Keep Drive Spinning
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(31) 3.9516129032258065

Makes sure that a connected drive never goes to sleep.   Free
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Keep Drive Spinning is an applet that makes sure that a connected drive never goes to sleep (that is, that it never spins down).

Normally this can be controlled using the Energy Saver preference pane in System Preferences, and that should be your first resort in dealing with the problem, rather than this or any other third party software. However, some external drives (e.g. Western Digital's MyBook drives) do not respect the System Preferences settings, so for them an alternative like this is needed.

This applet simply creates a launch agent that tells OS
What's New
Version 1.4:

Note: MacUpdate Desktop and Finder report that this app is version 1.1; this is a result of the Automator version involved. The dev states this is version 1.4.

  • Recompiled as an Automator app instead of an AppleScript app. This should solve problems where the app would not launch properly on some versions of OS X. (Note: On OS X 10.8 and higher, the standard security warning will still complain the first time you try to run the app, but it will work. See the Read Me file for instructions.)
  • AppleScript source code is now included as a separate file. You can also see the source code by opening the app itself with Automator.
Version 1.4:

Note: MacUpdate Desktop and Finder report that this app is version 1.1; this is a result of the Automator version involved. The dev states this is version 1.4.

  • Recompiled as an Automator app instead of an AppleScript app. This should solve problems where the app would not launch properly on some versions of OS X. (Note: On OS X 10.8 and higher, the more...
Requirements
Intel/PPC, OS X 10.5 or later







  • Caffeine
    +3

  • Spindownfix
    +1

  • No Spin
    +1

  • Disksomnia
    +1

  • No Spin
    +1
Keep Drive Spinnin... User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 1.x:
(31)
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(31)

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Terjek reviewed on 17 Mar 2014
Thanks for this useful little program! It eliminated the annoying problem that computer "froze" for a few seconds each time the external drive was awakened from sleep!
[Version 1.4]


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Saratxe reviewed on 17 Mar 2014
My Western Digital's MyBook drive was making me crazy if it was fall asleep. Waking up shows me the Beach Ball each time. Now it's over.
[Version 1.4]


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Lrwebb commented on 07 Mar 2014
Just came across this app after finding my iTunes Library, kept on an external drive, takes a while to react cos the drive has spun down. Can I assume that if the Mac goes to sleep that the ext drive will then spin down? That's what I would expect.
[Version 1.3]

1 Reply

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+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 13 Mar 2014
Yes. If the Mac itself is asleep, then the launch agent will not run again until the computer wakes up.

One caveat: The above statement may or may not be true for Macs using the PowerNap feature of recent versions of OS X. It is possible that when the computer "partially wakes up" that the launch agent will run, causing the disk to spin up, but it may not. I have no way to test this at the moment.
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+3

Djrumpy reviewed on 22 Feb 2014
Works as expected. Wondering if this will still allow the Mac to sleep normally though? Has anyone verified?
[Version 1.3]

1 Reply

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+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 13 Mar 2014
Yes, your Mac will sleep normally. Keep Drive Spinning keeps drives awake, not computers. :)
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laurenR5672 reviewed on 07 Feb 2014
I need help big time please! I have no idea if i have installed it properly or not.. I've saved it as a application.. somehow! But my computer isn't even picking up my hard drive so I can't tell if it will work or not! :
Thanks!
[Version 1.3]

1 Reply

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+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 13 Mar 2014
If Finder can't see the drive, KDS will be of no use to you. First you need to figure out why the drive is not connecting and fix that. Once it is in proper working order, KDS will keep it from falling asleep on you.
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PaulF2585 commented on 29 Jan 2014
I was so happy to find this applet but I am stuck before I get started. After downloading and running for the first time I get an AppleScript? error:

touch: /Volumes/ServerShares1/.keepThisDriveSpinning: Invalid argument

I saw an earlier problem where the volume had no name but ServerShares1 is a valid volume name.

Hope you can help or suggest a debug path for me.

Thanks for writing this.
[Version 1.3]

2 Replies

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PaulF2585 replied on 30 Jan 2014
False alarm - I tried again this morning and it works in the sense that the .keepThisDriveSpinning is now created on my /Volumes/ServerShares1. I'm not sure why. Maybe the drive had already spun down and self-ejected when I tried to run the applet yesterday.

Assuming that this solves the problem, I plan on moving this Launch Agent to/Library/Launch/Daemons since this volume is attached to an always-on server. This is based on Jon's reply to ToddWilling on March 13, 2013.
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+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 13 Mar 2014
Glad you got it working. If you move the launch agent to /Library/LaunchDaemons, make sure to adjust the ownership and permissions of the .plist file to match those of the LaunchDaemons folder itself. Otherwise, OS X will refuse to run it for security reasons.
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+1

+1

FuzzyNormal reviewed on 14 Dec 2013
Curious why it won't work for me. I get this message:

sh: line 18: /Users//Library/LaunchAgents/
net.jonstovel.keepSpinning.plist: Permission denied

launchctl: Couldn't start("/Users//Library/LaunchAgents/
net.jonstovel.keepSpinning.plist"): No such file or directory
nothing found to load
[Version 1.3]

4 Replies

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+1
FuzzyNormal replied on 14 Dec 2013
I'm on 10.7.5. Oh, I allowed permissions to the Library/LaunchAgents directory, but even though the script wrote a file in there, I now get this message:

touch: /Volume//.keepThisDriveSpinning: Invalid argument
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RoldanS5399 replied on 01 Jan 2014
I'm getting the same error response as well. Hopefully KDS will come up with a solution soon!
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RoldanS5399 replied on 01 Jan 2014
PROBLEM SOLVED: I discovered that although my account was administrator level, I did not have complete system access. To have full system access you need to be logged in as the root user. See link below for instructions:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1528

Once you are logged in as the root user, download "Keep Drive Spinning" if you have not already done so, follow the installation instructions provided and it should work!

Cheers!
burypromote

+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 13 Mar 2014
You should not even need administrator access to install KDS, let alone root access! However, if you don't have write permissions on the drive that you are trying to keep awake, KDS can't help you.

The reported error message, "touch: /Volume//.keepThisDriveSpinning: Invalid argument", indicates that somehow the script thinks that the drive you are trying to keep awake has no name! To help me figure out what is happening, could you please tell me the actual name of the volume in question?
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Bebbo reviewed on 30 Oct 2013
I have used this little applet for a number of years and it has served me very well until the launch of Mavericks. It now tells me that KeepDriveSpinning is Damaged and can't be opened... I have re-downloaded it but the error is always the same, I guess it is a Mavericks thing (Perhaps some signing issue?)

Jon, not sure if you have come across this error but wondered if you get chance to have a look I would be grateful.

Anyway, fantastic little applet that worked fine for me for all these years.
[Version 1.3]

3 Replies

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+2

+2
STL01603 replied on 09 Nov 2013
I was successful installing the applet in OSX Mavericks.
Something with Gatekeeper is the issue, maybe the signing as you speculated.
Procedure was to eliminate the security, launch KeepDriveSpinning (KDS), set the KDS parameters, then return the security to the previous setting.
1 System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Allow apps downloaded from: Anywhere
2 Launch KDS and set parameters
3 System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Allow apps downloaded from: Mac App Store and identified developers (for me)

KDS seems to be working fine in Mavericks
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Bebbo replied on 22 Nov 2013
Thanks STL01603 - That worked...
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+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 17 Mar 2014
Yes, this seems to be Mavericks giving the wrong error message. It should say that the application is not from a known developer, etc., but for unsigned applications made via AppleScript Editor, it is claiming the application is broken even though it isn't. Anyway, I've now built the app using Automator instead of AppleScript Editor to work around the problem. It still isn't signed (I don't feel like paying Apple $100/year to distribute signed freeware), so you will still get a warning from Gatekeeper, but at least now it will be the right one.
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VonM4332 commented on 17 Sep 2013
This seems like a good solution and I set it up for my external WD 3TB USB3 drive two days ago on a Mac Mini 10.8.5 system that is on 24/7 and I'm the only user and I'm always logged in.

Yesterday, it appeared that the drive was on all night/day and so I assumed everything was working. This morning, however, the drive was asleep. I had not changed any settings or logged out. I did re-install SMBUp yesterday since it was giving lag problems since 10.8.5 was installed and that seemed to fix that issue, but I don't know if re-installing that could somehow affect this program's script (I don't see how offhand). Otherwise, I have no idea why my drive was asleep, but it appears to be unreliable thus far.

I think what would be nice is some kind of verification system that the last access went okay. Something like how the app "Caffeine" stays in the menu bar and shows full when it's on, perhaps. A green light to show no errors or something and perhaps a quick click on/off button like Caffeine uses to quickly disable it at say the end of the day or when leaving on a trip or whatever when the computer is not in use so it can spin down if needed (i.e. my system is on 24/7 as a media server for the house and only uses a few watts and sleep is unreliable, especially for 10.8.5 so it's always on). It's not difficult to run the script again, though, but there's no simple way to verify whether it's on/off for a given drive (if one has forgotten) and given how it was sleeping this morning, even when it IS set I'm not sure if it's set.
[Version 1.3]

1 Reply

burypromote

+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 18 Sep 2013
I am not familiar with SMBUp, so I can't comment on it.

One thing you might try is running the Keep Drive Spinning setup process again for your drive, but this time set the interval to something less than the default 60 seconds. (Note: don't bother trying less than 10 seconds, though. OS X will throttle any launch agent that tries to fire more often than that, so all you will do is fill your console logs with useless messages if you try.)

Also, make sure the hidden file named ".keepThisDriveSpinning" exists on the drive. It won't appear in the Finder under normal circumstances (that's the point of making it hidden, after all :) ), but you can check by opening Terminal and typing in "ls -a /Volumes/drivename", where "drivename" is the name of the drive. If the result contains ".keepThisDriveSpinning" as one of the listed files and folders, then the file exists. If not, then it somehow got deleted after you ran the setup process, and you should re-create it by running the Terminal command "touch /Volumes/drivename/.keepThisDriveSpinning".

To provide a menu item indicating whether Keep Drive Spinning is active for this or that drive would require running a separate application all the time. Keep Drive Spinning is designed precisely not to require that. Instead, what you download simply configures the operating system itself to do the job. Once you complete the setup for a given drive, you can assume that operating system is running the Keep Drive Spinning launch agent at all times.
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JustinV2489 commented on 28 Aug 2013
Hey Jon, I've noticed you're on here providing some limited support and wanted to see if you could help me. I'm getting this error message for one of the drives that I'm trying to keep awake.

touch: /Volumes//.keepThisDriveSpinning:
Invalid argument

It just says Cancel or OK. It creates the plist file in the LaunchAgents folder, but it's not able to run the commands. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
[Version 1.3]

1 Reply

burypromote

+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 18 Sep 2013
It looks like you are somehow trying to keep awake a drive that has no name (?!), which obviously cannot work. I don't know how you did that, but you should manually remove the messed up plist file from ~/Library/LaunchAgents, log out and back in again, and then run Keep Drive Spinning again to set up that drive from scratch.
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JordanG5078 had trouble on 03 Feb 2014
I was attempting to install on OSX 10.6.8. The file will look like it is opening once clicked on but I get no response from the machine. I have confirmed that I have administrator access and should be able to add anything to the machine. Any idea what could be wrong?
[Version 1.3]

4 Replies

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laurenR5672 replied on 08 Feb 2014
Same thing is happening to me! I'm having trouble with the apple script any idea's?
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+1

+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 13 Mar 2014
Administrator access is not required, only write permissions on the drive you are trying to keep awake.

Have you tried opening Keep Drive Spinning with Script Editor, and then running it from there? If so, what happened? Do any error messages appear in the bottom section of Script Editor's window?
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JonA2764 replied on 14 Mar 2014
Hi Jon. I'm having the same problem described above. I'm on 10.6.8 Snow Leopard and downloaded all versions of Keep Drive Spinning (1.1, 1.2, 1.3), they all have the same problem.

Whenever I try launching the app, nothing happens. I read your "Read Me" and the problem is NOT the Security & Privacy settings on my system (Snow Leopard doesn't have those restrictions) and I've tried using AppleScript Editor also. Dragging the app into the Script Editor icon on the dock does nothing. Dragging the app into the Script Editor window just writes the location of the app in the text box (/Applications/Keep Drive Spinning.app). When I press RUN, I get the following error: Syntax Error, A "/" can't go here." Deleting the "/" and pressing RUN gives me the following error: Syntax Error, A identifier can't go after this identifier" with "Keep Drive" highlighted.

Launching the app on 10.8 Mountain Lion actually works, but not on 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated!
burypromote

+120
Jon Stovell (developer) replied on 17 Mar 2014
I've posted an update. It will show up on MacUpdate's listings in a few minutes, but you can download it at the same link right now. It is the same code as before, but now compiled into an app using Automator to get past the problem here described. I've tested that the app works on everything from Snow Leopard through to Mavericks. I've also included the source as a plain AppleScript file, so alternatively you can simply open that and then click the big green Run button.
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andyturley had trouble on 11 Apr 2011
hi all, hope someone can help! I've just got a Samsung G3 1TB drive to run as my itunes library drive, and it's all good and well while musics playing, but left to its own devices, it goes to sleep and unmounts from my itunes machine. trying to fire up a song does nothing as itunes can no longer see the drive so it doesn't wake up. i've installed keep drive spinning and set it to 60seconds for both partitions of the external drive but its still disconnecting itself and dozing off. any ideas? the machine is running 10.5.8, it's just quietly sitting behind a bookshelf. the itunes i always on. i'd love the drive to play ball for me!
[Version 1.1]


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Drewberrylicious had trouble on 10 Jun 2010
Need some help here guys...

I download the KeepDriveSpinning.zip file, unzip it - and all I get unzipped is the Keep Drive Spinning.icns file.

What am I missing here? Do I need to put the file somewhere?

Feeling a little dumb, but have tried it on two macs with the same result. Both running Snow Leopard
[Version 1.1]

4 Replies

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Fewdiodave replied on 16 Jun 2010
DREWBERRYLICIOUS: I was having the same issue. There's something wrong with the file downloading from here.

I hate to promote one of MacUpdate's competitors, but until they get the file fixed, you can get it from Mac Softpedia. I was able to download it there and it worked fine:

http://mac.softpedia.com/progDownload/Keep-Drive-Spinning-Download-55147.html
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Drewberrylicious commented on 17 Jun 2010
Thanks so much. The link you provided works! I'm most happy!
burypromote

+120
Sesquipedalian (developer) replied on 26 Jun 2010
Ack! Sorry about that everyone. I made a new icon for Keep Drive Spinning, but then after I updated the applet with the icon, I accidentally put the icon itself into the zip file instead of the applet. It should be all fixed now.
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Fewdiodave replied on 29 Jun 2010
No problem, thanks for the update! I often have 6 or 7 external drives hooked up, and the occasional 30-second lag when I'd go to save a file and all the drives would have to spin back up was driving me nuts. I had tried another piece of software that was supposed to keep them awake, but it never worked. Yours works like a charm. Thanks!

+4

OneBitLeft rated on 09 Jan 2014

[Version 1.3]



-30

Macvet22 rated on 11 Oct 2013

[Version 1.3]



+26

Runtime rated on 21 Sep 2013

[Version 1.3]



Mark-S rated on 13 Jul 2013

[Version 1.3]



islandsound rated on 25 Mar 2013

[Version 1.3]



-5

kohly rated on 30 Jan 2013

[Version 1.3]



Rcstek rated on 02 Aug 2012

[Version 1.3]



Eggi_from_Hamburg rated on 15 Apr 2012

[Version 1.2]


Downloads:26,295
Version Downloads:1,079
Type:Utilities : System
License:Free
Date:17 Mar 2014
Platform:PPC 32 / Intel 64 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price:Free0.00
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Keep Drive Spinning is an applet that makes sure that a connected drive never goes to sleep (that is, that it never spins down).

Normally this can be controlled using the Energy Saver preference pane in System Preferences, and that should be your first resort in dealing with the problem, rather than this or any other third party software. However, some external drives (e.g. Western Digital's MyBook drives) do not respect the System Preferences settings, so for them an alternative like this is needed.

This applet simply creates a launch agent that tells OS X to touch a hidden file on the selected drive once every minute so that the drive stays awake.

Launch agents are built-in OS X technology and persist across reboots, etc., so you can run this once to set-it-and-forget-it. You can find the launch agents made by Keep Drive Spinning in the LaunchAgents folder of your user's Library folder.


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