PDA

View Full Version : Looking for disk drives that will spin themselves down when idle



Paul Runyan
2005-08-01, 01:15
I've discovered the NSLU2 through these forums and am keen to set one up. I would like to have the disks configured so that they spin down when idle so that the disks and the NSLU2 can be left on all the time.

From the imformation here and on http://www.nslu2-linux.org it appears that the NSLU2 cannot send the disks comands to spin down because the Linux USB drive driver doesn't support it. Therefore one needs to use disks that can be configured to spin themselves down after a certain amount of time.

The only drives in the 250GB range that I've been able to confirm can be configured to spin themselves down are Hitachi drives. Unfortuantely these Hitachi drives are only available in SATA, and SATA-to-USB drive enclosures appear to be very hard to locate.

Does anyone knowe of other drives of this size that can be configured to spin themselves down when mounted in external USB enclosures?

Thanks,

- Paul

jimi
2005-08-01, 18:09
Hi Paul,

I read on another site, that the Maxtor OneTouch USB 2.0 external drives can be configured to spin down. The critical thing that you must do is use the windows utility that comes with them to set the spin down time BEFORE letting the NSLU2 format them for its use. The utility is apparently only available for windows. Once you have formatted the drive, you will not be able set the spin down time.

I assume that the utility must write something to the firmware in the disk as the spin down setting apparently remains valid even after reformatting.

This link has some other options also
http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/SetSpinDownTimeOnMaxtorOneTouch

cheers
James

Paul Runyan
2005-08-02, 14:44
Hi Paul,

I read on another site, that the Maxtor OneTouch USB 2.0 external drives can be configured to spin down. The critical thing that you must do is use the windows utility that comes with them to set the spin down time BEFORE letting the NSLU2 format them for its use. The utility is apparently only available for windows. Once you have formatted the drive, you will not be able set the spin down time.

I assume that the utility must write something to the firmware in the disk as the spin down setting apparently remains valid even after reformatting.

This link has some other options also
http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/SetSpinDownTimeOnMaxtorOneTouch

cheers
James

Thanks James. When I initially started looking into USB drives the prepackaged Maxtor One Touch seemed to be a poor value compared to using a normal drive in a USB enclosure, but I guess the extra value it adds is being able to power itself down. I'll have to have a look at these.

radish
2005-08-02, 14:59
Yes, external SATA-USB enclosures are expensive ($60 or so).

Something worth pointing out is that most drives are designed to run 24/7, and most failures happen on startup. Whilst spinning down drives will make them quieter and save power, it will likely shorten their lifespan.

Paul Runyan
2005-08-04, 02:39
Yes, external SATA-USB enclosures are expensive ($60 or so).

Here in Sydney they seem to be impossible to find.


Something worth pointing out is that most drives are designed to run 24/7, and most failures happen on startup. Whilst spinning down drives will make them quieter and save power, it will likely shorten their lifespan.

Of course you're right about this --- on consideration spinning down the disks is probably a dubious requirement. What is it about audio equipment that brings out tendencies for excessive overengineering in some of us?