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Thread: 24/7 usage of WL-HDD?

  1. #1

    24/7 usage of WL-HDD?

    I'm making good progress now ( ) and with help from forum contributors I've got my WL-HDD with read/write capability and ftp access. (Many thanks for this - it isn't a user friendly piece of kit, is it?)

    My (hopefully) last question is whether or not it causes any problems if I leave the thing running all the time? It seems like the hard disk keeps on spinning regardless of whether or not it is being accessed from another machine on the LAN. But if I go away for a week or so, is there any problem with leaving it on so that I can access it via my spiffy new ftp system?

    I did see a reference in relation to the JockyW firmware about getting rid of 5 second polling. Does that mean that the standard firmware keeps the disk busy, regardless of whether or not it is being used? And if so, is this a problem?

  2. #2
    My WL-HDD with Toshiba 2.5" drive has been running 24/7 for over 6 months now, without any trouble.

    Since I have Asus firmware 1.2.3.4 flashed the drive never spins down. With the old firmware I seem to remember that the drive does spin down.

    BTW, some disks support a "spin down" mode where the drive spins down after a set time. The manufacturer of the drives may support this with a utility, you will have to check.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the info. It's a Toshiba drive I have in my Wl-HDD and firmware 1.2.3.4 so I guess I'll just see how it goes.

  4. #4
    An update on the 24/7 business - my Toshiba hard drive is not happy with constant running and this week started to become very noisy and finally gave up the ghost completely. I unplugged it and left it for a day or so and when I restarted it it works again but obviously is on the way out. How do I get it to spin down when not in use?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Russian Federation
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    8,356
    Quote Originally Posted by sjdigital
    An update on the 24/7 business - my Toshiba hard drive is not happy with constant running and this week started to become very noisy and finally gave up the ghost completely. I unplugged it and left it for a day or so and when I restarted it it works again but obviously is on the way out. How do I get it to spin down when not in use?
    start/stop cycles reduces hdd life. better leave it running all the time and try to reduce temperature around.

  6. #6
    Interesting! In fact the WL HDD has been sitting on an open shelf with plenty of air circulation and the hard drive is the one I took out of my note book and it is only just one year old. It's just out of warranty, otherwise I could have popped it back in my notebook and got a replacement!

    I guess I'll just have to buy a new 120GB Seagate one!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Hamburg
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Oleg
    start/stop cycles reduces hdd life. better leave it running all the time and try to reduce temperature around.
    AFAIK this is only applicable for 5 1/2 inch harddiscs. Notebook harddiscs can stand many many on/off cycles and they're not construced for 24/7 operation.
    Fujitsu just constructed a new 2,5inch notebook harddisc that is able to run in servers etc...

  8. #8
    Hitachi also do a server version of their 7200rpm 60GB HD. But I've found that while my Toshiba HD will come to life after being left alone for a day or two, it only manages to stay alive for a couple of minutes before dying on me again. I think the spin down would be better and I may try and do the firmware upgrade before installing a replacement drive, but first I have to try and extract the data of the existing one.

  9. #9
    I've bumped this thread to the top as, thanks for a member on another forum, I've found a solution to the problem of spin down! As gerardwr suggested below, some drives do indeed support a spin down in their 'firmware'. Hitachi have a neat little utility 'Hitachi Feature Tool' that allows you to set the power management characteristics of their drives (it doesn't work with other makes) and by setting this to MIN, i.e. optimising power management for battery use, the drive will in fact stop spinning after about two hours of not being used.

    This is the perfect answer for me as it seems crazy for the HD to be constantly spinning if the device isn't actually being used and certainly in my case for much of the time it is not being accessed - it's just there for when it's needed.

    So I'm going to put my Toshiba drive back into my notebook from whence it came, and use the Hitachi in the Wl-HDD. And I realised that I have a three year warranty on the Toshiba so if it does give up the ghost I can get it replaced

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Zoetermeer, Holland
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by sjdigital
    So I'm going to put my Toshiba drive back into my notebook from whence it came, and use the Hitachi in the Wl-HDD. And I realised that I have a three year warranty on the Toshiba so if it does give up the ghost I can get it replaced
    That's really a great chrismas gift you've discoverd.
    I have 2 3,5 Inch HDD's with my WL-HDD and from this day on they are abou to rund 24/7. I think these are a lot more stable than the 2,5Inch hdd's. That's an other option 2. It might cost you a bit of time to make your system possible for 3,5Inch hdd's but it has a lot of advantages.

  11. #11
    For me, the attraction of the WL-HDD is its small size and portability so rigging up two 3.5" drives would rather negate that. I haven't yet had a chance to swap the drives as I just got a new Toshiba drive for my laptop which I have yet to install. But once that's done I'll pop the Hitachi into the WL-HDD and see how it goes.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    12
    I've been following this thread for a while now, so when my Fujitsu drive started to die (in my opinion due to the 24/7 use) I decided to get a Hitachi drive as a replacement.

    After putting the new drive in my laptop I ran the Hitachi utility. The standard setting is right in the middle of the slider (can't remember the hex value but the slider value was 128). I then moved the slider one value to the left (pos 127) which was the highest value that should power the drive down - my logic here was that the drive shouldn't power down too quickly, only when all my computers were powered down.

    I'm using Firmware 1234 with Jockeys Samba 3.07 files initialised with an init.sh script (all info from this forum). This has worked reliably for a long time now and I'm happy with it.

    Now as to what happens - the drive seems to receive a HD access command every 24 or 12 seconds, that is the green led comes on every 24 or 12 seconds and the drive, I think, spins up. This is making me crazy!

    The drive accesses and spins up even without a connected ethernet cable so it's not coming from outside.

    If I can't stop this behavior I'll have to change the behavior back to continuous spinning as I'm sure spinning up every 24 or 12 seconds is much worse than 24/7 running.

    Can anybody explain this behavoir?, can anybody tell me how to make it stop? I'd be gratefull for any tips.

  13. #13
    Well, I finally got my Hitachi drive installed in my WL-HDD. But before doing so I used the Hitachi Feature Tool to set both the power management and the acoustic settings to their minimum, i.e., for those familiar with the utility, I moved the slider fully to the left in each case. The result is that the drive spins down almost as soon as I stop using it. Perhaps that is a bit much as it would make more sense to have it running for ten minutes or so before spinning down so I may well adjust the settings to see how that can be achieved.

    But I can confirm that once the drive has spun down, there is no activity from the WL-HDD (and no green lights flashing) until it is asked to do something, either by my computer, or by the media player that I use to access all my mp3 files which are now happily sitting on the WL-HDD.

    Oh, and I'm using ASUS firmware version 1.2.3.9

  14. #14
    My WL-HDD is running 24/7, too because of th WLan router function. But I use data from the harddisk only a few times per week.

    What possibilities to get the spin down feature?

  15. #15
    There seems to be a view that it is better for a hard drive to keep spinning than to have it stopping and starting. However, from what I have read notebook drives are designed with stop /start in mind from a power management point of view (Hitachi notebook drives are designed for 600,000 stop/start cycles). Hence the Hitachi drive which I mention in an earlier post has the capability to be set so that the drive spins down if it is not being used. So much so that when I play mp3s from my WL-HDD, with the buffering that my media player uses, the drive has stopped spinning some 20 seconds before the music finishes playing!

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