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Is it possible to specify how many minutes of inactivity Mac OS should wait before it sleeps hard disks? Is there a plist I can manually specify "60 minutes" or something?

The GUI gives you the option to "Put the Hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" in the Energy Saver preference pane, but I'd like to have it wait longer.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

To do it from the command line (and doesn't require the Developer Tools installed - available on any 10.4 or 10.5 system) you're looking for a utility called pmset (power management set).

disksleep - disk spindown timer; replaces 'spindown' argument in 10.4 (value in minutes, or 0 to disable)

eg. sudo pmset -a disksleep 60

As always for more check out the man page

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Thanks - argh, that's correct too! If I could pick multiple correct answers, I would. –  username May 16 '09 at 18:27
    
@Adam, sorry since this requires no optional install, and can easily be rolled out to clients via SSH, I do think it's the winning answer. –  username May 16 '09 at 18:30
    
username - hey, glad you got the answer you wanted and hopefully mine will be useful to someone else who finds this page! –  Adam May 16 '09 at 18:40

CHUD tools contains SpindownHD which does what you want - look in:

/Developer/Applications/Performance Tools/CHUD/Hardware Tools
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+1 for the nice application icon :-) –  splattne May 16 '09 at 18:24
    
Cool, that should do the trick - CHUD Tools is part of Apple Developer Tools, which ships with every Mac. Also, I got off my rear end and googled: There is indeed a .plist setting stored in the root Library: /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.PowerManagement.plist –  username May 16 '09 at 18:25
    
splattne - I think funky app icons are mandated as part of the Apple User Experience guidelines! –  Adam May 16 '09 at 18:29

You could try SleepWatcher, an open source utility written by Bernhard Baehr, mentioned in this article:

SleepWatcher - A utility to run tasks on sleep/wake

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It monitors sleep, wakeup and idleness of a Mac but (unless I'm missing something), SleepWatcher alone can not control sleep of a hard disk drive whilst the Mac is awake. –  Graham Perrin Apr 1 '13 at 16:34

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