This is not a paid service. You should not expect spot-on solutions to a problem.
You are not the first one to have their problem go unresolved. I , too, have asked questions that went unresolved. I did not complain to anyone that offered advice, even when their advice did not resolve my issue – and some advice was out of left field, and some advice would have caused more problems.
It was up to me to accept and reject advice, without jumping on anyone.
Yes, it is frustrating to have an issue go unresolved. But it is no one else’s fault. It could be that no one here has a solution for you.
I offered what I think might be your issue:
You dismissed it:
I waited to see if someone else, or you, would find a solution.
But now that you are getting uppity about it, I will point out that your dismissal of your drive powering down is possibly in error.
You did not perform a test to confirm, matter of factly, that your drive’s platters are not powering down. You are relying on a setting, and not on confirmation of that setting’s reliability.
To know, without a doubt, that your drive is not sleeping, you need to run a test to confirm that it is not sleeping. You need to confirm that your drive’s platters have not gone to sleep.
Shut down Chia. Wait for 30+ minutes, to give your drive a chance to sleep (even though you believe it will not sleep).
Then start a large file copy (like a plot), and see if the copy starts on the first second, or if it waits a few seconds for the drive to spin up. If the room is quiet, and you are close to the drive, you will hear it spin up.
I suggested a large file copy (like a plot), to eliminate that the file is in your RAM cache. You want to be sure that your file copy must read from the drive’s platters.
I suggested that you shut down Chia for this test, because you do not want anything running that will access the drive you are testing. You want to confirm that when nothing is accessing the drive, that it does not sleep.
Late Chia challenge responses are typically due to your hard drive not reading plot info on time. That points to your drive sleeping, regardless of your settings.