Stop my HDD's sleeping/spinning down?


Got my Drobo the other day, and I love it so far, does everything it is suppose to!

Anyway, one thing that annoys me is the HDD’s in my drobo (2x 1tb drives atm) will sleep/spin down after a certain amount of time on inactivity which annoys me.

My internal HDD’s use to do this til I disabled the Hard drive sleep option in Vista’s power options, this is still disabled.

There is an option in power options called “USB Settings > USB Selective suspend setting > Setting” and this is set to “Disabled”.

How do I stop the HDD’s from sleeping after inactivity in Windows Vista? Or is this not possible?

Any help appreciated!


if you have a regular drobo it isnt possible (at the moment)

changing the spindown time is only possible in the pro

(Im not sure about the drobo S)

The drives automatically spin down after 15 minutes of inactivity. There is no way to change that on a Drobo.

Some people write scripts or batch files to write to the drobo every 10 minutes to make it not spin down.

…it’s something which is extremely annoying and a real workflow stopper! i really hope that there is a fix for this with future drobo updates. please, is there any known script for OSX (10.6.2) which does this prevent the drobo from spinning down?



I use a prog called NoSleepHD ( for W7, don’t think there is a OS X version, but it does the job perfectly. All it does is simply write to a .txt file on the select device every x minutes (you specify the x).

As others have said all you need is a job to write to a file once every 10 minutes or so for it to stay awake.

OS X has the unix utility cron built-in which runs scheduled tasks. From a terminal run the command below to set one up:
echo “00,10,20,30,40,50 * * * * /usr/bin/touch /Volumes/Drobo/nosleep >/dev/null 2>&1” | crontab -
This will replace any jobs you have manually configured in your crontab - but if you have manually configured jobs then you won’t have any trouble adding this one manually :wink:

You can verify it is configured by listing out your cron jobs with
crontab -l
Or remove all your cron jobs with
crontab -r

The job simply runs every 10 minutes and updates the timestamp on the file /Volumes/Drobo/nosleep. The filename does not mater so you can alter as required.

Hope that helps.

Unfortunately this does not work for me; I’m running W7 64 bit. Must be a 32 bit only app (or something strange like it); it crashes every time I run it and I’ve tried in multiple different compatibility modes.

Doesn’t Win7 have an XP compatibility mode? I understands in runs XP as a virtual machine. Just run the Nosleep… program there.

Or, if you have sufficient skills, you can download the “insomnia” app that I wrote for Droboshare to keep its drives from spinning down. Its a bash script that you can port or get running with a little work.

only the higher versions of win 7 have this switcher - it was designed to encourage businesses to upgrade (so they can continue to use their legacy apps)

standard home versions cant do this (XP Mode)

However all version of windows 7 have compatibility mode (where windows 7 pretends to be another OS to trick software into running - it also provides elevated privaledges etc etc that they may need) but that is not the same as XP mode which, as you say, is running a full blown XP install in a VM

Also… XP Mode requires hardware virtualization support.

Without hardware virtualization support, you’re stuck running “regular” Virtual PC which does not support USB devices. A bummer for me, as I really could use that, but all of my machines are too old/low to support HW virtualization. I have a disc printer that only has 32-bit drivers so for now there’s an old laptop that gets RDP-ed to in order to drive it.

app called “keepdrivesspinning” for OSX

this should take care of any drobo sleep problems for mac users

The following Perl script can be run on either a Mac or Windows machine (on Windows make sure you have ActivePerl or an equivalent installed). The script writes a simple timestamp to a log file (drobo.txt) on your Drobo to prevent the drives from spinning down.

Use this in conjunction with a crontab on a Mac or set up task scheduler on your PC. The following crontab is set to run every ten minutes (change it to the time frequency you prefer):

*/10 * * * * /Users/mysilmaril/bin/ -update -config=myconfig

Make sure you do a chmod 755 on the Perl script below to make it executable:


this program is run by a crontab

each time the crontab runs, a timestamp is written to a log file on Drobo

the log file is written to drobo every 10 minutes to make sure Drobo

doesn’t go to sleep (spin down drives)

use strict;
use warnings;

my @months = qw(Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec);
my @weekDays = qw(Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun);
my ($second, $minute, $hour, $dayOfMonth, $month, $yearOffset, $dayOfWeek, $dayOfYear, $daylightSavings) = localtime();
my $year = 1900 + $yearOffset;
my $timeStamp = “$weekDays[$dayOfWeek] $months[$month] $dayOfMonth, $year, $hour:$minute”;

open (DROBOFILE, ‘>>/Volumes/Drobo/drobo.txt’);
print DROBOFILE $timeStamp . “\n”;
close (DROBOFILE);

As mentioned previously, you can accomplish the same thing with a unix shell script on a Mac or a batch file on your PC. Simply use one of these methods to automate the process so that you write to your Drobo at regular intervals.

[quote=“Jennifer, post:3, topic:831”]Some people write scripts or batch files to write to the drobo every 10 minutes to make it not spin down.

I find that working on my system has the same effect, and it has the side effect of earning money. :slight_smile:

Giving this a try, its easily my biggest headache hearing that spin down, but the spin up makes me want to throw something off the desk! :frowning:

Lets hope that works, those scripts look confusing!