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Alfred waiting for external disk to spin up

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I added a couple of my external hard drives to Alfred's search scope, but now he gets stuck whenever I perform a file search while he waits for the disk to spin up. Given that OS X indexes all this stuff, why does the disk need to spin up at all? Alfred's not trying to access anything on the drive is he?

 

Occasionally Alfred even gets stuck when I'm not performing a file search. Simply attempting to type a keyword can be enough to cause the drive to spin up and Alfred to stall until it has finished doing so.

 

EDIT: I removed the disks from Alfred's default scope and added a workflow with a file filter to search them directly. Even without the disks being in Alfred's search scope invoking Alfred and attempting to fire off a keyword is sometimes enough to cause an external to spin up and Alfred to beach ball.

Edited by Subject22

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I added a couple of my external hard drives to Alfred's search scope, but now he gets stuck whenever I perform a file search while he waits for the disk to spin up. Given that OS X indexes all this stuff, why does the disk need to spin up at all? Alfred's not trying to access anything on the drive is he?

 

Occasionally Alfred even gets stuck when I'm not performing a file search. Simply attempting to type a keyword can be enough to cause the drive to spin up and Alfred to stall until it has finished doing so.

 

EDIT: I removed the disks from Alfred's default scope and added a workflow with a file filter to search them directly. Even without the disks being in Alfred's search scope invoking Alfred and attempting to fire off a keyword is sometimes enough to cause an external to spin up and Alfred to beach ball.

 

You may find this is caused by the eject keywords and outside of Alfred's control - try disabling the eject keywords in Alfred's features > system prefs.

 

If this is the case, try changing the eject scope to "Mounts in /Volumes" instead of the other two.

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I disabled the eject keywords, added the drives to Alfred's default search scope again, waited for the drives to spin down, and found that running a file search caused Alfred to beach ball while the drives spun up. I then removed them from the default scope, waited for the drives to spin down again, and ran my file filter workflow again. This caused the drives to spin up and Alfred to beach ball again. Is this expected behaviour? No drama if it is, I'll learn to live with it :-)

Edited by Subject22

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I disabled the eject keywords, added the drives to Alfred's default search scope again, waited for the drives to spin down, and found that running a file search caused Alfred to beach ball while the drives spun up. I then removed them from the default scope, waited for the drives to spin down again, and ran my file filter workflow again. This caused the drives to spin up and Alfred to beach ball again. Is this expected behaviour? No drama if it is, I'll learn to live with it :-)

 

Alfred isn't doing anything actively to spin your drives up, so there must be a roll-on effect happening somewhere (e.g. metadata query). You could always try restarting Alfred once the drives are connected to just see if there is different behaviour?

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Did you ever resolve this issue?  I am having the same problem 2 years later.  Alfred doesn't respond until my external hard drive has spun up.

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I've been at it several times, unchecked the "eject" option in Preferences and selected the suggest option below. There are no external drives in the search scope, but they are still spinning up every time I launch Alfred. Any other ideas? Thanks.

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22 hours ago, Stratocumulus said:

I've been at it several times, unchecked the "eject" option in Preferences and selected the suggest option below. There are no external drives in the search scope, but they are still spinning up every time I launch Alfred. Any other ideas? Thanks.

 

Do you have any file search workflows that may be triggering as soon as you type one or two characters? As Andrew stated in his post from 2013, Alfred won't actively do anything to cause your drives to spin up, so either a workflow or inclusion in a search scope may be at the source of this.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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The only workflow I have is setting Sound Output via AppleScript with a few keyboard strokes, nothing search-related. The script only does this:

on alfred_script(q)

set asrc to "Focal XS Book Wireless" as text

-- display dialog "src is: " & asrc

display notification with title "Focal Wireless"

tell application "System Preferences"
	reveal anchor "output" of pane id "com.apple.preference.sound"
	activate
	
	tell application "System Events"
		tell process "System Preferences"
			select (row 1 of table 1 of scroll area 1 of tab group 1 of window "Sound" whose value of text field 1 is asrc)
		end tell
	end tell
	
	quit
end tell

end alfred_script

I'm using pretty much a vanilla install of Alfred and haven't done anything really fancy with it yet.

Edited by Stratocumulus

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1 hour ago, Stratocumulus said:

I'm using pretty much a vanilla install of Alfred and haven't done anything really fancy with it yet.

 

Do you or could you have any soft / hard filesystem links to the external drive which is making Alfred's default search scope include the external drive? This will make OS X spin up the drive as it thinks you want to include it in a file search.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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Not that I know of.

 

I have two drives, A & C, attached via Thunderbolt. Each is divided into two partitions, A1, A2, C1, C2. In Spotlight Preferences I have excluded volumes A1 & C1 (A1 is data I never need to search, C1 is a Time Machine volume). I could try excluding the other volumes, but I don't know how it could help — in Alfred I only have "Preferences" and "Contacts" ticked in the Essentials category, and nothing in the Extras.

 

The only other "system" link to the external volumes is the iTunes Media Folder which resides on A2, but it is not symlinked, it's just the "iTunes Media folder location" in iTunes. The library itself (.itl etc) is on the internal drive. And anyway this problem happens even when iTunes isn't running.

 

I've even clicked the "Reset" on the search scope just to make sure, although it didn't modify anything in the list.

 

Can't think of anything else.

Edited by Stratocumulus

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@Stratocumulus If you have a moment, could you try temporarily creating a new user on your Mac. Log out of your primary account and in as the second user.

 

Run Alfred (disable the Eject features just in case) and see if you experience the same issue?

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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I've created another user but, as things happen, I forgot to switch... So I had one more go with my regular account after changing the following settings in System Preferences : Energy Saver : Turn display off after "never" & Security and Privacy : disabled "required password" after sleep. I then left the computer idle for an hour or so. Came back, the disks weren't spinning, launch Alfred and everything was fine, no spin-ups or anything when launching applications.

 

So either (1) creating a second user magically fixed things (not likely) or (2) the spin-up only happens in real-world scenarios (i.e. in the middle of work with a dozen apps running) which would be very difficult to diagnose. 

 

Is there a log file or something I could look at which updates whenever Alfred is launched?

 

Thanks a lot for your ongoing support.

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Alfred isn't logging information like this, in fact, the disks spinning up is essentially invisible as far as Alfred is concerned. This may be logged by OS X though, if it is, it would be in Console.app.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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