5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2009 10:09 PM by macabee
macabee Level 1 (0 points)
I have read that putting the iMac to sleep, ie using the remote, can affect
the hard drive, that it is better to let the iMac go to sleep on it's own
after xxxmins, is this correct?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Ibook G3 original clamshell,macbook pro 13.3
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (33,042 points)
    As far as I know, there is no difference between manually initiating sleep mode and having the inactivity timer do it. It goes through the same routine either way.

    Can you provide links to what you have read that says otherwise? (I'd like to see the reasoning.)
  • Johnathan Burger Level 6 (15,882 points)
    No, it is not correct.
  • macabee Level 1 (0 points)
    I found the information in The independent guide to the mac, a UK mac magazine, in the section ‘troubleshooting-be wary of sleep, they state
    “Although important for laptops to conserve battery power, sleeping is of little benefit to desktop systems, as you should consider just sleeping the display......Putting hard disks to sleep can shorten their lives, unless they are designed to withstand it, as those in laptops are”

    I would have thought Apple would have warned iMac users if this was the case, but I was still concerned
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (33,042 points)
    I don't see anything there that implies manually initiating sleep is different from letting it go to sleep based on inactivity.

    As for the warning, what it is saying is that the most stressful time for a hard drive is when it spins up from being off or in sleep mode. This happens when it wakes up from sleep or when you turn the computer ON. Once it is spinning, it is very easy for the drive motor to keep it spinning. Therefore, it is advocating only using display sleep and keeping the Mac turned ON all the time. If you have the sleep timer set for a short period, then your Mac's hard drive may be spinning down and spinning up many times during the day as your Mac sleeps and wakes. That may have a long term impact on the hard drive, but I don't think it is enough of a concern for Apple to "warn" users about it.

    I leave my iMac on all the time and only use Display Sleep.

    A good compromise may be to have the system sleep setting set for a long inactivity period, like two hours, use display sleep with a short setting, and manually sleep the iMac at the end of the day (when you know it will not be used until the next day). Basically, you have it set so that the iMac does not go to sleep during the day, but if you forget to manually sleep it at the end of the day, it will sleep eventually. But if you have to wake it up in the middle of the night, I would not worry about it. I'm sure even desktop-size hard drives are designed to endure many many spin-up spin-down cycles.
  • macabee Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the suggestions, I shall follow them.