Is it necessary to eject an external drive before sleeping?

external-diskhard drivesleep-wake

I have a question similar to a previous one about ejecting before shutting down.

Is it necessary or recommended practice to eject external drives before putting a Mac to sleep, whether it be via an explicit sleep command (e.g., from the Apple menu or other equivalent means), if Energy Saver puts the Mac to sleep, or the closing of a lid on a laptop Mac?

Edit: To add a clarifying point, I do not plan to physically disconnect the drive before waking the Mac from sleep?

Best Answer

It's neither necessary nor recommended (at least from what I've read).

When you put the Mac to sleep, it will try and also put the external drive to sleep, thus parking its heads and turning off the drives. It won't eject it, however, so you can use it as soon as you wake your Mac again without having to mount it.

The benefit is that you don't have to worry about mounting it, as in most cases this would involve turning the drive off and on again, reconnecting the plug, or using diskutil from a Terminal—quite time consuming. Since I use my drive for Time Machine, I don't want to have to think about connecting it every time I wake my Mac.

The only downside I see is that you could accidentally plug the drive out. In that case, the Mac will wake up, and show you the error about a drive being disconnected without properly ejecting it. Since all data is written to the drive before going to sleep, this shouldn't cause any data loss though.

All in all, it's much more comfortable to just keep the drive mounted.