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Strange external HDD related Safari behaviour.

5220 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: May 13, 2013 8:38 PM by matatdci RSS
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RandomVillainZA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 11, 2011 11:45 AM
I have a Western Digital MyBook external hdd which goes to sleep after 10 minutes. However, sometimes when I'm browsing with Safari, opening a new page causes the external hard drive to wake up before the page loads. This takes a few seconds obviously, and is thus frustrating. At first I thought it was Flash content related, but it even does this when ClickToFlash is blocking Flash. The hard disk is used for media and manual backups, i.e. OS X doesn't use it for any system files.

Any ideas?

Could it be something to do with sites checking the system? As in, opening up a "Save As" dialog anywhere on the system also causes applications to freeze while the hard drive wakes up...?
 iMac 20" 2.0GHz 2GB Aluminium, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (83,980 points)
    Hi,

    Might be Spotlight indexing.

    Open System Preferences / Spotlight then select the Privacy tab.

    If your external drive is in the list, select that then click -

    See if that makes a difference.








    Carolyn

    Message was edited by: Carolyn
    27" iMac 3.2GHz i3 MBAir iPad iPhone 3GS 4.2 iLife iWork / AirPlay / ATV2, Mac OS X (10.6.6), QTPro Intuos Epson Olympus Airport JBL
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (83,980 points)
    Safari freezes (with beachball spinning) till the hard drive wakes up completely.


    Help here for the SBBOD.

    http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/sbbod.html








    27" iMac 3.2GHz i3 MBAir iPad iPhone 3GS 4.2 iLife iWork / AirPlay / ATV2, Mac OS X (10.6.6), QTPro Intuos Epson Olympus Airport JBL
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (83,980 points)
    Yes I did.

    Safari freezes (with beachball spinning) till the hard drive wakes up completely.











    27" iMac 3.2GHz i3 MBAir iPad iPhone 3GS 4.2 iLife iWork / AirPlay / ATV2, Mac OS X (10.6.6), QTPro Intuos Epson Olympus Airport JBL
  • andyBall_uk Level 6 Level 6 (17,440 points)
    Hi

    did the WD get their software installed on your mac? - since that's not expected for the drive to wake when browsing (my hitachi & previous portables don't), so there presumably may be some explanation.

    Activity Monitor - Safari info-show open files & ports might reveal if it's accessing some particular file(s), and the general activity monitor display (with filter set to 'all processes') may show if or what starts up/bogs down to account for the delay.
  • bdkjones Level 4 Level 4 (1,330 points)
    I, too, have noticed this behavior.

    I have a Seagate external drive hooked up to my 2008 Macbook Pro via USB and another Seagate drive hooked up via Firewire. I have never noticed the issue with the Firewire drive; it appears to only materialize with the USB drive. Additionally, I do not believe particular websites cause the behavior. Opening ANY new website with the external drive asleep results in a brief, Safari-only hang while the drive wakes up.

    It's fairly puzzling, as Webkit uses caches on the system volume and should have no interaction with external disks. I briefly looked on RADR for a related bug report, but did not find one.

    I should also mention that, while I'm looking for an answer to the problem, I do NOT need "solver points" people walking me through the standard troubleshooting steps --- I'm a Mac developer and know OS X quite thoroughly. (I'm not trying to sound arrogant, just heading off useless replies.)
    2.5 Ghz MacBook Pro, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • andyBall_uk Level 6 Level 6 (17,440 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 2:51 PM (in response to bdkjones)
    does yours access any particular files on the drive ?
    same with a drive w/o an OS ?

    going back a while, someone said that even opening a new empty tab prompted this.
  • .Byron Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have an external Firewire 800 drive that is doing the exact same thing and it is driving me nuts! I don't understand why opening a new tab in Safari needs to access my external drive. A google search regarding this behavior lead me here. I'm glad I'm not the only one seeing this issue.
    Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Martin_ Calculating status...
    Had this problem with a mac mini which had several external usb drives connected. Recently upgraded to an older mac pro, removed the drives from their usb cases and fitted them to the internal drive bays. Still getting the same problem where on opening a new page, the beach ball appears until all the drives spin up. Unable to identify any common factors in the pages involved. This morning it happened with ebay, but when I accessed that site yesterday the problem didn't happen.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Nick Mowinski Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2011 5:07 PM (in response to Martin_)
    Yep, it's definitely not limited to External Drives, I get this behaviour with my Mac Pro's internal drives, it's been doing it for as long I can remember.

    I haven't managed to link this with the the obvious suspects, Time Machine, Spotlight indexing etc. Safari wants to poll my non-boot partition hard drives and I'll just have to wait until they pointlessly spin up...

    To the OP, I can't agree with you more regarding the useless 'help' you get around here. Way too many addicts with 5 and 6 figure post counts practically live here waiting to link you to an irrelevant knowledge base articles, post duff info, and generally lead people up the garden path. Utter time wasters.
  • akindo Calculating status...
    Got the same problem, Safari 5.0.3 and Samsung Spinpoint F4 connected via USB 2.0. Pretty **** annoying.

    On another note, although my disk is fragmented and I have 12GB free, the amount of disk accesses and resulting Safari sometimes makes when opening new tabs is driving me nuts. Considering switching to Firefox as a result. I mean, yes, if the disk wasn't fragmented this might be faster, it's annoying nonetheless.
    MacBook 13 inch 2.1 GHz Intel, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
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