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How important is "Spin Down"

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  • irteku
    Hi everybody, I recently bought NSLU2... And a Buffalo 250G Drivestation... Everything seems working fine, except that the sdrivestation is always
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 22, 2005
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      Hi everybody,

      I recently bought NSLU2... And a Buffalo 250G Drivestation...

      Everything seems working fine, except that the sdrivestation is always
      "spinning"...

      I did a lot of research about this thing, and as you know, it looks
      like except Maxtor One Touch, most of the external USB drives will not
      just spin down...

      My question is:

      How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not care about the noise
      or the electricity, but how much does this effect the life of the
      drive? Should I bother about this at all?

      And, more imprortantly, do you guys think that I should return
      drivestation and get a buffalo linkstation (A NAS with built in
      storage)? That one seems to spin down... And use NSLU2 with my 80G
      Hitachi laptop drive (which also can auto spin down)...

      Thanks for the advise... Desperatlye needed...
      Cheers
    • Edward Luck
      Personally, my opinion (based on using hundreds of drives over 20 years) is that drives that spin up & down a lot wear out quicker than drives that just keep
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 23, 2005
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        Personally, my opinion (based on using hundreds of drives over 20 years) is
        that drives that spin up & down a lot wear out quicker than drives that just
        keep spinning. Noise, power & heat are the reasons I would spin a drive down
        but considering that my drive makes no noise (it's sitting on a piece of
        sound absorbing foam) and only pulls a few watts (about 20 watts consumed by
        the NSLU2 and the disk combined), I leave the thing spinning.
        Ed
        On 10/23/05, irteku <irteku@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi everybody,
        >
        > I recently bought NSLU2... And a Buffalo 250G Drivestation...
        >
        > Everything seems working fine, except that the sdrivestation is always
        > "spinning"...
        >
        > I did a lot of research about this thing, and as you know, it looks
        > like except Maxtor One Touch, most of the external USB drives will not
        > just spin down...
        >
        > My question is:
        >
        > How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not care about the noise
        > or the electricity, but how much does this effect the life of the
        > drive? Should I bother about this at all?
        >
        > And, more imprortantly, do you guys think that I should return
        > drivestation and get a buffalo linkstation (A NAS with built in
        > storage)? That one seems to spin down... And use NSLU2 with my 80G
        > Hitachi laptop drive (which also can auto spin down)...
        >
        > Thanks for the advise... Desperatlye needed...
        > Cheers
      • Adrian Day
        ... I ve always thought that spinning a disk down would, if anything, tend to shorten its life if it s regulalry accessed shortly after spinning down. It s a
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 24, 2005
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          On 10/23/05, irteku <irteku@...> wrote:

          > How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not care about the noise
          > or the electricity, but how much does this effect the life of the
          > drive? Should I bother about this at all?

          I've always thought that spinning a disk down would, if anything, tend
          to shorten its life if it's regulalry accessed shortly after spinning
          down. It's a double edged sword. A trade off between shortening the
          life of the motor due to the increased start up current or wearing out
          due to increased running time.

          I haven't seen any 'serious' research into this. Spinning down is
          usually done to conserve power. If you're happy with the noise, I'd
          suggest leaving it running.

          --
          AJ
        • irteku@yahoo.com
          So you say leave it for 24/7? That is fair enough... Actually the reason I asked this is that, I am thinking about buying a Buffalo Linkstation 250G, and I
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 24, 2005
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            So you say leave it for 24/7?
            That is fair enough... Actually the reason I asked
            this is that, I am thinking about buying a Buffalo
            Linkstation 250G, and I know that they do not spin
            down. I know Maxtor ones do spin down but, there is a
            whopping 100$ difference between the two... I dunno...

            Thanks though...
            Irtek

            --- Adrian Day <adrian.day@...> wrote:

            > On 10/23/05, irteku <irteku@...> wrote:
            >
            > > How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not
            > care about the noise
            > > or the electricity, but how much does this effect
            > the life of the
            > > drive? Should I bother about this at all?
            >
            > I've always thought that spinning a disk down would,
            > if anything, tend
            > to shorten its life if it's regulalry accessed
            > shortly after spinning
            > down. It's a double edged sword. A trade off between
            > shortening the
            > life of the motor due to the increased start up
            > current or wearing out
            > due to increased running time.
            >
            > I haven't seen any 'serious' research into this.
            > Spinning down is
            > usually done to conserve power. If you're happy with
            > the noise, I'd
            > suggest leaving it running.
            >
            > --
            > AJ
            >




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          • Peter Chant
            On Sunday 23 October 2005 05:50, irteku wrote: ... I ve an old SCSI disk that was OK after about 5 or 6 years on not quite 24/7/365, more like 24/7/355. There
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 24, 2005
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              On Sunday 23 October 2005 05:50, irteku wrote:
              ...
              >
              > My question is:
              >
              > How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not care about the noise
              > or the electricity, but how much does this effect the life of the
              > drive? Should I bother about this at all?

              I've an old SCSI disk that was OK after about 5 or 6 years on not quite
              24/7/365, more like 24/7/355. There may have been a bit of noise from it
              for the first hour or two after spin up when I finished using it, but then
              that could have been the power supply fan.
            • Frenchy
              ... True, unless you buy regular IDE drives and separate USB adapters and set them up in a regular PC first. ... Depends on your usage pattern... if it s truly
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 30, 2005
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                --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "irteku" <irteku@y...> wrote:

                > I did a lot of research about this thing, and as you know, it looks
                > like except Maxtor One Touch, most of the external USB drives will not
                > just spin down...

                True, unless you buy regular IDE drives and separate USB adapters and
                set them up in a regular PC first.

                > How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not care about the noise
                > or the electricity, but how much does this effect the life of the
                > drive? Should I bother about this at all?

                Depends on your usage pattern... if it's truly used 24/7 then it makes
                little difference. If it's idle all night it will make a big
                difference on the lifespan of your drives.
              • Edward Luck
                I don t believe this as a statement of fact. You re saying here that if the drive is idle all night then spinning it down will actually increase the life of
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 1, 2005
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                  I don't believe this as a statement of fact. You're saying here that if the
                  drive is idle all night then spinning it down will actually increase the
                  life of the drive. Which in turn basically says that it's the motor that is
                  wearing out. As far as I knew, all these things use brushless motors which
                  don't really have anything to wear down.
                  Can you point us to some science regarding hard disk lifecycles being
                  improved by spinning them down when idle (or vice versa). Personally I'd
                  store that in my "interesting facts" basket for the next time this question
                  came up.

                  On 10/31/05, Frenchy <nbm_clan@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "irteku" <irteku@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > > How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not care about the noise
                  > > or the electricity, but how much does this effect the life of the
                  > > drive? Should I bother about this at all?
                  >
                  > Depends on your usage pattern... if it's truly used 24/7 then it makes
                  > little difference. If it's idle all night it will make a big
                  > difference on the lifespan of your drives.
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Brian Shiroyama
                  The problem is that brushless or not, they are still mechanical moving parts. These wear down over time. It turns out that at times, spinning up a drive can do
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 2, 2005
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                    The problem is that brushless or not, they are still mechanical moving
                    parts. These wear down over time. It turns out that at times, spinning up a
                    drive can do more for wear and tear, but there are no real guidelines as to
                    how long the drive needs to run continuously before it does the same amount
                    of damage.
                    Read a manufacturers MTBF information, and they will not not normally tell
                    you much about how they tested the drive. if you digged deeper, you might be
                    able to find a MIL or industry spec that tells you exactly how the drive is
                    tested. I have found that when a manufacturer is vague on their testing
                    methids, they either used some kind of standard or they used their own
                    method and will not tell you anyway.
                    Either way, the real killer for hard drives is Temperature. here is a quote
                    out of Maxtor's mouth, "Hard drive reliability is closely related to
                    temperature. By operational design, the ambient temperature is 86°F.
                    Temperatures above 122°F or below 41°F, decrease reliability. Directed
                    airflow up to 150 linear feet/min. is recommended for high speed drives."
                    And, thus the real cause of the heat are the spinning platters. So, buy
                    spinning down, you reduce the heat generated by the drive, and thus prolong
                    it's lifespan.
                    On a personal note, I have drives that run continuously without spinning
                    down for years at a time. I do notice that they tend to get noisier over
                    time as the bearings either wear down or dry out. It would be naive to think
                    that fluid this or brushless that means that there will not be any wear.


                    On 11/1/05, Edward Luck <ed.luck@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I don't believe this as a statement of fact. You're saying here that if
                    > the
                    > drive is idle all night then spinning it down will actually increase the
                    > life of the drive. Which in turn basically says that it's the motor that
                    > is
                    > wearing out. As far as I knew, all these things use brushless motors which
                    > don't really have anything to wear down.
                    > Can you point us to some science regarding hard disk lifecycles being
                    > improved by spinning them down when idle (or vice versa). Personally I'd
                    > store that in my "interesting facts" basket for the next time this
                    > question
                    > came up.
                    >
                    > On 10/31/05, Frenchy <nbm_clan@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "irteku" <irteku@y...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > > How important is spinning down? I mean, I do not care about the noise
                    > > > or the electricity, but how much does this effect the life of the
                    > > > drive? Should I bother about this at all?
                    > >
                    > > Depends on your usage pattern... if it's truly used 24/7 then it makes
                    > > little difference. If it's idle all night it will make a big
                    > > difference on the lifespan of your drives.
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
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