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Storing Project files on external drive - dreaded spinning ball icon


T0nt0

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I read somewhere that storing Logic project files on an external drive is the best method to use - saves the computer constantly reading and writing to the system hard drive etc.

 

As a test of this set-up I have been trying this method using my Lacie external drive (see hardware specification in my signature below).

 

What I have been finding is that when I save a project file (just a small size of 115 MB) I get the dreaded spinning ball for several seconds while my computer and external drive sort themselves out.

 

I now question if this set-up is the way to go....?

 

is this what other users commonly experience ?

 

should I revert to storing project files on the system drive ? (no spinning ball)

 

Does storing project files on an external drive only work well if the external drive is a SSD.

 

It would be useful to have definitive 'sticky' somewhere which lists recommended best practices for running Logic.

 

thanks

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I’m sure the general consensus is that keeping your projects on an external drive is entirely sensible and it should work fine regardless of drive type. One thing that does spring to mind is to use Disk Utility to check the format of the external - you haven’t said whether you’re using High Sierra and the new APFS filing system (you’ll have to look into that and decide if so) but generally your drive should be formatted to Mac OS Extended. If it isn’t, back everything up and reformat, many drives are supplied with Windows NTFS formatting.
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keithsmith: thanks for reply. My iMac is 2018 model, running High Sierra 10.13.6. I have checked the Lacie external drive format and it is "Mac OS Extended (Journaled). I note that you have a SSD external drive. Do you think that may work better than the Lacie, which I presume is a spinning drive. No information what-so-ever on drive details on Lacie packaging or preloaded files that came with drive (that I can find).
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Ah, I'm a bit puzzled in that case, I'm afraid. I love the SSD I use because, of course, its fast but I wouldn't expect the problems you're having from a spinning drive, I still use them for backup purposes, they're just slower. Perhaps someone else may be able to add something, hopefully.
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RUN disk first aid on the external drive. try resetting the smc, and pram on your mac:

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295

 

i run all my projects from my macbook pro drive; i archive projects on an external; sometimes i'll open one of those files to make an adjustment, or do a bounce... and never have any issues.

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Unchecking the energy saver option; "put hard disks to sleep when possible" seems to have made a difference. I have not so far experienced the spinning ball icon again (touch wood). I did not reset 'smc' and 'pram'. A bit too advanced for me.
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Unchecking the energy saver option; "put hard disks to sleep when possible" seems to have made a difference. I have not so far experienced the spinning ball icon again (touch wood). I did not reset 'smc' and 'pram'. A bit too advanced for me.

 

I bought an external housing and put in a hard drive just so I can keep using a bigger hard drive.

One thing I found out is, depending on the drive type, red, blue, green, etc..., the drive itself will put itself to sleep regardless of whether you set that from MacOSX.

So what I would up doing is writing a Mac script that would sleep so many mins, then wake up, write a temp file to the drive then fall back asleep. What this does is stop the hard drive from going into sleep mode.

 

Ever since doing that, I never ran into this problem again.

 

FYI- I do stay away from prebuilt hard drive housings, I just buy the kit and stick a bare hard drive in it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So 2 weeks later and unchecking the "put hard disks to sleep when possible" box has made a positive difference.

 

I am wondering if having the hard disks spinning is an issue when I put iMac to sleep ? Should I re-check box before a sleep the computer ?

 

What do the folks do ? ...put computer to sleep or always do a full shutdown? I Googled this and there does not seem to be a general consensus about what is best.

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What do the folks do ? ...put computer to sleep or always do a full shutdown? I Googled this and there does not seem to be a general consensus about what is best.

I always shutdown at the end of the day. I think it's good to refresh the computer as often as possible. I've found that running a Mac with Logic for consecutive days gradually slows the machine down to a crawl.

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most of my collabs (and myself) only periodically shut down, or reboot. this definitely 'flushes' the ram, and is a good thing to do from time-to-time (or if/when you feel things are getting sluggish, or weird...).

 

but there's no real benefit to shutting off one's mac every night (possibly no harm either). anyway, lots of people have lots of theories about which practice is best (sleep vs shutdown), so... do what feels best.

 

one thing i would suggest; always quit logic before sleeping; here (at any rate), i have some occasional issues with audio output (set to 'system setting' in logic); just a minor annoyance.

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