I had a problem with my two Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 500 GB drives: I have been using them with my MacBook Pro (currently Mac OSX Leopard 10.5.2) for some months now, and they were falling asleep after 10-15 minutes or so, I don't know the exact time interval. Well, this wasn't so bad, but i didn't want them to spin up and down so often. It also takes a few seconds for them to spin up again when e.g. opening a file, during which you can have a close look at the spinning beach ball.
As Seagate's utility for the Mac (Drive Manager 1.0.14) does not support the adjustment of the sleep timer, i connected the drives to my old PC running Windows XP and told the drives with the Windows Version of the Drive Manager to never sleep.
After I connected the drives again back to my Mac, the problem got worse: now both drives spun down after ONE MINUTE! After I connected them back to my Windows machine, the Windows Tool displayed a sleep setting of 3 minutes (huh?). I altered the sleep timer settings again to several other values and also reseted them to default, but every time I connected the drives back to my Mac, they always went to sleep after one minute, and after going back to Windows, the tool displayed a sleep setting of 3 minutes. I was not able to get back the previous behavior of sleeping after 10-15 Minutes (or so). The drives were almost unusable on my Mac now.
I also wrote a script that altered a file on the drives every 10 seconds hoping they would keep going, but even with accessing the drives every 10 seconds, they both spun down and up again exactly every 60 seconds! All my further attempts to resolve this problem using native Mac utilities (System Preferences, command line "pmset spindown 0", "pmset disksleep 0" and the likes, third party utilities etc...) were futile.
I am glad I finally found a SOLUTION after having wasted several hours experimenting: Using the Windows Version of Seagate's Drive Manager in a virtual machine on the Mac (in my case Parallels with Windows XP) did the trick! Just give the virtual machine access to your USB drive (Menu: Devices > USB > FreeAgent Desktop) and Windows should recognize your Drive. Then use the Drive Utility in Windows to set the drive's sleep timer (in my case to "never" ), and then virtually disconnect the drive again (Devices > USB > FreeAgent). Then OS X should see your drive again.
After this procedure, both my drives are running again without a single spin down for some hours now, i hope this keeps on...
I am glad that my drives are working again, but I am quite angry having wasted several hours to resolve this problem. Please, Seagate, if you are ADVERTISING WITH MAC COMPATIBILITY, include the sleep timer adjustment in the Mac Version of the Drive Manager! It is ridiculous to characterize a drive spinning down every 60 seconds as compatible! And not every Mac user has a virtual machine with Windows on their computer.
I just wanted to let other Mac users know how to resolve this problem, i guess I am not the only one who has experienced this strange behavior.
OK, i will now get back and enjoy my FreeAgents, which I think are apart from this (now hopefully resolved) problem wonderful and very quiet drives.
I posted this on another thread and found a fellow Mac user, and thought I would repost to see if your experience is the same. I have experienced similar problems on two consecutive drives. The first 750 pro had problems with in a week and the second, a replacement from the chain store where purchased has now failed in the last week with less than three months use. I am a Mac user and was trying to use drive with Apples new Time Machine. Bottom of drive gets extremely hot like what has been said. This problem has just started in the last couple week and is now to the point that it is completely un-usable. The drive run time before the problem sets in continued to get shorter and shorter before causing the computer to freeze. It now causes the computer to lock-up with it attached and turned on at boot up. The power button on drive is also now unresponsive. This is exactly the problem that I experience with the first drive. I have had several other brands of external drives both USB and Firewire and have never had a problem like this.
To concur with the above poster, I too had the dreaded 60 second sleep demon of drive death problem. I have a Mac Mini with OS 10.5.2 and when I first loaded my two Seagate Free Agent 750GB USB2 drives onto it and formatted them, they seemed to stay awake and spinning for 15 minutes or so. this wasn't an issue with me, but as I tend to put my Mini to sleep when not in use, the drives' sleep timers soon dropped down to 60 seconds! I tried reformatting to every possible combination of partition scheme and format, hoping something would reset the sleep behavior. Nothing worked, until I saw this thread. I was able to get a hold of Parallels and XP so I could install the Free Agent Tools for Windows, where the drive sleep timer is able to be set. Both drives did not show up available to the tool until I went into Windows' Device Manager and reinitialized the USB Host driver. Then they popped up in Drive Manager (Seagate) and I set the sleep timer to "Never". Backed out of XP and Parallels, and the drives behave. Finally. And, an added bonus, when the Mini sleeps, the drives sleep, but when the Mini wakes, the drives come back online and stay up. This is exactly the behavior I was looking for. I have to agree that while under normal circumstances, the option to change a sleep timer is not needed - if the drive stayed at 15 minute sleep interval, I probably wouldn't have minded. However, these drives don't function as normal out of the box for Mac users! It is a simple oversight on the part of Seagate not to have included the sleep timer adjustment for the Mac Drive Manager software. I hope they rectify this in the future. As the normal functionality is suspect without it, the need quickly becomes apparent. Seagate should thank us Mac users for doing their testing - and update the software! Anyway, big thanks to the original poster for a successful (so far) method of fixing this out-of-control drive behavior.
No problem, mok, you're welcome. I somehow had the impression that I would not be the only one getting this error.
Some updates: The drives work fine if I leave them connected to my MacBook, but when I disconnect and reconnenct them (as it happens quite often with a notebook), they sometimes fall back to sleeping after 60 seconds, and I have to set the sleep timer again with Parallels / Windows. This works every time, but is a bit annoying as starting the virtual machine is time consuming.
It would be very nice if the Seagate engineers could look into this. As I am very interested in a solution to this problem, I would gladly provide more information if needed.
I've been having the same problem with two FreeAgent Pro 750gb drives on my MacBook Pro. They were spinning down at roughly 15 minutes or so, which I thought was too soon. I tried the System Preferences: no effect. I tried SpindownHD in the CHUD tools: didn't even see the drives.
I was under the impression that the Seagate software for OS X would control the spin-down time, so I installed it.
Once I installed it, then I started getting spin-downs of 30 seconds. Completely unacceptable. So I removed the DriveManager application and all the extensions, launch agents, etc., updated my boot cache, and rebooted -- wiped it clean of the Seagate software. Still spinning down in 30 seconds.
I'm going to have to go the Parallels/XP route, but that's a major undertaking for me, because I've got both drives connected in a Firewire daisy chain. In order to access the drives at a physical layer in XP in a virtual machine, I have to connect them via USB, which means swapping out the interface plates, cables, etc., and doing them one at a time, as I am out of USB ports.
I appreciate that you're forwarding this to the engineering team, so please drive home how crucial this feature is. I am a software engineer myself, and as a Mac user, I can tell you the lack of support for spin-down in OS X is likely either poor project management (Was Mac an afterthought?) or sloppy programming. It could be coded and tested in less than a week. To ask Mac users to boot into Windows under Parallels (and in my case switch out interfaces from Firewire to USB) just to hack the spin-down time is completely unacceptable.
We are tired, collectively, of having to use a secondary operating system to bootstrap a more superior one. As Skybala said, if you claim Mac support, you should support it fully and equally. When you consider that OS X provides an interface to programmers and end users for setting disk spin-down times, it becomes even more infuriating to see it not supported by Seagate.
This is beyond merely annoying. It's enough to make me reconsider my loyalty to Seagate drives in the future.
My brand new FreeAgent Desktop is also used with a mac and also spins down after 30 seconds! It's *unbelieveable*! I cannot use the disc to work or play or whatever is possible to do with a drive! What is the point to provide a mac version of the Drive Manager if this absolutely essential function hasn't been integrated? I bought a Seagate drive because I'm trusting the brand but this situation is not only disapointing: it's shamefull.
I really hope that Seagate will open it's eyes ASAP and provide a solution ASAP for intel AND ppc.