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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - USB powered on even in sleep mode?

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Member Since: Apr 26, 2008
Location: Worthington, Ohio
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I find it odd that my new MBP maintains power on to my external USB HDs even when the MBP is in sleep/standby. When I close the lid of my machine I want it to completely power down, not leave my external drives spinning.

I there a setting for this or is this just the way it is?


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Member Since: Mar 03, 2008
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To quiet your externals for the night, go to Disk Utility and select the drive you want to shut down and select "Eject." on the top menu. That will stop the external drive from running. If you have 2 externals, select them one at a time and then eject each in turn.

But you'll have to re-plug them into the USB in the morning to re-energize them. When you eject, they shut down as if the USB connection was broken...

You could also just turn your computer off for the night. That will shut everything down...

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Member Since: Jan 12, 2008
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My MacBook ones do turn off when it sleeps... weird.
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Member Since: Apr 26, 2008
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Thanks Noels, I typically leave the machine on all of the time and just close the lid to put it to sleep. I have a couple of external drives I use for storage and the backup app.

I am really surprised that power is not shut off to either USB port. I think you may be on to something by suggesting umounting the drive, this is not the most convienient method, but it does work.

It is interesting that skaheadpunk's MB powers down its ports in sleep mode, maybe I am missing some OS X setting.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

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Member Since: Jul 31, 2008
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I noticed my ipod stays powered on while my mbp is in sleep mode. I'm currently zeroing out an external hdd and I hope it will not turn it off when my mbp goes to sleep overnight.

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I've noticed that I can charge my cell phone off the USB port while my MB is asleep at night. When I travel, I always have my MB, so I leave my phone wall charger at home. One less thing to pack.
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Member Since: May 14, 2009
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The USB ports on towers and iMacs have to stay awake. If they were shut down, your keyboard and mouse would go with them, and then you'd be clicking and pressing keys yelling "WAKE UP!" and nothing would happen.
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