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 USB Harddrive standby? 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:52 pm
Posts: 7
Post USB Harddrive standby?
Hi,

I'm planning on buying a Fit-PC 2 for use as HTPC/file serving server. This will involve hooking it up to about 6 external USB hard drives (3 via an USB hub and 3 on the main hub). Because this computer will be on 24/7 it is essential for those hard drives to go to sleep when they are not needed.
My questions therefore are:
1) I'm going to load it with Windows 2003 Server, will this (in combination with the hardware) allow for the hard drives connected directly to the Fit-PC 2 to go to standby?
2) How about USB hubs? Will the hard drives connected to the USB hub be allowed to go to stand by?

I'm not at all familiar with how USB harddrive standby works, hence the questions ;).

Thanks in advance!
Victor


Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:58 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:32 am
Posts: 16
Post Re: USB Harddrive standby?
Can't answer with respect to Windows, but I just got a WD Elements 2TB external USB drive and hooked it directly to my FIT-PC2 that's running Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS. The drive description says it just supports Windows and Mac (Mac requires a reformat), but I didn't have any problems setting it up for Linux (there's some autorun stuff on the drive to support the desktop icon setup in Windows, and it's formatted NTFS, which Linux has no problems with).

I just got it set up yesterday, so I haven't tried a whole lot, but when I unmounted the drive, it went to sleep on its own after a few minutes (spun down, white LED on the back started blinking slowly to indicate standby mode). When I mount it, it spins up and works great.

What I haven't tested yet, and will soon, is whether it spins down while mounted, but inactive. Since I'm using it for backups, I'll be keeping it unmounted 99% of the time, so that's not critical, but I'm expecting that it will spin down when not accessed for a few minutes. We'll see.


Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:27 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:52 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: USB Harddrive standby?
Hi,

Thanks for replying! From what you tell I think I can be sure that the Fit-PC 2 hardware supports sleeping USB Harddrives. So win2k3 should support it too.
Only question remains whether connecting the hard drives via a hub will have the same results.


Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:41 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:32 am
Posts: 16
Post Re: USB Harddrive standby?
I tested the drive going to sleep while mounted...it does. Any time there's inactivity for more than a few minutes, the drive I got will go into sleep mode. Any access wakes it up. I believe this is a function of the design of the drive, rather than anything the Fit-PC2 is doing with USB.

If that's the case, then as long as your USB hub doesn't create activity for the drive, and if the drive you get is designed like my WD is, you shouldn't have any problem.

BTW, the WD drive is very quiet...at least as quiet as the Fit-PC2 is. Only way I can tell when it's running is to look at the LED on the back, or touch the top and feel for the slight vibration of the drive spinning. There isn't enough sound to pick up from more than a couple of inches away.


Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:10 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:53 am
Posts: 13
Post Re: USB Harddrive standby?
I've been running Win7 on my Fit-PC2 for a couple of years now. It currently has two WD Passport Essentials attached - a 1TB and a 2TB. They power down after ten minutes and I have no problems backing up from one to the other. Both of these drives boxes have their own PSU.


Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:21 am
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