pros/cons of putting hard disk(s) to sleep

Wade Preston Shearer lists at
Sun Dec 31 08:54:06 MST 2006

What is the opinion of those on the list of putting hard disk(s) to  
sleep when not in use? The obvious benefit is saving power, but I am  
more concerned about performance and longevity then I am saving a few  
volts. It is my understanding (and it makes sense to me) that leaving  
a workstation on (idling, of course) is much better for it than  
turning it on and off. Is this true for hard drives? Is it more wear  
and tear and on them to spin up and down then it is to spin constantly?

I am thinking that the answer probably isn't black and white. For  
example, if you only access the hard drive once a week, then it's  
probably better to let it spin down. But, if you are accessing it  
every hour, then it seems like leaving it spinning makes more sense.  
Where is the tipping point? Thoughts?


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