So here is my latest bug report to Apple.
I post it here because I do not expect a response from them, maybe one of my readers has an idea if there is a simple solution.
My hard drives connected to Apple equipment are wearing out faster than they need to.
When I have external hard drives connected to my mac via FireWire, I like to let them spin down to reduce noise and energy usage, however every single time I do something like go to save a file, all of the drives spin up, one by one. All activity on the machine is blocked during this and is very frustrating, specially when I did not need to access any of the external drives. It makes more sense IMHO to only spin up a drive if it is actually selected (in the Open/Save dialog).
This problem is causing unnecessary delays in the system and extra wear and tear on the drives.
To try to mitigate this problem, I moved one of my external drives to the USB connection on my TimeCapsule. Now another issues rises.
With the external TimeCapsule drive unmounted, every time the TimeCapsule is accessed via a computer on my network to perform a backup, the external drive spins up, then immediately spins down again!!
This is completely pointless and causes even more noise, delays and wear on the drive.