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Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on? - Mac Applications & Software

I purchased a LaCie d2 120GB FireWire external drive for use as an archive storage volume. I want to leave it permanently connected to my computer (PowerMac G4/867 "minitower"), but I only wish to turn it on once every few weeks, when I need to transfer some data to the archive. However, the drive always turns on when I turn on the computer (cold boot). If I unmount the drive, and turn off its power switch, it still powers up the next time I cold boot the Mac. It does not power on if I restart the Mac. I do ...

  1. #1

    Default Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    I purchased a LaCie d2 120GB FireWire external drive for use as an
    archive storage volume. I want to leave it permanently connected to my
    computer (PowerMac G4/867 "minitower"), but I only wish to turn it on
    once every few weeks, when I need to transfer some data to the archive.
    However, the drive always turns on when I turn on the computer (cold
    boot). If I unmount the drive, and turn off its power switch, it still
    powers up the next time I cold boot the Mac. It does not power on if I
    restart the Mac.

    I do NOT want to leave this drive powered on, for a variety of reasons,
    and it would be inconvenient for me to remove and replace the FW data
    cable (the drive and Mac are in a relatively tight space, under a desk).

    LaCie claims that their drive is behaving normally, as designed. I am
    considering whether to return the item. Do all external FireWire drives
    behave this way, or are there units which stay powered off when their
    power switch is off?

    Alternatively, is there an OS setting, or other software trick which
    would enable me to determine when the drive is powered on?

    --
    Julian Vrieslander
    Julian Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    Julian Vrieslander: 
     

    *****

    I have owned several brands of external HD's over the years, but I've
    never seen this behaviour.

    I have two OWC Mercury 120GB external FW drives
    <http://eshop.macsales.com/Static_Pages/index.cfm> connected to my
    PowerBook/OS X. When I dismount them and turn them off they stay off
    until I turn them on again.

    Davoud

    --
    usenet *at* davidillig dawt com
    Davoud Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article <240820032338404091%net>, Davoud <net>
    wrote:
     
    >
    >
    > I have owned several brands of external HD's over the years, but I've
    > never seen this behaviour.[/ref]


    I have what must be more or less the same LaCie 120 GB FW HD, and it
    also does exactly what the OP describes (connected to an older iBook
    running OS 9.2).

    Bothers me also -- and so far as I can find, this behavior is nowhere
    mentioned in the doentation that came with the HD.

    On the other hand, maybe the solution is just to leave it running -- if
    you believe the specs that came with it, its MTBF is 30 years.
    AES/newspost Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article <240820032338404091%net>, Davoud <net>
    wrote:
     
    >
    > *****
    >
    > I have owned several brands of external HD's over the years, but I've
    > never seen this behaviour.[/ref]

    My LaCie d2 120GB FireWire does this too. Very annoying.

    Meow
    Cat Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    On 25/8/03 3:54 am, in article
    west.earthlink.net,
    "Julian Vrieslander" <com> wrote:
     

    I've got and old LaCie Blue external F/W disk that stays unmounted if the
    power switch is off, plus I have a couple of other external F/W disks that
    also stays unmounted if the power switch is off.

    The only F/W drives that always mount automatically are those that are
    powered from the Mac.

    If it's undoented I would return the drive as in my general experience of
    electrical goods:

    "If an electrical appliance is switched off then it cannot automatically
    override the power switch unless clearly doented."

    Eg in your case the power switch is acting as a standby switch not a power
    switch.

    Mike Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article
    <psych.mnsu.edu>,
    edu (Paul Brandon) wrote:
     

    It does not start automatically if the AC brick is disconnected. So it
    is not drawing power from the computer.

    In any case, I received authorization from CDW to return the drive. I
    will be replacing it with a Wiebetech.

    --
    Julian Vrieslander
    Julian Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article
    <west.earthlink.net 
    Julian Vrieslander <com> wrote:
     

    Does it ACTUALLY start? I have a drive which requires external AC, but
    its LED turns on if it's attached to a powered FireWire port. In which
    case you could get around the issue by using a 4-pin cable which doesn't
    connect to the power pins.

    Cheers,

    Matthew.
    Matthew Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article
    <newcastle.edu.au>,
    Matthew Kirkcaldie <edu.au> wrote:
     
    > Julian Vrieslander <com> wrote:

    >
    > Does it ACTUALLY start? I have a drive which requires external AC, but
    > its LED turns on if it's attached to a powered FireWire port. In which
    > case you could get around the issue by using a 4-pin cable which doesn't
    > connect to the power pins.[/ref]

    Yes, it ACTUALLY starts, even if it was off, when the Mac cold boots.
    The LED is initially off, and then comes on as the drive powers up.

    I did not experiment with 4-pin cables. I used the cable supplied by
    LaCie.

    --
    Julian Vrieslander
    Julian Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article
    <west.earthlink.net 
    Julian Vrieslander <com> wrote:
     

    Yes, but does the HD spin up, and does it mount?

    If it does, why do you need the power supply?

    And if it doesn't, obviously just the FireWire interface is being
    powered up by the power on the FireWire bus, and hence you should
    experiment with a 4 pin cable.

    As I said, this is what happens with my drive. I don't care that the
    interface powers up which is why I haven't experimented with a 4 pin
    cable myself. However, the phenomenon only occurs with FireWire ports
    which have power (on desktop machines); when I use a PCMCIA FireWire
    interface which doesn't supply power, the light doesn't switch on.

    Matthew.
    Matthew Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article
    <west.earthlink.net 
    Julian Vrieslander <com> wrote:
     
    >
    > Yes, it ACTUALLY starts, even if it was off, when the Mac cold boots.
    > The LED is initially off, and then comes on as the drive powers up.
    >
    > I did not experiment with 4-pin cables. I used the cable supplied by
    > LaCie.
    >[/ref]

    Confirming, exactly same thing happens for me (iBook, OS 9).
    AES/newspost Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article
    <newcastle.edu.au>,
    Matthew Kirkcaldie <edu.au> wrote:
     
    > Julian Vrieslander <com> wrote:

    >
    > Yes, but does the HD spin up, and does it mount?
    >
    > If it does, why do you need the power supply?
    >
    > And if it doesn't, obviously just the FireWire interface is being
    > powered up by the power on the FireWire bus, and hence you should
    > experiment with a 4 pin cable.
    >
    > As I said, this is what happens with my drive. I don't care that the
    > interface powers up which is why I haven't experimented with a 4 pin
    > cable myself. However, the phenomenon only occurs with FireWire ports
    > which have power (on desktop machines); when I use a PCMCIA FireWire
    > interface which doesn't supply power, the light doesn't switch on.[/ref]

    I sent the LaCie back for refund yesterday. In my opinion, it is a
    stupid design. I am not interested in doing cable experiments to
    "trick" the drive into behaving sensibly.

    --
    Julian Vrieslander
    Julian Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    AES/newspost <edu> wrote:
     
    > Julian Vrieslander <com> wrote:

    > >
    > > Yes, it ACTUALLY starts, even if it was off, when the Mac cold boots.
    > > The LED is initially off, and then comes on as the drive powers up.
    > >
    > > I did not experiment with 4-pin cables. I used the cable supplied by
    > > LaCie.
    > >[/ref]
    >
    > Confirming, exactly same thing happens for me (iBook, OS 9).[/ref]

    Also hapens with my LaCie d2 120gb USB drive and my LaCie CdR d2
    firewire
    Emyr Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article
    <west.earthlink.net 
    Julian Vrieslander <com> wrote:
     

    I think I may have misunderstood - do you mean that the unit has some
    kind of a software power switch and that it fully switches itself on
    when it is connected to a powered FireWire bus? If that's the case, I
    agree it's a design error and apologise for the misunderstanding.

    My drive simply lights the LED when it's connected - it doesn't switch
    on and spin up, which is where my misunderstanding arose.

    Cheers,

    Matthew.
    Matthew Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article <stanford.edu>,
    AES/newspost <edu> wrote:
     

    Yes, that's the issue that prompted me to start this thread. But, if I
    remember right, on my Mac the LaCie drive does not automatically power
    up if I do a restart. It does power up if I do a shut down and start up
    (cold boot).

    --
    Julian Vrieslander
    Julian Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article <east.cox.net>,
    Rod Smith <com> wrote:
     


    Don't really mind it myself, except:

    1) Since it's not (been) the standard mode for such devices, the
    doentation that comes with the drive should (and doesn't) explain
    what it is and how it works.

    2) There are times when one really wants the drive really off -- and
    that means crawling around in the cable mess under the desk to
    disconnect it from the FW hub.
    AES/newspost Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article <stanford.edu>,
    AES/newspost <edu> wrote:
     
    >
    >
    > Don't really mind it myself, except:
    >
    > 1) Since it's not (been) the standard mode for such devices, the
    > doentation that comes with the drive should (and doesn't) explain
    > what it is and how it works.
    >
    > 2) There are times when one really wants the drive really off -- and
    > that means crawling around in the cable mess under the desk to
    > disconnect it from the FW hub.[/ref]

    Seems to me that LaCie missed a chance to have it both ways. They could
    have designed it so that with power switch on, it behaves in the way it
    does now, spinning up when the FW port is powered, and spinning down
    when the port is unpowered. If the power switch is off, the drive
    should stay off, regardless of the state of the port.

    As it is now, the power switch does not serve any obviously useful
    purpose, and that's why I call it a stupid design.

    --
    Julian Vrieslander
    Julian Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    I just bought a powerstrip with on/off buttons for each outlet and plug all
    the drives into the strip. That way I can decide which drive/drives I want
    on at any one time. The power strip in turn is plugged into a UPS.


    Jeff Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    If I may step in here and clarify a few points:

    The drive powers on when your computer powers on. Drive powers off
    when computer is shutdown. This is a feature of the Aluminum d2 drive.

    After drive powers on, you can use the Blue button on the front to
    power down the drive; highly recommend that you unmount the drive
    first by dragging volume Icon to trash (Mac), or unmount using the
    tray icon (PC).

    This power feature is doented in the electronic manual provided
    with the drive.

    Previous LaCie drives did have a rear power switch that was
    mechanical. the new power switch is a momentary electronic switch that
    enables this operation. The automatice Power ON is a feature asked for
    by many of our users.

    There is no way to cirvent this behavior. If positive acting power
    switch is needed, you could plug all peripherals needing this behavior
    into a separate power strip.

    SilverKeeper AKA FireWire Guru
    SilverKeeper Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In article <google.com>,
    com (SilverKeeper) wrote:
     

    Thanks for stepping in and providing a view from inside LaCie.

    I don't know if your new ("Porsche design") series shares the same
    switch design. If it does, you should describe the automatic power-on
    behavior (and the lack of a conventional power switch) in your online
    and printed literature. It was not described in the info that I saw for
    the d2. I even asked one of your people at NYC MacWorld 2002 if the d2
    series had a power switch, and he assured me that it did, pointing to
    the blue button.

    --
    Julian Vrieslander
    Julian Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Can I prevent an external FW drive from turning on?

    In comp.sys.mac.system Cat <cat> wrote:
     

    Well, there's always the option of putting the disk drive
    on its own power strip, then just switching the power strip
    on or off as needed.

    stan@temple.edu Guest

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