Computer Guru's, Does my external Hard Drive go to sleep if its still blinking?

I  now own a Lumin X1 streamer/dac.
I have a 8TB Hard Drive connected to it. The Lumin is set to go to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity.
But, though the Lumin appears to go to sleep the external hard drive continues to blink.

Does this mean the hard drive never goes to sleep? Or should I manually shut down the hard drive when not is use?

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Looks like the HD is still up and running. You should check the X1 documentation to see if there needs to be some configuration done on the X1 or external HD to allow the X1 to put the HD to sleep. Or better yet contact Lumin, they are active on AudioShark and ComputerAudiophile web sites. The Lumin guy responding on the forums will give you the best answer. I think I posted his name on A’gon a few months ago.
yyzsantabarbara Thanks, I did contact the dealer and he said the hard drive would stay on but that he has his attached now for years with no problems.
Still , I am concerned about the hard drive. I have a heck of a lot of music on it.  (But I do have everything backed up on a couple identical hard drives).

I'll try the Audioshark web site too!

If backed up, then no worries. I've had hundreds of 7200rpm drives running 24/7 for over 5 years with maybe 3 failures. Also scores of 15k SCSI on 24/7 with 3 failures.
noromance, thanks,

When I touch  the hard drive after the Lumin has been off for hours, the hard drive doesn't seem to be warm.

Do you think the HD internal disc keeps on spinning?

The hard disk "enclosure" LED will usually stay on or blink to indicate it is receiving power although the drive itself may have been spun down. You might want to check the enclosure manual to see if they have anything listed for the LED as a status indicator.

It sounds like you're worried about the drives spinning down and then locking up or crashing when they spin up, if this happens often and the drive starts to age (or is relatively new and untested). I'd definitely recommend having a backup of the music. Using a NAS with RAID is another option that would be statistically safer. You could also consider using SSD drives.
Can you "feel" the vibrations between when you know it’s running and when you think it’s off?
You could use a makeshift stethoscope from tubing... or get one of these or even cheaper.

I should add the breakdown maxim: It's not if, it's when.
Thank you. I thought about a raid system. But I like just being able to plug the hard drive in to the back of the Lumin. Just simple and easy, to this computer challenged old man.


You know while the Lumin is running I can feel vibrations in the hard drive. I actually placed some f-Q2 under it.

I'm going to check if the hard drive still vibrates when the Lumin is in sleep mode. Good idea!
If it doesn't, does that mean what nekopaudio stated that it may just be indicating it is receiving power?

Ok, when the Lumin went into sleep mode the hard drive was not vibrating.
So, does that mean it is ok to leave the hard drive connected full time?

Look OP, hard drives will last a LOT of hours working a 24/7 365 duty cycle for 5 plus years. A lot of the better drives have more than one safety feature. Notebooks actually stop spinning and go to sleep if that is what you want.  Some PARK the heads off the platters, other do all three, park the head, dump the buffer, and spin down for transport. The head won't hit the platters, while bumping the drive around.

As far a backup, the best is not another hard drive, it is not a tape drive, it would be a non magnetic drive, like a CDR, why? Magnetic fields won't wipe you stuff, FOREVER. Vinyl, CD and music rolls for the old players
will survive. All my music files are backed up on CDRs. I have 3 or 4 Memory card backups and an external HD too. You have to be careful with certain valve amps and speakers being close to your computer HDs. A lot of stereo speakers aren't shielded. BIG magnets, and hard drives don't mix...CDRs could give a hoot, ay?

What I have noticed is that when the Lumin is powered off manually the hard drive light goes off completely even though it is still plugged into AC.

So, when the Lumin is in sleep mode the hard drive light blinks which is telling me it is the usb connection to the Lumin that makes the hard drive still appear active.

If the hard drive blinking light is just a blinking light showing connection that might be ok. But I don't know, that is why I am asking the question.
I guess I do not want the hard to be running 24/7 for chance of early failure.

Thank you oldhvymec,
I have about 4TB of high rez music on the 8TB hard drive. It would be impossible to copy that much info and in HR on a CDR.

@ozzy I think the only way to be sure what the blinking LED means is to find out from the enclosure manual or manufacturer. Sometimes it means data is being read/written, but it could mean sleep mode with the drives spun down. The LED might also be multi-color, to indicate the differences.

You should still maintain a backup somewhere for safety.
Its a Western Digital drive. I have tried to contact them, no luck.
I do have 2 additional back ups but it would be nice to know if I need to deplug when not in use.

@ozzy seems like unplugging and plugging back in for playback sessions would be the same as spinning down and spinning up for playback sessions, and therefore not reduce any risk if your concern is with mechanical degradation causing a failure. Keeping the disk spinning non-stop is the way to avoid that (only to suddenly be surprised by a head crash the first time you spin down and back up).

Unless what you're seeing is that even when the Lumin is sleeping, the hard disk is constantly spinning down and up again.

I guess I probably wouldn't worry about it too much, especially if you have a backup. I'm not sure there is any hard data on what sort of sleep/idle vs. spin duty cycle is optimal but hard drive controllers and disks should handle music playing activity cycles very well. Also don't let it get too hot.
Thank you. I think for the night I will unplug the hard drive. Just to be safe.

Ozzy, you're imagining a problem where one doesn't exist.  You've backed up your data and you've backed up your backup, so stop worrying about whether the light is on.  If the light really bothers you -- put some dark tape over it.
It’s not the light, its whether or not it shortens the hard drive lifespan.
The hard drive costs close to $200. And, though I have other back ups, if one of them needs to be put into action, I would need to buy another HD and copy the files for back up duty. (which takes quite some time). After all I have 4TB+ of HR music on a 8TB HD.


Whether it runs 24/7/365 or you turn it on and off daily won't make a statistical difference regarding hard drive failure.  Hard drives are robust, but they will eventually fail.  There's a plethora of software that diagnoses and monitors your hard drive's health.  Every now and then run a test on your hard drive.  It may actually prevent or at least warn you of problems.  As long as you have have multiple backups you should be okay.  BTW, it takes less than a day to transfer 4Tb from drive to drive.  Good luck.
Thanks for your information.

The rule with back up was... Back up as often as your NOT willing to lose data. You have two current backups, and a working copy? I'd say if you add a new 100.00 backup every two years.  You'd be only two years at the oldest. Maybe close to 1/3 life of the drive spec. That is pretty bullet proof, if you need ALL the data. 4T of music files, Thats a lot of music..

If the grid went down, could you still play the music?  I've got a working Victrola and plenty of 78s.  What do you think? Say a nasty Solar Flare.   Could you still play music? All the digital stuff gets smoked.

WE'RE civilized man, we have music... WE WILL SURVIVE..

Just no, Yoko Ono.  ;-)

I ended up installing an inline switch on the hard drive power cord. I switch the drive off when it is not in use.