Taking USB HDDs off line?

Roon Core Machine:

Late 2014 Apple Mac mini
Big Sur 11.6
2.6Ghz. Intel dual-core I5
1TB internal SSD
6TB USB external data drive

Networking Gear & Setup Details

N/A this issue does not involve networking

Connected Audio Devices

6TB USB library drive
Emotiva Big Ego+ USB DAC

Number of Tracks in Library


Description of Issue

I normally run my Mac mini headless from my iPad mini with Roon Remote. Both the Roon software and the Roon Remote software are updated to the latest versions. When I finish a listening session, I normally just shut off the iPad, and leave Roon running on the Mac mini. So the next time I want to listen to music, I need only pick up the iPad, open Roon Remote, and I’m in business.

The problem I have is that even when I’m not listening to music, the USB HDD is spinning and the heads are clicking. I realize that the “normal” fix for this would be to open the OS on the Mac mini, close Roon, and eject the USB HDD. But that means that when I want to hear music again, I have to wake up the Mac mini, power up the HDD & let it be recognized by the OS, start Roon again and let it identify the library disc, and then power up the iPad and start Roon Remote. This sequence is a PITA.

Is there any way to automagically turn off the external USB library disc when Roon isn’t using it, and then have Roon spin it up again when Roon Remote reconnects? That external drive runs HOT, and I’m sure that the heat can’t be good for the service life of the drive. Whatever is causing the drive heads to click (and lights flicker) while I’m not using Roon means that at least something in the computer is calling on the external drive at about one second intervals.

Open for suggestions! Thanks - Glenn Young

This is an operating system problem and is not solved at the application program level. We have some experts here in the community. Until then, I can only recommend Google:


1 Like

You might try disabling the storage location and see if that lets the drives spin down. Then when you can enable later. Keep in mind, that Roon will re-scan when you re-enable the storage location.

This could probably be done using Better Touch Tool. It wouldn’t be automagical, but you could write an AppleScript on your Mac that could close down Roon Server and eject the hard drive if Roon Server is running, and vice versa if not. You could then run the script using BTT Remote, the companion app for iOS. Alternatively, you could produce a simpler script to just unmount the drive. So not quite automagical, but probably easier than logging in to the mini.

All that said, I’d also check the health status of your drive if it’s running especially hot. I use DriveDX to keep an eye on my external drives, and an especially close one on my main music drive.

Hey @Glenn_Young,

Thanks for taking a moment to share a little about the way you use Roon and what would make your experience even better.

As it was mentioned, there is no way to have Roon automatically turn on your HDD when you’re picking up your iPad. It’s great to see the community chiming in and sharing possible solutions.

Is any of them viable in your case? :nerd_face: