely off the electric power except once or twice a month to run the battery down and recharge...

    thanks...

    M
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  2. #2
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    With Energy Saver, you actually have two settings: Power Adapter, and Battery.

    So you could set up the Power Adapter settings for max performance, no spinning down of HDs and no sleep -- maybe just dimming the screen.

    When on battery pick more appropriate settings to max. battery performance.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    With Energy Saver, you actually have two settings: Power Adapter, and Battery.

    So you could set up the Power Adapter settings for max performance, no spinning down of HDs and no sleep -- maybe just dimming the screen.

    When on battery pick more appropriate settings to max. battery performance.
    Hi Eric, thanks for that reminder...

    So, you feel leaving the laptop hard drive and the enclosure drives spinning all day is no big deal? I just don't want to shorten the life of the drive, normal...

    I mean I usually sleep the computer via the apple menu if i leave for a meeting or errands during the day so that spins 'em down...same at night, put the computer into sleep mode, that spins down the enclosure drives, and click off the external monitor completely...

    thanks for your help eric...

    M
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  4. #4
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    The entire internet runs on constantly spinning hard drives. It is suppose to be more damaging to spin down/spin back up than to just leave them spinning. In a personal Mac you will more than likely want to replace the drives or the Mac before they die in either case. If power consumption is something you are concerned about then as long as your express34 card will properly wake from sleep then you can sleep it all. Or not, you choose.

    I used to be vehemently anti sleep until I bought a Mac without PCI slots and now sleep works like a charm
    Damien,

  5. #5
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    I am pretty hardcore never sleep radical...... until it comes to laptops.

    We build the Burly so it will maintain a very stable environment for the drives. That is the entire goal. That is done because drives kept cool and stable (temp AND power stability are important here) will last nearly forever if left up and spinning. Spinning them down lets them cool off, which changes all the tolerances and makes startup the most damaging time in the drives lifetime. Do that every day and you lose a disproportionate higher number of drives.

    Then comes laptops. No cooling and pathetic power. I had to try it of course. We had one workstation that we used a Powerbook G4 for several years. We left it up and running whenever it was based in the office. It would get slept automatically when the lid was dropped for travel of course. But mostly it ran 24/7. Went through 3 drives in it in 2 years. Too hot! Stuck a Momentus in it and let it sleep and no more trouble. That retired off and got replaced with a G5 tower which is back to no sleep.

    11 computers here, no sleep, no shutdowns except the test machines which we shutdown always when not actively using. All servers and workstations run 24/7. We thought we had lost a drive in a G5 server - I was wrong. I had set up a replacement external and ignored it for a year. Then when I went in to update the drives to newer bigger ones I reseated the connector on that so called 'deader' just to see what happens and it came back to life just fine.

    All these years running so many drives 24/7 and the only drives I can remember actually losing were were a couple of the IBM 'DeathStars' back when I had a Quicksilver.

    Sleep works in most Apple laptops fairly well. The limited cooling makes it near impossible to not spin the drives down.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    The only other things I will add:

    1. Moving working drives can be vary damaging, even catastrophic (bouncing, bumping, tapping, etc), so with laptops, it is very hard to know what causes high (relatively) rates of failure. Heat, power cycles, bumps........or all three? Regardless, laptops eat drives at a much higher rate.

    2. Only a guess here, but I always wonder if 2.5 drives are generally less rugged because they have size and weigh limitations that may be much more limiting than the specs for 3.5 drives. This is certainly true for optical drives; mobile optical drives are very fragile compared to most desktop types.

    3. One place where I may not agree with Rick: A spinning drive, not working, in a laptop that is not crunching away (generating high heat) should not be too hot. This could vary tremendously by model. Some laptops are very hot, either from high heat generation, or lack of adequate cooling, or both. So for me, it is hard to say that all laptops are too hot, or are not too hot. It varies. Some certainly are........most of the ibook line had inadequate cooling for heavy use.

    4. Which drive? Big variable. Some are better than others, and perhaps more so in 2.5 models. Some are just hot, which is a big issue in laptops, and some just better than others. Nearly impossible for a consumer to know.....pretty much the luck of the draw of what you get in your notebook.

    5. Some drives just die. For no particular reason. Called Infant Mortality Rate in the biz. A certain percentage of drives just flat out die within the first year. My wag would be something like 1%. Just making that up, I don't know. I'm sure it is low overall, but could vary quite a bit between brands and models. Again, as a consumer, you pays your money and you take your chances.......

    So the point is, there are some general truths about drives, but there are also tons of variables. These variables can often obscure the general truths, especially for consumers. Consumers usually only have a few hard drives in their computing life, so they don't necessarily see general trends, good or bad.

    For me, SSDs are the answer! As long as you have the $....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  7. #7
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    unclemac, rick, thanks for all this info...i do feel the hard drive area of the laptop getting pretty hot if left on all the time...that's why i've been putting it to sleep when i don't use it...I will eventually swap out the mbp drive for a bigger drive anyway, but i'm waiting for my warranty to expire...

    so, ok...in the end, is there a way for me to put my laptop to sleep without also putting the drives in my burly to sleep...seems like when i do the laptop the burly just follows...

    I do leave the burly on 24/7, but i think the drives do spin down...I mean when the five orange/yellow rectangles on the bottom/front of the burly go off that means the disks have spun down, right?...at least that's what i've thought...
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  8. #8
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    I'm not sure it is possible to keep them up. Todays hard drives only spin when told to. If they have no controller telling them anything, like when it is sleeping, they spin down automatically.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    I'm not sure it is possible to keep them up. Todays hard drives only spin when told to. If they have no controller telling them anything, like when it is sleeping, they spin down automatically.

    Rick
    Found this software, and though it says it prevents external and start up disk from spinning down, I wrote them and Raymond Jones answered me saying they will soon release, in the next few days, a version that won't affect the start up disk...hope the new version plays nice with my burly...

    http://www.mosaicwebsite.com/mac_osx...r/no_spin.asp/

    anyone ever use this? any good?...

    later...

    M
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  10. #10
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    I was unable to get an idea reading the website on how this app would prevent spin down when the computer is sleeping. Not sure if it is intended to accomplish that or just intended to keep drives from spinning down when the computer is up and not asleep. Did the developer say it would? Be interesting how he accomplishes that since the host card is also sleeping..... hmmm.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    I was unable to get an idea reading the website on how this app would prevent spin down when the computer is sleeping. Not sure if it is intended to accomplish that or just intended to keep drives from spinning down when the computer is up and not asleep. Did the developer say it would? Be interesting how he accomplishes that since the host card is also sleeping..... hmmm.
    Honest Rick, I've got no idea, but below is the question I sent and the response...

    M

    "I have a Macbook Pro with an external enclosure containing 5 hard drives connected to my mbp via an express34 card...I want to keep all those drives spinning full time, but want to be able to sleep my laptop drive...

    Is it possible to do this with your No Spin 3.3 software?

    I see on the front panel it says "This prevents your start up disk..." but I don't want to prevent my start up disk (which is my laptop disk) from spinning down, just the externals...

    thanks for your help..."


    "I am releasing a newer version that will not affect your startup disk. This seems to be an ongoing question. I am releasing in the next couple of days, so I will email you when it is available.

    Raymond Lewis Jones
    610-392-2302"
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

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