Procedure for External Hard Drives on Entering Sleep

Started Feb 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
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RustierOne OP Veteran Member • Posts: 3,619
Re: Procedure for External Hard Drives on Entering Sleep

Andy Hewitt wrote:

Just having a thought here, the drive isn't 'bus' powered is it? (i.e. powered by the USB port).

Some models of MacBook (might be all, not sure on that) power down the USB ports when asleep, so it will of course dicsonnect the drive when it goes to sleep.

Thanks Andy for your comments. This particular external hard drive is powered by a external power cube. The USB connection is only for data. When the MacBook goes to sleep, it doesn't dismount or eject the drive, leading to the warning message (about ejecting the drive) when I power up again. It seems to be defeating the purpose of Time Machine hourly backups to require ejecting the drive before risking an automatic entering sleep mode. So I've set my power settings to go to sleep after 1 hour (both on battery and mains power).

In System Preferences, the "Energy Saver" pane has checkboxes for: "1) Put hard drives to sleep if possible; 2) Enable Power Nap (for Time Machine backups while in sleep mode). So there must be some hard drives that will function in that environment without being ejected all the time.


What is the experience of forum members with different hard drives in entering sleep mode without manual ejecting? I'm considering an OWC 750 GB 7200 HD to replace my aging WD 500 GB HD.

Just to back up what others have said, and based on my own recent experience, a drive showing directory errors for no apparent reason should be treated as suspect. I'd certainly not use it for storing backups or any critical data.

Thanks for the warning. Everything I have on the new MacBook has come from my old XP laptop. But I have invested a lot of time migrating all my data to the Mac. Also the old laptop has some age related issues. So I'm concerned it may die before too long. I may just take its external Toshiba 750 GB USB 2.0 drive and swap it to the Mac for Time Machine backups. Maybe it will perform better than the WD drive regarding the eject before sleep problem. My long term solution is to get the OWC drive.

Thanks to all for your comments and advice.

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Best Regards,

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