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Reader Question: Spin-Up Delay with Hard Drives

Cecelia C writes:

The external drive always has to wake up when ever I want to open a file or sometimes just do anything - even though I am not accessing it. This is annoying. I now keep it turned off unless I am using it.

MPG: Turn off (uncheck) Put hard disks to sleep when possible in Energy Saver preferences. That said, there are some external drive that spin down anyway. It’s unclear if this is more Apple Core Rot, or a behavior of the drive itself. But this preference works great for internal hard drives (and without it, a 4-drive RAID can take 20 seconds or more to spin up, extremely annoying during a workday when it happens repeatedly).

The best solution if capacity allows for it, is to sidestep the issue by using an SSD / flash drive.

Note that the Fusion option in some Macs utilizes a hard drive + flash combination, and so the same spinup delay applies as with a plain hard drive solution.


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