Powersave settings and data recovery

If your system is configured to aggressively save power, this may interfere with data recovery processes. Actually, powersaving may interfere with any long-running process, but we are interested in data recovery here. There are three types of issues,

  1. Screensavers and display shutoff. Here, it is waking up which may be a problem. Some people use spacebar to wake the system up. Data recovery software during scan tends to react by, well, canceling the scan. This is because Cancel is often the default active button and it is activated by pressing spacebar.
  2. Hard drive idle timers and spindown. Idle timers are rarely an issue because the hard drives involved in a data recovery do not idle. However, it is when you start the scan when the problem might appear. After a long idle, the drive you intend to recover may be spun down, and it needs time to spin up. The rotational drive takes several seconds to spin up, which is longer than typical timeout, and first access to the drive may result in a falsely detected bad block. This only applies to rotational drives. SSDs require no time to transition between idle and active states.
  3. System-wide standby or hibernation. Albeit rare, there are configurations which shut down the entire system including spindown of all drives of there is no user activity. This messes up recoveries bigtime, because system-wide standby forces all drives to close and resuming is far from trivial. Such aggressive power-saving policies are to be avoided.

Although both ZAR and Klennet tools take steps to prevent systemwide shutdowns (as of today), you may still want to review your powersave settings before starting the recovery.

Created Monday, April 3, 2017

Updated 21 May 2018