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Scisport 03-03-2010 03:11 PM

External HD affecting the system speed
I am running a Version 10.5.8, 2.8 GHZ Intel Core Duo with 2GB 800 MHZ DDR2 SDRAM memory. I have an external hard drive that is FAT32 and completely dedicated to the MAC. It's 100GB total and has about 830 GB left, so you can see it's not overloaded. As for the desktop itself, there's about 79 GB of room left.

Almost every time I try to access something that is on the external, from a simple doc to video or audio, the dreaded pinwheel comes up and I can hear the external spinning up. It usually takes anywhere from 5-10 seconds, but it happens with alarming regularity and slows down almost every process on the desktop.

I have defragged the external just in case. Nothing is damaged being accessed from it. I even have my entire ITunes library on the external and no issues with that. It seems as if the external is dead asleep and when spinning up affects the entire desktop.

Any suggestions here? It's become more than a minor annoyance. My thanks, Ed.

McBie 03-03-2010 03:16 PM

Have you configured the external disk to go into ' sleep mode ' after a specific interval ?
Looks like the disk has stopped spinning and needs to wake up every time you access it.

System Preferences --> Energy Saver --> " Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible "

Cheers ... McBie

Scisport 03-03-2010 03:48 PM

Never thought of that. I went into the Preferences and that box was indeed checked, so I have removed that and let's see what happens next. Thanks, and I'll repost here if we need to take a hammer to the HD! Cheers, Ed.

Scisport 03-03-2010 11:03 PM

Still seems to be happening. Did as you suggested and still seem to have slowing issues on the desktop. Is there something else that can be done? Is there any way to actually change the spin up settings on the HD itself or is that solely something that is controlled by the desktop?

Kash 03-04-2010 12:24 AM

I've had this problem for years and have never found a solution. Subscribing to this thread in the hope that somebody will provide an answer

Kash 03-16-2010 02:15 AM

Anybody have a solution to this problem?

lucky7 03-16-2010 08:37 AM

to throwing
it just sounds to me like you have a slow HD. i have two western digital externals plugged into my imac that i had plugged into my pc. one is a 250gig that i've had for probably 4 years. it sounds like you're describing it. if i wait 5-10 minutes between accessing it, it's quite slow to open up. my other one, however, is a 1tb western digital that is less than a year old. in comparison, it is lightning fast. it is my understanding that some have much better response times than others, and reading through reviews of different HD's it becomes quite obvious.

clayneal 03-16-2010 08:56 AM

We had another thread here not too long ago about this but I can not seem to find it and I must not have subscribed to it . With that said I don't know if my suggestion helped so here I go again :

The OP states that the hdd in question is formatted FAT32 and yet is a dedicated Mac drive , so I suggest that it should be formatted HFS+ " Mac OS extended ( journaled )" as the journaling by spotlight will keep the hdd from spinning down at least this is my experience with the two seagate cuda's I have sitting here. They are both 3+ years old and they stay up and spinning as long as I have them mounted.

Again I don't really know if this is your solution but it does work on my rig

Hope it helps

chas_m 03-16-2010 09:16 AM

Here's the answer, folks:

Some drives are hard-wired by the manufacturer to "go to sleep" after a period of inactivity. You can check with the manufacturer about how to defeat this, but if its not possible, it's not possible and you're stuck with it.

And yes, the OP should reformat that drive to HFS to work best with the Mac (which is not capitalised btw!). Might solve the problem right there.

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