If you own an external Western Digital drive like myself, you may have noticed that the drive has a built-in sleep function that spins down the drive if not used in a 10 minute time period. This feature is really annoying to me. Every time I attempted to access a file on my external, Finder would hang until the drive spun back up.

Here’s a quick and dirty solution.

Create a script that touches a hidden file every 5 minutes. I added the script to my crontab, which I talked about HERE.

I created a file called mybook_keepalive.sh and added the following script.

#!/bin/bash
# Prevent your hard drive from going to sleep 

wdMyBook=$(/sbin/mount | grep -i mybook | /usr/bin/wc -c)

if [ $wdMyBook -gt 0 ]
then
    touch /Volumes/MyBook/.hiddenfile
fi
$ crontab -l
*/5 * * * * /Users/tommye/mybook_keepalive.sh

It basically looks for a drive called MyBook, if it exists, touch a hidden file on the drive. The -gt is equivalent to greater than. This script can be applied to any drive, not just MyBook. All you need to do is change the directory path and grep option. It’s a pretty basic script.

Note: Don’t forget to apply executable permissions.

$ chmod +x mybook_keepalive.sh

I personally have a 6TB (two 3TB drives) drive configured with a Raid 1, so if any drive were to fail, the other will take over without any data loss.