Guys, Please Take Two Minutes To Disable Sleep/Spindown On Your Wii U's External HDD!

#1
This absolutely blew my mind, and it is something every Wii U owner needs to know about. Earlier today in a Wii U thread, someone posted about an IGN page talking about a hidden menu in the Wii U settings. After searching around Nintendo's support site, and Google, I was able to find very, very little info on this menu, and no documentation. Here is how to pull it off proper.

1. Boot up your Wii U.

2. Go to settings.

3. Go to data management.

4. Press and hold down on the D-Pad for half a second.

5. While holding down down on the D-Pad, press and hold the + and - buttons and keep holding them until...

6. You see this prompt.

7. Select disable; you will be advised that this setting might consume more energy.

8. Done.

This is like the best thing ever and not the default action, and it works on any drive, even those pesky ones with no PC-side firmware controller disabling option. Now, why would you ever want to do this? Simple:

Let's say you are playing a game in where you don't save often and the drive spins down. Then, an epic cutscene comes up and the game saves before a boss and instead of doing it and moving on, the game gets delayed, possibly even choppy, while the drive is spun up again to save your game. The threshold for some drives is as little as 5 minutes too, and spinning your drive up and down like that over the course of hours for multiple times is very less than optimal.

I am assuming this works like utilities like OS X's "keepdrivespinning", which tells the computer to check for something nonexistent it doesn't need to check for ever 4 minutes, just to prevent the drive from spinning down. Why this is not pimped out on the support site and why it's a hidden menu to begin with is pure horseshit. That being said, take 2 minutes to say so long to unneeded wake-up time!
 
#10
Yeah. I think I mentioned some months ago since I had problems with my original HDD and I was trying things to see the problem (it was the HDD). Found about it on other forums. :p
 
#11
Woah...............why is this hidden?

Just did it now and my drive had it enabled......I wonder how it affected games that I have played.

Thank you for posting this.
 

Brazil

Living in the shadow of Amaz
#12
It shouldn't, it's bullshit that it is, and seeing as how Nintendo officially denounces flash drives it's even more bullshit why it is not the default setting.
I mean, is there any reason why it should be hidden? Does it cause damage to the HDD or something like that, and it's hidden so that only people who actually know their shit find the toggle?

It just sounds so bizarre. I might be willing to do it, though, despite the fact that I don't remember dealing with any problems on the default setting.
 
#13
I mean, is there any reason why it should be hidden? Does it cause damage to the HDD or something like that, and it's hidden so that only people who actually know their shit find the toggle?
Not only does it not cause any damage to the HDD, but constant, repeated spindown and start up is not optimal, might even be dangerous at times. This hidden setting is a godsend that every external USB HDD using Wii U owner needs to take advantage of, mind-blowing that it is not default or a non-hidden option.
 
#20
Can you explain this further?
No one truly knows how Wii U handles mass storage devices or how heavy the reads and writes are, also the U's USB ports are underpowered. Combine that with an official warning against their use and the fact that the flash used on these is nowhere near NAND on board grade, and you have a recepie for disaster. A lot of people have, sooner or later, lost their shit, some even here on GAF.

Don't do it, just get an HDD.
It's most likely hidden and enabled by default to reduce power consumption and increase the lifespan of the drive. Understandable.
Except no. Constantly sleeping/starting a disk will not help in increasing its lifespan, and it's obvious that the power-consumption warning speaks of bus powered disks (as opposed to ones powered by their own AC adapter, because how would the U even control THAT consumption?) connected with a y-adapter (as the U has to power them). Yes, it means it will power the disk for the duration of you using your U, without interruption; that's a negligible energy cost.
 
#27
While the option itself is very useful, saying that everyone should disable it is foolish. What if someone has their external drive only for a handful of games and mostly plays discs or stuff from internal memory? You don't want your drive spinning during any of that.

So please don't give such generalized advice, everyone should decide for themselves and their set-up.
 
#28
Nearly every Wii U game I have is digital and on an external hard drive. Not once have I ever had it go to sleep in game.

What I would like is the option to not automatically spin up the hard drive when its checking for updates. I can hear that every time it happens. It's annoyed me enough to unplug my Wii U.
 
#33
Thanks for the tip OP.

I don't have a USB harddrive connected to my Wii U as I'm trying to avoid getting games from Nintendo digitally, but I'll bookmark this thread for when I need it
 

dallow_bg

nods at old men
#34
Stop while you are ahead; you might regret it, as many have.
I like how you wrote "as many have" and yet... there's no evidence.
Absolutely nothing wrong with using USB sticks, they've been used for years and years with the Xbox 360, and plenty since Wii U launch on this board.

Everyone should be be backing up their primary storage as well.
 
#35
I really don't know what it is with Nintendo and hidden, useful menus...

Reminds me of the old Wii VC nunchuck interrupter code of A+1+Z to force compatible games to 240p over component.
 
#37
Thanks for the tip OP.

I don't have a USB harddrive connected to my Wii U as I'm trying to avoid getting games from Nintendo digitally, but I'll bookmark this thread for when I need it
As many of us are too, but you can actually use it for installs, patches, and dlc. Plus there are digital only games which you can't get any other way. :eek:
 
#41
I had a couple of errors just recently trying to download ASA (error code 160-2713), drove me insane. HDD kept disconnecting, not enough power (y-cable). I'm guessing that trick is going to fix it? If so, praise the lord.
 
#42
I had a couple of errors just recently trying to download ASA (error code 160-2713), drove me insane. HDD kept disconnecting, not enough power. I'm guessing that trick is going to fix it? If so, praise the lord.
Well if it's not getting enough power, then this probably will not help much. If you are on a bus-powered drive, make sure you have a y cable connected directly to 2 of the U's ports, not a hub, and make sure that you use a shorter cable when possible.
I like how you wrote "as many have" and yet... there's no evidence.
Absolutely nothing wrong with using USB sticks, they've been used for years and years with the Xbox 360, and plenty since Wii U launch on this board.

Everyone should be be backing up their primary storage as well.
1. Only a fool would be opposed to the idea of backing up.

2. Just because one console plays nicely with them doesn't mean the same is true for another console.

3. There is plenty of evidence.
 
#44
Ok im dumb but still dont understand what this does... explain like a kid please?
Hey Billy, you know how sometimes your father is listening to you even though he's tired from work, and means to pay attention, but dozes off if you leave for a few minutes and come back? Well, I've just discovered the secret of new Folger's mountain grow coffee. Now dear, when I give your father a cup of Folger's after work, he will not be wanting to doze off, so you can start your story, clean the dishes with me, and continue where you left off. It costs a little bit of money, but your father loves us, and wants to make sure the time spent with us has his full attention.

Or something like that, I'm watching a 50s commercials playlist right now.
 
#45
Huh so this explains why games take a bit to resume if I leave them in the Home Menu for too long... It probably explains some choppyness I got playing FE on the Gamepad today. I thought the wireless was lagging but this makes lots of sense.

Thanks for the tip!