DBSTalk Forum banner

721 hard-disk spindown?

2519 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  968.911
The hard drive in my 721 never spins down. Has onyone noticed if theirs puts the hd to sleep?

I got around the fan noise issue (additional fan, move more air, fan now powers off) but, hd is always on.

Just curious.

Since the box runs Linux, could it be that E* has not figured out the Linux apm quirks? I can spin down the HD in my computer by the hdparam command in Linux shell. Wonder if E* can do the same?
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
How did you wire in the fan? You said in parallel to the original?

Can you confirm this is the model you used:


I am not as worried about a contimually running disk as I am about the noise. If I get three years out of a unit like this or a computer, I feel I have my money's worth.

I wired the fan in parallel with the existing fan. The link you have looks like the fan I used, but the fan I have has no manufacturer identification on it.

I have been experimenting with other types of fans as well for low noise when the fan is on. The best so far is the SILERNCER (Model 802812) Ball bearing fan from PC Power and Cooling.

For the SILENCER fan, I built a bracket using the slot covers aluminum piece from the back of a PC. This screws in nicely using one of the screws which holds the hard-disk in place. I taped up the metal piece with electrical tape incase it fall off (it shouldn't as the screw holds it in place tightly). The fan blows at an angle, drawing air from underneath the HD and out the side exhaust. I can feel a good volume of air coming out when the fans are on.

With the SILENCER fan, the only thing audible is the hard-drive. Which for some reason is always on. The fan comes on and off (I verified this by covering the exhaust fans on the left side for several minutes) When the unit warms up, the fans come on. After about 20 minutes, they go off.

Hope a future software update can put the drive to sleep.
See less See more
I don't know if you would want to wait for the hard drive to spin up. As long as the unit is on, its recording... Not sure there would be any benefit to the drive going to sleep.
My DishPlayer for example: It turns the drive off about 10 seconds after I power the unit down. It wakes up to do any recording it has to about several minutes before the timer goes off, the drive goes back to 'sleep' after the recording is done.

The unit should be smart enough to know when it has to wake up. It can have a small ram-disk for all 'real-time' tasks and go to the drive only when 'it has to'.

I don't mind the drive being on when the unit is on, normal audio drowns out the HD/fan noise. But when I turn it off for the night, it would be nice if the unit goes silent. It can wake up for program download at 3am or so and go back to 'sleep'. I think it can even download the program guide during the day in the background anyway. There should be enough bandwidth for that.

Thats how I would have coded the unit. But, maybe there are comelling reasons for not being able to spin the drive down. Like not enough RAM to run the system out of, sure would be a cheap design compromise.

As an aside. The DishPlayer did not have the spin-down feature until recently. I think it started doing this about a month or so ago. Could be the same type of 'oversight'.

(Hey E*, how about signing me on as a Alpha/Beta tester for the software/hardware releases?)
See less See more
How long does a HD last being spun all of the time like this? I would be VERY VERY disapointed having to replace the hard drive in my unit or having to buy a new unit every three years spending this kind of money on it, but by that time there would have been something else out as an improvement anyways, but still some may want to have their investment last a LONG time.
Western Digital specs a 5 year life-time (http://www.westerndigital.com/products/current/drives.asp?Model=WD1000AB#performance)

Seagate specs a 5 year life-time and a 3 year warranty

Also, if spin-up/down turns out to be a reliability issue, then make it smart. Make it user selectable twice/day between some time zones with a reasonable default for those that don't care. Its just software, costs nothing other than one time cost of implementing and testing.

I guess the big issue for me is noise. When I turn my equipment off, I want it to be as close of "OFF" as possible. Noise pollution is a pet-peeve.

I would guess that for some, even the white noise from fan/hd could be a problem. One spends thousands on high end audio system to which happens to be connected to their video system and has this white noise generator (721) as a feature.
Is there anything that you could compair the HD noise to. I don't have a clue as to how loud it is; or maybe it really isn't that loud at all, just a nuisance.
Give us that don't know an idea.
If you have a name-brand PC, turn it on, step back about 5 feet in a quiet room. Its really a nuisance than anything else.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Not open for further replies.