hard drive power sequencer, hard drive startup sequencer

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Does anyone make a power sequencer that
    could be used to startup hard drives sequentially
    rather than all at once? I'd like to put 4 HDs
    in my PC, and I don't want to load the power
    supply with spinning up all 4 HDs at the same

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003
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  2. Dumb question, but...why?
    Hiawatha Bray, Sep 3, 2003
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  3. "Hiawatha Bray" asked:

    Why what?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003
  4. Timothy Daniels

    Overlord Guest

    I spin up 8 SCSI drives in this system. I can jumper them to spin up
    at so many seconds times the drive ID (which I don't like) or set them
    up to spin up sequentially when each gets the right signal from the
    SCSI controller at the end of the post. Don't know of anything that
    will do that with IDEs tho, sorry....

    Bait for spammers:
    Remove "spamless" to email me.
    Overlord, Sep 3, 2003
  5. Timothy Daniels

    Tom Guest

    raid 0,1 would be one reason for 4 drives

    Tom, Sep 3, 2003
  6. Timothy Daniels

    Rod Speed Guest

    No need for anything special with 4 IDE drives.

    Just use an adequate power supply.

    If the power supply isnt adequate, replacing it with a bigger
    supply would be a lot cheaper than a power sequencer.
    Rod Speed, Sep 3, 2003
  7. My Dell Dimension's PSU is rated at 200w.
    I'm worried that a voltage sag due to 4 HDs
    spooling up simultaneously might impact
    something negatively. The subject of HD
    power up sequencig came up when Barry
    O'Grady said in
    comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage on
    August 15th that he had such a sequencer.

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003

  8. That sounds like good advice, and that may be the only
    practical solution. One problem generated by that, though,
    is that Dell's motherboards and power supplies do something
    weird (I'm not sure what) with the pinout in the connector
    (and perhaps with the connector as well) to make their PSUs
    and mobos proprietary. And power sequencing has an extra
    coolness factor that I can't ignore. :)

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003

  9. OK, I see PC Power & Cooling has 275w
    and 300w Dell replacement PSUs now for $89.
    That may or may not be cost effective - the
    Dell PSUs are reputedly very underrated,
    and a 200w Dell PSU is supposedly the
    equivalent of 3rd party PSUs rated at 250W
    to 300w. If I can get a power sequencer for
    the same or less money, I'd rather go with
    with the sequencer.

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003
  10. Timothy Daniels

    Rod Speed Guest

    Mad, and they dont exist anyway.
    Rod Speed, Sep 3, 2003
  11. Timothy Daniels

    Rod Speed Guest

    Its unlikely to work, the bios will have given up on the drives.
    Rod Speed, Sep 3, 2003

  12. That's me - if they don't exist,
    look harder. :)

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003

  13. You know, that's interesting. What does the BIOS do
    while it's waiting for the Master hard drive to spool up?
    I mean, there must be a wait involved since it starts up
    immediately up application of power while the hard drive
    takes several seconds to come up to speed. There must
    be a signal from the hard drive that tells the BIOS that it
    can proceed with the boot strap loading. It would seem
    that it wouldn't be too hard to extend that wait until all the
    hard drive spool-ups have completed before proceeding.

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003
  14. Timothy Daniels

    Rolf Blom Guest

    Depends on what BIOS you are using; you should wait for IDE master/slave
    negotiations to complete. If the drives don't power up at roughly the
    same time, this negotiation fails, and you may only see a single drive
    on each IDE cable. (or none, in some odd situations)

    Powering all +5V immediately, and only delaying +12V, would likely
    result in diagnostic errors in the drives own firmware, and possibly
    cause the drive to have random lockups at boot, unless the internal
    logic is designed with power sequencing in mind.

    Ask the drive manufacturer directly, and see what they say.

    SCSI is much better at this than IDE, since SCSI drives have a motor-on
    command that lets the controller start up the drives in sequence.
    (it usually requires a drive strap setting + controller configuration)

    Rolf Blom, Sep 3, 2003
  15. IDE has that too since ATA/ATAPI-5.
    Folkert Rienstra, Sep 3, 2003
  16. Timothy Daniels

    Rod Speed Guest

    That wont exist if there is no market for the product.

    And it wouldnt work anyway, the motherboard bios will have given
    up looking for hard drives by the time the last one is powered up.
    Rod Speed, Sep 3, 2003
  17. Timothy Daniels

    Rod Speed Guest

    It basically interrogates the drive on its details. Since the
    drive is powered up and is itself waiting till the drive spins
    up, it works fine. The bios doesnt wait forever and its very
    unlikely indeed to still be polling for drives at the time that the
    last drive of the 4 has been powered up by a power sequencer.
    Yes, but the drive electronics is obviously up and it can
    take a second or so to reply to the request for its details.
    Not really. Initially the bios interrogates the drives on
    their capabilitys, as part of the AUTO config mechanism,
    and once its determined what drives are connected, then
    just reads the MBR off the drive its been told to boot off,
    identifys the partition to boot from and starts doing that etc.
    Yes, there isnt any technical reason why say you
    couldnt specify in the bios to allow say 10 secs for
    all the drives to have spun up, but few bios have that.

    Makes a hell of a lot more sense to just get a better
    power supply instead of farting around like that, and
    thats why few bios have anything like that.

    SCSI drives do have that capability, and the
    bios on the SCSI card allow for that capability.
    Rod Speed, Sep 3, 2003
  18. Timothy Daniels

    Arno Wagner Guest

    Some older IDE drives had an disable-aito-spin jumper. This
    is not quite the same as sequenced spin-up, but might serve
    as well. Unfortunatetely this jumper seems gone today.

    Arno Wagner, Sep 4, 2003
  19. Timothy Daniels

    Barry OGrady Guest

    I have a card that is used for that purpose. It connects in line with the
    power to a drive and delays the feeding of power on startup.

    Web page: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~barry.og
    Atheist, radio scanner, LIPD information.
    Voicemail/fax number +14136227640
    Barry OGrady, Sep 6, 2003

  20. There you are! OK, where did you get it? Is it still
    available? Does it work with up to 4 IDE hard drives?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 6, 2003
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