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With a typical USB hard drive enclosure, is the full range of drive power management functionality available?

In what may be an unrelated matter: is it possible to suspend a PC without unmounting an attached USB-powered drive, and then remounting it on resume? This is the behaviour I'm currently seeing (running Ubuntu linux 10.10).

Are there certain models or brands that provide more complete control over this aspect of drive operation? My Friendly Neighbourhood Computer Store carries (part of) the Vantec Nexstar product line.

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cross-posted on Unix and Linux –  intuited Jan 2 '11 at 20:18
    
cross-posted on AskUbuntu –  intuited Jan 3 '11 at 6:36

2 Answers 2

I know this doesn't answer the question directly, but it might address [one of] the underlying concerns:

Anecdotal comparisons with my group of friends seems to indicate that some drives "wake-up" from "sleep" faster than others. Specifically, Seagate is slower than Western Digital.

P.S. What is your underlying concern? Do you want to avoid the drive going to sleep, or force it to go to sleep sooner? Or maybe wake it up?

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I'd like for it to go to sleep after a reasonable amount of idle time. What I've seen so far is that there's a choice between the extremes of something like a few seconds and an hour. –  intuited Aug 9 '11 at 1:10
  1. With a typical USB hard drive enclosure, is the full range of drive power management functionality available?

    Usually no because it's one of those things that hinder the experience more than help it in most cases. I know Western Digital has a spindown utility for their Elements series at least.

  2. is it possible to suspend a PC without unmounting an attached USB-powered drive, and then remounting it on resume?

    No, because suspending a computer, to the kernel, is basically saving the state to RAM and then giving the BIOS instructions on when to resurrect it from the dead (this is why computer enthusiasts have such a passion for comics).

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Re #2: If I suspend with a separately powered USB drive (i.e. a 3.5" drive) attached, the drive does not get unmounted unless I power-cycle the external drive while the PC is suspended. –  intuited Jan 3 '11 at 4:33
    
@intuited Hm... –  digitxp Jan 3 '11 at 21:13
    
Said behaviour was experienced with an older (circa 2005) PATA NexStar 3 enclosure and a WD Caviar SE drive of the same vintage, running Ubuntu 10.10. –  intuited Jan 4 '11 at 0:59

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