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Getting External Hard Drives to Sleep/Spin-down

by PhilippeLemay / November 6, 2012 11:09 AM PST

Quick run down of my setup before I get to my question.

Boot Drive: 128GB SSD
Media Drive: 2TB internal HDD
1st Backup: 3TB external HDD
2nd Backup: 3TB external HDD

I keep most of my stuff on the external now, really only leaving stuff I regularly listen to /watch on the internal drives. I'm using SyncToy 2.1 to mirror one drive onto the other, I would have liked to triple save it with a third 3TB, but with my budget two will have to do for now. My question is whether or not I can have the external drives stop spinning while plugged in. I know that in the Power Options I can set the hard drive to turn off after a while, but I think that's just for when the whole computer goes to sleep. I've been running Folding at Home continuously for over a month now, and I'd like to keep doing that so sleeping isn't an option for me anymore. But I worry that these external 3TB drives are kind of cheap (I got them each for around 115$ - 120$), so... when not using them I'd like them to just go to sleep. I'm not an expert on this, but I imagine less strain and heat will help them last longer.

I looked in Disk Management but all I'm really seeing here is ways of formatting the drives (which is certainly not what I want to do). I figured I could just unplug them and replug them when needed, but I know that doing that excessively can wear out the ports, which could just as easily kill my ability to use the drives. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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The hinter lands.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 7, 2012 4:03 AM PST

While I read what you want, I've seen this area to be a little out of sight for the makers of the PCs and more. That is, I found no maker or OS writer to get the band to play in unison.

I've had such drives last for so long with then spinning that what happens is they become too small over time. My original 200MB external still worked but with a 1GB USB stick hitting you know a Happy Meal price, it had to go.

Good luck in getting the industry to play along.

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Short answer no?
by PhilippeLemay / November 8, 2012 11:50 AM PST
In reply to: The hinter lands.

So... short answer no, there's no way?

Shame. Thanks for answering at least. The other tech-help forums I asked seem to have ignored my question.

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Sadly it's hit or miss.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 8, 2012 12:55 PM PST
In reply to: Short answer no?

It may or may not work. And no one seems to respond about it. At least the drives under normal temperatures and such should spin for 5 or more years. Spinning down from what I see (at the office we have some embedded recorders with HDDs) had no effect on aging.

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