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Drive spins up every 15 minutes

Message #1 - Posted 2008/03/21 - Barry Margolin

I'm running 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Duo iMac.

Every 15 minutes I hear my Firewire drive spin up for some reason. It's not on even 15-minute boundaries, so I assume it's tied to my boot or login times.

It's not Time Machine, it only runs hourly.

I never noticed this happening with the iBook G4 running 10.4.11 that this machine replaced.

Some third-party utilities I'm running that might be suspects are SMARTReporter and Compost. But I was running them on the iBook, too.

I tried running fs_usage, to see if I could catch any unusual process running when I hear it spin up, but nothing really stood out. I saw Compost, but not at the times of the spin-ups.

I tried using the Energy Saver option not to spin down drives. This is a little less annoying, since there's no spin-up whine, but I still hear the sudden buzzing of the drive as it's being accessed.

Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

Message #2 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Michael Vilain

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

I'm running 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Duo iMac.

Every 15 minutes I hear my Firewire drive spin up for some reason. It's not on even 15-minute boundaries, so I assume it's tied to my boot or login times.

It's not Time Machine, it only runs hourly.

I never noticed this happening with the iBook G4 running 10.4.11 that this machine replaced.

Some third-party utilities I'm running that might be suspects are SMARTReporter and Compost. But I was running them on the iBook, too.

I tried running fs_usage, to see if I could catch any unusual process running when I hear it spin up, but nothing really stood out. I saw Compost, but not at the times of the spin-ups.

I tried using the Energy Saver option not to spin down drives. This is a little less annoying, since there's no spin-up whine, but I still hear the sudden buzzing of the drive as it's being accessed.

I'm running 10.4.11 on a Dual G4. I don't have this behavior at all with my FW drive. It spins down and has to spin up when I click on the drive icon. I don't use SMARTReporter or Compost. The only time it stays spun up is when I access music on that drive from iTunes.

DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee...

Message #3 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Barry Margolin

Previously, Michael Vilain wrote:

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

I'm running 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Duo iMac.

Every 15 minutes I hear my Firewire drive spin up for some reason. It's not on even 15-minute boundaries, so I assume it's tied to my boot or login times.

It's not Time Machine, it only runs hourly.

I never noticed this happening with the iBook G4 running 10.4.11 that this machine replaced.

Some third-party utilities I'm running that might be suspects are SMARTReporter and Compost. But I was running them on the iBook, too.

I tried running fs_usage, to see if I could catch any unusual process running when I hear it spin up, but nothing really stood out. I saw Compost, but not at the times of the spin-ups.

I tried using the Energy Saver option not to spin down drives. This is a little less annoying, since there's no spin-up whine, but I still hear the sudden buzzing of the drive as it's being accessed.

I'm running 10.4.11 on a Dual G4. I don't have this behavior at all with my FW drive. It spins down and has to spin up when I click on the drive icon. I don't use SMARTReporter or Compost. The only time it stays spun up is when I access music on that drive from iTunes.

Like I said, I didn't have it in 10.4.11. It showed up when I got a new Leopard machine.

Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

Message #4 - Posted 2008/03/23 - Stan The Man

On 2008-03-22 02:45:29 +0000, Barry Margolin said:

I'm running 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Duo iMac.

Every 15 minutes I hear my Firewire drive spin up for some reason. It's not on even 15-minute boundaries, so I assume it's tied to my boot or login times.

It's not Time Machine, it only runs hourly.

I never noticed this happening with the iBook G4 running 10.4.11 that this machine replaced.

Some third-party utilities I'm running that might be suspects are SMARTReporter and Compost. But I was running them on the iBook, too.

I tried running fs_usage, to see if I could catch any unusual process running when I hear it spin up, but nothing really stood out. I saw Compost, but not at the times of the spin-ups.

I tried using the Energy Saver option not to spin down drives. This is a little less annoying, since there's no spin-up whine, but I still hear the sudden buzzing of the drive as it's being accessed.

My 10.5.2 Intel core duo iMac does exactly the same thing and I don't know how to stop it. It's ennervating since my external drive (FW800 LaCie d2 Quadra 500GB) is very noisy on read/write. I get about 3-5 seconds of dsk activity every 15 minutes precisely even when the Mac is apparently idle. I also get shorter bursts of activity from the external disk when launching some apps or when choosing certain menu commands, eg Shut Down from the Apple menu...

I ran a dtrace to find out what was going on and the regular disk access seems to be associated with Spotlight -- even though the external drive is (allegedly) excluded from Spotlight indexing.

Annoying mystery...

Stan

Message #5 - Posted 2008/03/22 - Wombat

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

Previously, Michael Vilain wrote:

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

I'm running 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Duo iMac.

Every 15 minutes I hear my Firewire drive spin up for some reason. It's not on even 15-minute boundaries, so I assume it's tied to my boot or login times.

It's not Time Machine, it only runs hourly.

I never noticed this happening with the iBook G4 running 10.4.11 that this machine replaced.

Some third-party utilities I'm running that might be suspects are SMARTReporter and Compost. But I was running them on the iBook, too.

I tried running fs_usage, to see if I could catch any unusual process running when I hear it spin up, but nothing really stood out. I saw Compost, but not at the times of the spin-ups.

I tried using the Energy Saver option not to spin down drives. This is a little less annoying, since there's no spin-up whine, but I still hear the sudden buzzing of the drive as it's being accessed.

I'm running 10.4.11 on a Dual G4. I don't have this behavior at all with my FW drive. It spins down and has to spin up when I click on the drive icon. I don't use SMARTReporter or Compost. The only time it stays spun up is when I access music on that drive from iTunes.

Like I said, I didn't have it in 10.4.11. It showed up when I got a new Leopard machine.

I have noticed the exact same thing and it is the reason I downloaded MT-NewsWatcher and got setup for newsgroups. I checked out this group first and funnily enough, found this thread straight away.

I got a LaCie Quadra 500 GB to use with Time Machine. I found it to be quiet noisy, but I figured that at once an hour, it might be bearable. But I get this same behavior of constant access. It seems that whenever I open a "Open File" window or anything that requires any IO, the drive will start to spin.

My suspicion was Spotlight, but I'm not completely convinced it is. It's driving me nuts for sure. I might try to hook it up to my Airport Extreme now that they fixed the USB disk support.

Message #6 - Posted 2008/03/23 - Randy Howard

On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 03:24:40 -0500, Michael Vilain wrote (in a previous article):

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

I'm running 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Duo iMac.

Every 15 minutes I hear my Firewire drive spin up for some reason. It's not on even 15-minute boundaries, so I assume it's tied to my boot or login times.

It's not Time Machine, it only runs hourly.

I never noticed this happening with the iBook G4 running 10.4.11 that this machine replaced.

Some third-party utilities I'm running that might be suspects are SMARTReporter and Compost. But I was running them on the iBook, too.

I tried running fs_usage, to see if I could catch any unusual process running when I hear it spin up, but nothing really stood out. I saw Compost, but not at the times of the spin-ups.

I tried using the Energy Saver option not to spin down drives. This is a little less annoying, since there's no spin-up whine, but I still hear the sudden buzzing of the drive as it's being accessed.

I'm running 10.4.11 on a Dual G4. I don't have this behavior at all with my FW drive. It spins down and has to spin up when I click on the drive icon. I don't use SMARTReporter or Compost. The only time it stays spun up is when I access music on that drive from iTunes.

I believe it depends upon the drive/enclosure in some cases. For example, with my external firewire drive, it /does/ spin down all the time, which I actually do not want it to do, and it spins up periodically, and while waiting for it to spin up, UI menu components seize until it is up to speed. Like the "open with" menu. Extremely annoying. A bit of googling for my drive shows that it is a firmware issue with the particular drive, widely seen, and no immediate fix is available. A cron job to tickle the drive every few minutes to keep it spinning all the time seems to be the only fix.

Randy Howard (2reply remove FOOBAR)
"The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

Message #7 - Posted 2008/03/23 - Randy Howard

On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 21:47:20 -0500, Wombat wrote (in a previous article):

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

Previously, Michael Vilain wrote:

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

I'm running 10.5.2 on a Core 2 Duo iMac.

Every 15 minutes I hear my Firewire drive spin up for some reason. It's not on even 15-minute boundaries, so I assume it's tied to my boot or login times.

It's not Time Machine, it only runs hourly.

I never noticed this happening with the iBook G4 running 10.4.11 that this machine replaced.

Some third-party utilities I'm running that might be suspects are SMARTReporter and Compost. But I was running them on the iBook, too.

I tried running fs_usage, to see if I could catch any unusual process running when I hear it spin up, but nothing really stood out. I saw Compost, but not at the times of the spin-ups.

I tried using the Energy Saver option not to spin down drives. This is a little less annoying, since there's no spin-up whine, but I still hear the sudden buzzing of the drive as it's being accessed.

I'm running 10.4.11 on a Dual G4. I don't have this behavior at all with my FW drive. It spins down and has to spin up when I click on the drive icon. I don't use SMARTReporter or Compost. The only time it stays spun up is when I access music on that drive from iTunes.

Like I said, I didn't have it in 10.4.11. It showed up when I got a new Leopard machine.

I have noticed the exact same thing and it is the reason I downloaded MT-NewsWatcher and got setup for newsgroups. I checked out this group first and funnily enough, found this thread straight away.

I got a LaCie Quadra 500 GB to use with Time Machine. I found it to be quiet noisy, but I figured that at once an hour, it might be bearable. But I get this same behavior of constant access. It seems that whenever I open a "Open File" window or anything that requires any IO, the drive will start to spin.

Yes. This is exactly what I have as well, only difference is, mine is fairly quiet, and I actually wanted a prefs pane option to /not/ spin it down over firewire, and couldn't find one.

My suspicion was Spotlight, but I'm not completely convinced it is. It's driving me nuts for sure. I might try to hook it up to my Airport Extreme now that they fixed the USB disk support.

The open menu looks for applications everywhere apparently. It would be exceedingly nice to be able to designate "do not mess with" I/O sources for such things across the board. For example, I /never/ want Spotlight to touch compact flash cards put into my firewire card reader either.

Randy Howard (2reply remove FOOBAR)
"The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

Message #8 - Posted 2008/04/11 - Barry Margolin

Previously, Stan The Man wrote:

I ran a dtrace to find out what was going on and the regular disk access seems to be associated with Spotlight -- even though the external drive is (allegedly) excluded from Spotlight indexing.

I just installed fseventer, and it showed the same thing. It wrote a bunch of files in /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/.Spotlight-V100/V1-Stores.

I have 4 partitions on the external drive, and they're all excluded from Spotlight indexing. This, the one I use for TM backups (I'll bet you never guessed) is the only one that it wrote to. I don't know if it's specifically because of Time Machine, or just because this is the only partition that ever gets updated (one of the partitions contains my old Retrospect backups, which I've stopped updating, and the others are used occasionally to make CCC clones of my boot drive, prior to major system upgrades).

Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

Message #9 - Posted 2008/04/12 - Wes Groleau

Stan The Man wrote:

I ran a dtrace to find out what was going on and the regular disk access seems to be associated with Spotlight -- even though the external drive is (allegedly) excluded from Spotlight indexing.

Maybe Spotlight nudges the automounter or something
before it starts a scan.

Wes Groleau
----
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated
than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Message #10 - Posted 2008/04/11 - Barry Margolin

Previously, Wes Groleau wrote:

Stan The Man wrote:

I ran a dtrace to find out what was going on and the regular disk access seems to be associated with Spotlight -- even though the external drive is (allegedly) excluded from Spotlight indexing.

Maybe Spotlight nudges the automounter or something
before it starts a scan.

Spotlight doesn't scan, it makes use of the fsevents facility, which sends it a message whenever a filesystem change is made.

Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

Message #11 - Posted 2008/04/12 - Graley

On 2008-04-12 13:57:36 +1000, Barry Margolin said:

Previously, Wes Groleau wrote:

Stan The Man wrote:

I ran a dtrace to find out what was going on and the regular disk access seems to be associated with Spotlight -- even though the external drive is (allegedly) excluded from Spotlight indexing.

Maybe Spotlight nudges the automounter or something
before it starts a scan.

Spotlight doesn't scan, it makes use of the fsevents facility, which sends it a message whenever a filesystem change is made.

It is along shot, but you may set some apps to seek updates automatically, and in energy saver sys prefs you have chjecked "start up after power failure". if so, uncheck that.

Message #12 - Posted 2008/04/12 - Barry Margolin

Previously, Graley wrote:

On 2008-04-12 13:57:36 +1000, Barry Margolin said:

Previously, Wes Groleau wrote:

Stan The Man wrote:

I ran a dtrace to find out what was going on and the regular disk access seems to be associated with Spotlight -- even though the external drive is (allegedly) excluded from Spotlight indexing.

Maybe Spotlight nudges the automounter or something
before it starts a scan.

Spotlight doesn't scan, it makes use of the fsevents facility, which sends it a message whenever a filesystem change is made.

It is along shot, but you may set some apps to seek updates automatically, and in energy saver sys prefs you have chjecked "start up after power failure". if so, uncheck that.

Most auto-updating applications only check on startup, or if they run continuously (like Compost) once a day. So that wouldn't explain activity every 15 minutes.

I've unchecked the power failure restart option. But why would either of those cause writes to Spotlight index files on the Time Machine backup volume?

Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

Message #13 - Posted 2008/04/12 - Barry Margolin

Previously, Barry Margolin wrote:

Previously, Graley wrote:

It is along shot, but you may set some apps to seek updates automatically, and in energy saver sys prefs you have chjecked "start up after power failure". if so, uncheck that.

I've unchecked the power failure restart option. But why would either of those cause writes to Spotlight index files on the Time Machine backup volume?

Unchecking that Energy Saver option didn't help.

Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

Message #14 - Posted 2008/04/14 - Stan The Man

On 2008-04-12 02:58:13 +0100, Barry Margolin said:

Previously, Stan The Man wrote:

I ran a dtrace to find out what was going on and the regular disk access seems to be associated with Spotlight -- even though the external drive is (allegedly) excluded from Spotlight indexing.

I just installed fseventer, and it showed the same thing. It wrote a bunch of files in /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/.Spotlight-V100/V1-Stores.

I have 4 partitions on the external drive, and they're all excluded from Spotlight indexing. This, the one I use for TM backups (I'll bet you never guessed) is the only one that it wrote to. I don't know if it's specifically because of Time Machine, or just because this is the only partition that ever gets updated (one of the partitions contains my old Retrospect backups, which I've stopped updating, and the others are used occasionally to make CCC clones of my boot drive, prior to major system upgrades).

FWIW, I can replicate the flurry of disk activity (all Spotlight related) by selecting Restart... or Shut Down... from the Apple menu. Each time, this generates around 50 Spotlight V-100 file changes (on my Spotlight-excluded Time Machine drive) and although I haven't compared them side by side with the regular quarter-hourly bursts of disk activity, I think they are more or less the same.

Stan

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