Speaking to a couple of photographers recently, I  found they were constantly frustrated by their Mac ‘pausing’ for a second or two to spin up an external FireWire drive when they were accessing data (even if the data they were accessing wasn’t on the FireWire drive!) so I’ve spent a little time researching this over the past day or so.


It seems that in many cases, turning off “Put hard disks to sleep whenever possible” in the Energy Saver settings in System Preferences will resolve it once and for all. But for some drives, Western Digital seem to be one of the main problems, this setting does seem to get ignored and the drives will spin down after not being accessed for a period of time.

Well, the good news is that having found a bit of software that would possibly sort the problem, I asked Glyn Dewis to try it out, and I’m happy to report that he’s had success with it so far. Its a free bit of software called “Keep Drive Spinning” (inventive huh?), and it allows you select which drives it controls. Whilst spinning drives down may be preferable in terms of energy use, you will get better performance from keeping your drives spun up, not to mention the fact that constant starting and stopping drives creates more significantly more stress on them than just keeping them running.

For those people who’ve upgraded to SSD recently, this problem will have become more noticeable, so I’m pleased to give you the link.

If anyone has anything to add, please do let us know.