iMac hard drive sleep

  • Posted: 01 December 2012 07:33 PM

    Should I choose to put my imac hard disks to sleep when possible in the Energy Saver section of System Preferences? If I do then Time Machine on my MacBook Air cannot backup to the external hard drive attached to the imac. But if I do not ever put my hard drive to sleep am I hurting the drive, limiting lifespan?
    Please advise.

         
  • Posted: 11 December 2012 01:47 AM #1

    I have an original 1st gen 2005 Mac Mini that has never been allowed to sleep and it’s still running fine. Running right now.

    The thing was, in the bad old days of Panther there was a bug that caused issues if the Mac Mini was allowed to sleep. So, I got in the habit of not allowing it to sleep.

    The Mac Mini has been running Leopard for a last several years. Oops! I guess I could have changed the setting. ; )

    I save some energy by allowing the display that it is connected to the Mini sleep, so it’s cool.

    -Charlotte

         
  • Posted: 11 December 2012 01:49 PM #2

    Setting the drives to sleep when not in use shouldn’t prevent them from spinning up again as needed. Give it a try if you haven’t already, Time Machine should still work fine.

         
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    Posted: 12 December 2012 03:30 PM #3

    My experience matches David’s advice: sleeping drives will happily wake when they’re needed. In fact, it’s so much the case that oftentimes drives never get to sleep because some process or another always feels like they need to read or write to one of your disks, especially the boot drive.

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    Posted: 26 December 2012 11:06 AM #4

    If the iMac has an SSD storage drive, then there’s little use in “sleeping” it, since it doesn’t have moving parts. But if it’s an older hard drive, then sleeping it can cause problems with backups—though technically speaking it should not. The Apple Discussion forums are filled with people that have issues with sleeping HDs & backups. I never had a problem sleeping my drive and still having TimeMachine do its thing.

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    Posted: 28 December 2012 12:16 PM #5

    GraphicMac - 26 December 2012 11:06 AM

    If the iMac has an SSD storage drive, then there’s little use in “sleeping” it, since it doesn’t have moving parts.

    I’m not so sure about that. Many SSDs actually use *more* power than their mechanically-infused counterparts, and I believe sleeping the SSD does reduce that power usage down to a trickle. Certainly worth investigating in each case to determine the best course of action.

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