Prevent External Disks from Spinning Down

A ridiculously simple but useful macro.

I’m sure you are familiar with the delay when opening a Save or Open dialog and the connected external drives are firing up. Five seconds or so.

The “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option in the Energy Saver prefs seems to only affect built-in disks, or, at least, not the disks I have connected.

So, this macro just “touches” a file on the volume of your external disk, with the purpose to keep the disk “alive”.

Of course, you have to adapt the names of the volumes in the macro to the actual names of the volumes of your disks you would like to have kept alive. Also play around with the trigger interval.

To get the names of available volumes type ls /Volumes in the Terminal.

Keep External Drives Spinning.kmmacros (2.8 KB)

I have put the macro into a group of its own, so you can easily dis/enable it via the KM Status Menu while getting a feedback when doing so. Another option would be to put he macro into the Global group and create a dedicated macro to dis/enable it.

Disable the notification once you are sure the thing is working as expected.

Tom, looks like a very useful macro if that is an issue for one.

I have a LaCie 6TB Thunderbolt drive and I have never had that issue, and it is not a drive that I often access. I also have a Synology NAS unit which does spin down after N hours of no access. I believe I can configure that to be any amount of time I want.

However, for me, the auto-spindown of a drive that has not been accessed in a good while (hours) is a good thing. IMO this extends the life of the drive by keeping it cooler and reducing wear and tear on moving parts.

Just my 2¢.

I‘m not sure but it seems it depends on the drive after how many minutes it will spin down.

And of course it depends on your actual working situation if a spin down or rather a keep alive is desirable. (That‘s why I made it easy to disable the macro via the Status menu.) But usually when in situations where I like the drive(s) to spin down I rather unmount the drive(s) when I no longer need them.

Concerning the lifetime of a drive: If you don’t need a drive the whole day it’s certainly better to let it spin down (or unmount it). But, if the drive is spinning down/up every ten minutes, I’m not sure whether this is really good for the drive.