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Old 11-12-2012, 05:18 PM   #1
muskyx1
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Default Powering Off Internal HDD's With System Still Running.

Anyone ever spliced into non-system HDD power wires and connect it to an external on/off switch so they're not always powered up. My machine is on for days at time and I have two 2Tb and two 3Tb HDD's that are only for data storage. I'd like to power them off when they're not in use.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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There's a setting in Windows to do this, and I believe it's on by default, but you can check the power settings to make sure. And assuming you don't want to trust Windows to do it, it means you should be able to find a program out there that will tell the drives to spin down. They'll still be using some small amount of power so they could spin back up on command, but seems infinitely safer than what you're proposing.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings
-> Change advanced power settings
-> Hard Disk
-> Turn off hard disk after
-> select your desired time
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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Ya, as long as the platter is not spinning and heads not being accessed then what do you care?

BTW, a drive being subject to exothermal heat is a much different animal (situation) than a drive experiencing endothermal heat.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
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If you are going to create a physical switch, use it only when the computer is Off.

Given the uncontrolled in out in Internet traffic I would not take the risk to do a Hot switching when the computer is On.


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Old 11-12-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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I'd get probably buy something like this.

4 BAY HDD Hard Drive Power Switch Power Controller

Quote:
This hard drive power switch is to be installed in the 3.5" bay of your desktop PC. It can connect up to four hard drives and control the power supply of each drives. It provides great flexibility to users. For example, it allows the switch between the hard drives with different operating systems easily. Moreover, It allows users to control the power consumption of their computers and extend the lifespan of their hard disks. It has both IDE (4-pin) and SATA (15-pin) support.




In my case I currently use this since I have a lot of 2TB SATA HDDs. Just eject via windows/os x and then turn of switch.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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Is it possible that continual power cycling of HDD's is worse than leaving it powered for extended periods of time.

Quote:
C/P from another forum

Power cycling control

Shutting down and rebooting a computer or resuming it from hibernation cycles the power to the drives in the computer. The spin-up operation performed by a drive after a power cycle is believed to place more stress on the drive than running the drive continuously for a long period of time.

Based on professional experience of system administrators, it is believed that there is a direct relationship between the number of power cycles of a computer and the probability of failure of its drives**. In other words, a computer with a high uptime may have a lower probability of drive failure than one that has its power cycled routinely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonyo View Post
Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings
-> Change advanced power settings
-> Hard Disk
-> Turn off hard disk after
-> select your desired time
Is that Windows 7, I can't find "Change advanced power settings" or "Hard Disk" options.

Last edited by muskyx1; 11-12-2012 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskyx1 View Post
Is it possible that continual power cycling of HDD's is worse than leaving it powered for extended periods of time.
Yes, absolutely. Powering drives off with a physical switch seems like a really terrible idea to me. You would need to remember to unmount the filesystems before you turn off them power and then remount then when you turn the power on. Otherwise you're going to make Windows really unhappy when its drives disappear without warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muskyx1 View Post
Is that Windows 7, I can't find "Change advanced power settings" or "Hard Disk" options.
Yes, those are the correct steps for Windows 7. "Change advanced power settings" is in blue text below "Put the computer to sleep".
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:51 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=mfenn;34234257]Yes, absolutely. Powering drives off with a physical switch seems like a really terrible idea to me. You would need to remember to unmount the filesystems before you turn off them power and then remount then when you turn the power on. Otherwise you're going to make Windows really unhappy when its drives disappear without warning. [QUOTE]

I had several HDD's fail prematurely because I was using one of those adapters that convert internal drives to external.

Can I assume that the HDD power control is for all HDD's in the system.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:38 PM   #10
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It is for all HDD's whose controllers support the spin down command. SATA and eSATA drives will all work, but many USB drive controllers don't pass the spin down command through.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfenn View Post
It is for all HDD's whose controllers support the spin down command. SATA and eSATA drives will all work, but many USB drive controllers don't pass the spin down command through.
By all HDD's, I meant whether or not the main system HDD also powers down.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:43 PM   #12
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This option is in reference to hard drives that are not running the system, I believe. The hard drive that Windows is running on respond to the suspend/sleep settings.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonyo View Post
Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings
-> Change advanced power settings
-> Hard Disk
-> Turn off hard disk after
-> select your desired time
this rarely seems to do anything. windows likes to use drives for seemingly no reason.


i have a drive that doesn't always make it back on in time during a resume from sleep. windows doesn't seem to give a crap that the drive isn't there.

sometimes i accidentally eject an internal drive, which windows also doesn't seem to give a crap about. a switch would be nice at that point because then i could cycle the drive and windows would find it. remember that there is 0 difference between an eSATA drive and an SATA drive as far as windows knows.
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Last edited by ElFenix; 11-15-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #14
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Err, powering off drives has been fine since at least the introduction of SATA a decade ago, even without hotswap controllers per se. Yes, if write-caching is enabled then a drive should be dismounted/disabled first but is detected automatically again when powered back on. I've used the utility HotSwap!
for many years with trayless backplanes and more recently those having individual power switches -though again, even physical disconnection acts the same.

Windows sleep is useful but file managers are likely to inadvertently cause other drives to spin-up.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:35 PM   #15
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ElFenix, sounds like a dodgy controller and/or driver. If Intel, use Intel driver and the drives will not be presented by Windows "Safely Remove..." thus avoiding accidents. Redetecting can be done with Device Manager, devcon, or HotSwap!.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskyx1 View Post
By all HDD's, I meant whether or not the main system HDD also powers down.
Yes, the main system HDD is also subject to the spin down rules, but it is less likely to be inactive for the timeout.

Quote:
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this rarely seems to do anything. windows likes to use drives for seemingly no reason.
No, it really doesn't. Sounds like you've got some process running that is attempting to look at the drives. My storage drives can stay spun down for days at a time on my main desktop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auric View Post
Err, powering off drives has been fine since at least the introduction of SATA a decade ago, even without hotswap controllers per se. Yes, if write-caching is enabled then a drive should be dismounted/disabled first but is detected automatically again when powered back on. I've used the utility HotSwap!
for many years with trayless backplanes and more recently those having individual power switches -though again, even physical disconnection acts the same.

Windows sleep is useful but file managers are likely to inadvertently cause other drives to spin-up.
Never said that you couldn't do it. Just that it adds an extra annoying manual step before you disconnect the drive (like you've pointed out). Letting the drives spin down causes them to draw almost no power, and they can stay mounted.

Just disabling write caching is not enough to protect against data loss. Sure, it reduces the chances of having corruption, but you're still vulnerable to unplugging the drive in a middle of a write.

You have to do a full unmount before you pull the drive (that's what "safely remove hardware does" or "eject" does). Else you won't give NTFS a chance to flush quiesce all writes, file system metadata cache, and finally clear the dirty bit.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:17 PM   #17
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Purely anecdotal, but I've had hard drives running pretty much non-stop except for the odd hardware modification for a year or two and they're fine. The only times I've discovered a hard drive is a goner is when I power on a system, rather than when it's already running.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzymath10 View Post
Purely anecdotal, but I've had hard drives running pretty much non-stop except for the odd hardware modification for a year or two and they're fine. The only times I've discovered a hard drive is a goner is when I power on a system, rather than when it's already running.
Kinda like light bulbs.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:34 AM   #19
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In the old days we used a park command to park the hard drive.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfenn View Post
No, it really doesn't. Sounds like you've got some process running that is attempting to look at the drives. My storage drives can stay spun down for days at a time on my main desktop.
probably right. and to be fair, i probably haven't tried it in about 10 years.


Quote:
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ElFenix, sounds like a dodgy controller and/or driver. If Intel, use Intel driver and the drives will not be presented by Windows "Safely Remove..." thus avoiding accidents. Redetecting can be done with Device Manager, devcon, or HotSwap!.
interesting. pretty sure i used whatever the motherboard's install CD did.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Never said that you couldn't do it. Just that it adds an extra annoying manual step before you disconnect the drive (like you've pointed out).
Well it is the same procedure (two-clicks for safety) with any removable including ubiquitous thumb drives and no one complains about those.

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interesting. pretty sure i used whatever the motherboard's install CD did.
That prolly did not include a controller driver but just chipset and so the generic (likely msahci.sys) was not replaced. It is easily confirmed in Device Manager.

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Sear...e%20Technology
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:30 PM   #22
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hot switching would be bad.

let windows do it.

if windows doesnt let your harddrives sleep during inactivity, then update your motherboards bios. if your motherboards bios is new or wont update, upgrade to a better motherboard.
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