External hard drives are exceptionally popular peripheral devices, and it is exceptionally likely that you have one attached to your system given the recommendation to use Time Machine or some similar form of full-system backup. If you have a laptop, then it is additionally likely that these external drives you use will be the smaller 2.5-inch laptop drives that can be powered off the computer's USB or FireWire bus. While convenient, sometimes these drives can end up getting exceptionally hot with use, to the point where it may hurt or even burn if you hold the drive for … Read more
In order to conserve power and extend battery life in laptops, Apple offers an option to automatically spin down hard disks when not in use. This option can be found in the Energy Saver and can be configured for different energy schemes (battery or power adapter), but is limited to having the system put the hard disk to sleep whenever possible, without many configuration options. By default this will put disks to sleep that have not been accessed for 10 minutes, and while this may work for most people, others may wish to fine-tune this behavior.
While hard drives will … Read more