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Sleep Hard Disks by Energy Saver?

Message #1 - Posted 2008/06/07 - Norm

I've set my computer to "never" sleep so it will run backups during the night.

I have two external Firewire drives.

I've also been setting the Preference to "put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible"

Interested in the pros and cons for this setting of sleeping the hard drives?

Thanks for any tips.

Message #2 - Posted 2008/06/08 - David W. Hodgins

On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:28:55 -0400, Norm wrote:

Interested in the pros and cons for this setting of sleeping the hard drives?

While sleeping a hard drive that is only accessed once in a while, may be a good idea, in most cases I don't think it is.

In most cases, the primary cause of problems is temperature changes, not bearing wear. Keeping the drive running 24/7 will minimize the temperature changes.

If you are running a laptop, then your primary concern will be battery charge life, not hd longevity, hence the reason sleep tools are built into linux.

I run boinc/setiathome, so my cpu is kept at a consistent temperature. Same with the hard drives. As long as the hd has good bearings, the primary thing that will affect the usefull service life of the drive, is temp. fluctuation.

At least, that's my take on things.

Regards, Dave Hodgins

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Message #3 - Posted 2008/06/08 - Doc O'Leary

Previously, David W. Hodgins wrote:

On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:28:55 -0400, Norm wrote:

Interested in the pros and cons for this setting of sleeping the hard drives?

While sleeping a hard drive that is only accessed once in a while, may be a good idea, in most cases I don't think it is.

In most cases, the primary cause of problems is temperature changes, not bearing wear. Keeping the drive running 24/7 will minimize the temperature changes.

If you are running a laptop, then your primary concern will be battery charge life, not hd longevity, hence the reason sleep tools are built into linux.

I run boinc/setiathome, so my cpu is kept at a consistent temperature. Same with the hard drives. As long as the hd has good bearings, the primary thing that will affect the usefull service life of the drive, is temp. fluctuation.

At least, that's my take on things.

As a counterpoint, thinking in terms of TCO, it may make more sense to just leave it off most of the time. I have never had a drive fail on me in less than 5 years of service, at which point it was essentially obsolete, so I'm not sure what real benefit there is if you could double that. In that same 5 years of keeping backups, you would have used on the order of 1/10th the electricity and watched capacity prices drop to 1/5th your initial price. I don't thin it makes sense to baby a 100GB purchased for $100 in 2003 all the way to 2013 compared to just replacing it today with a 500GB you leave off most of the time for another $100.

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