Disable Hard Drive Spin down?


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brianicoleman

ok so im having this computer annoyance and maybe you guys can help me out.

setup:

i have 3 HDD in my computer. 1 with with OS and programs, one as a media drive and 1 as a random drive. all 3 drives are internal, and not 'green' drives.

problem:

when i use them for the first time in a while (like get home from work after leaving my pc running while at work) the initial time i open a directory or file on either of my non-OS drives it has about a 2-3 second lag while opening. i feel like they are spinning down to save power or something. they run fine after the 2-3 second delay but its decently annoying. i have checked my power settings in windows 7, but its nothing set wrong in there that i saw.

any ideas?

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Jason S.

in device manager, there's the option - "allow this device to turn off to save power." maybe thats it?

the only other thing i can think of is the advanced power settings. one of the trees is for hard drives...

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AJerman

Nothing is set wrong because that's how it's supposed to be. It saves power and saves wear on the drive motor, so I'd highly suggest that you leave it enabled. As you said, it only takes 2 to 3 seconds to spin up. Anyway, I'm not on Windows 7 to look, but this option was always in the same power options as the ones that turn off your monitor after inactivity. Should be pretty easy to google and find out.

Edit: The first result on Google is even a link to a thread here: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/983350-turn-off-hdd-spin-down-windows-7/ Don't forget to search before posting!

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PGHammer

in device manager, there's the option - "allow this device to turn off to save power." maybe thats it?

the only other thing i can think of is the advanced power settings. one of the trees is for hard drives...

That is indeed where to find it (Control Panel->Power->Advanced Settings. I have a single *green* HDD (my boot drive, actually), and I have HDD spindown set to "Never".

(I have a modified High Performance powerr plan as my default, with monitor shutdown also set to "Never" - instead, I physically turn it off when away from the desktop.)

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brianicoleman

i believe i foun what i was looking for here:

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings

Change Advanced Power Settings

Then under the Hard Drives heading:  "Turn off hard disks after" setting.

awesome, thanks for they help

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threetonesun

Why would you set the hard drive spindown to "never"? This is up there with obsessing about how much free RAM you have.

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Jason S.

Why would you set the hard drive spindown to "never"? This is up there with obsessing about how much free RAM you have.

in theory, spining the hd up and down all the time puts strain on the motor. leaving it running means less power-on strain. again, in theory.

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AJerman

in theory, spining the hd up and down all the time puts strain on the motor. leaving it running means less power-on strain. again, in theory.

In more logical theory, keeping it running 24/7 puts more strain on the motor than it spinning up and down a few times a day.

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cybertimber2008

in theory, spining the hd up and down all the time puts strain on the motor. leaving it running means less power-on strain. again, in theory.

Which part of the motor is stressed by spinning up and down, in theory of course?

I mean... it's not like its turning off and on rapidly (1 minue idle turn off) which I could see causing wear and tear. After 20 minutes of idle, it's likely to assume you aren't coming back for ahwile.

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Sir Topham Hatt

in theory, spining the hd up and down all the time puts strain on the motor. leaving it running means less power-on strain. again, in theory.

But in practice. . . :p

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+PeterUK

In more logical theory, keeping it running 24/7 puts more strain on the motor than it spinning up and down a few times a day.

Spinning down doesn?t strain the motor its spinning it up that puts strain on the motor as the motor is a short from a spinning start requiring a controlled amount of high current with voltage to get it going and its this that puts strain on the motor. When the motor is up to speed very little current with voltage is needed to keep to speed in check because of momentum of the platters what then happens is you put wear on the motors ball bearings & contact brushes for running it 24/7.

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Another Canuck

There's arguments to both cases, so really, who cares. Hard drives have rated MTBFs and warranties that cover them, they're designed to handle 24/7 use and repetitive spin-up.

I'm in the same boat as the OP. The reason I disable it is because it adds lag time when I need to access a file on a sleeping hard drive.

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+ir0nw0lf

Sounds like the still ongoing age old discussion/argument over power supplies, ie. whether or not turning them on/off all the time puts more wear & tear on them. I got into some pretty heated arguments over this as long back as 15+ years ago LOL. (<-- age giveaway there)

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AJerman

The lack of patience that some of you have amazes me.

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Brandon H

[rant] no offense but "OOO a 2 second wait before i can access the files on my hard-drive"

in all honesty why are you annoyed at a TWO SECOND wait that only happens ONCE every now and then when your away from your computer for awhile?

if it was something like 20 or 30 seconds i'd understand your annoyance but a whole 2 seconds isn't all that big of deal for something like this [/rant]

sorry just had to get that off my chest as i don't see why it's being made to be such a big deal

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Another Canuck

The lack of patience that some of you have amazes me.

Sorry, but if I'm working and I constantly have to wait for my drive to spin up, it quickly becomes annoying.

I could increase the timer, but then it will rarely trigger, so what's the point? I may as well just disable it

We install SSDs in our systems, overclock our CPUs, RAID our drives, double-up our GPUs all to shave seconds or milliseconds off of daily operations. It's not impatience; we live in an instantaneous world now with expectations of how fast certain actions should take. When said actions suddenly take longer than expected - yes - it's aggravating.

You've never been frustrated at your cable box that is slow to respond? Smartphone that locks up? Etc. It's the same thing.

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mrp04

Sorry, but if I'm working and I constantly have to wait for my drive to spin up, it quickly becomes annoying.

I could increase the timer, but then it will rarely trigger, so what's the point? I may as well just disable it

We install SSDs in our systems, overclock our CPUs, RAID our drives, double-up our GPUs all to shave seconds or milliseconds off of daily operations. It's not impatience; we live in an instantaneous world now with expectations of how fast certain actions should take. When said actions suddenly takes longer than expected - yes - it's aggravating.

You've never been frustrated at your cable box that is slow to respond? Smartphone that locks up? Etc. It's the same thing.

If you're actually using the drive it shouldn't spin down. Do you leave your computer on overnight? If you do, then it's better to increase the timer instead of disabling it. If the drive really does get accessed constantly the whole time the computer is on, then you may as well disable it.

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Another Canuck

If you're actually using the drive it shouldn't spin down. Do you leave your computer on overnight? If you do, then it's better to increase the timer instead of disabling it. If the drive really does get accessed constantly the whole time the computer is on, then you may as well disable it.

I don't leave my computer on overnight, in-fact I put it to sleep whenever I leave my room for any extended period of time.

It's not that I'm accessing the drive constantly. Windows defaults to 20 minutes before putting the drive to sleep. I access my data storage drive on average every 15 to 30 minutes. So more often than not, the drive is asleep.

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+warwagon

I leave all my drives spinning to. If a drive is going to fail it will more than likely do so upon spinning back up. same goes for a lot of stuff. You always hear people say "I turned my computer off at night, and now it won't turn back on"

it's that spinning up that puts strain on the motor. So I leave all my drives on.

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AJerman
Sorry, but if I'm working and I constantly have to wait for my drive to spin up, it quickly becomes annoying. I could increase the timer, but then it will rarely trigger, so what's the point? I may as well just disable it We install SSDs in our systems, overclock our CPUs, RAID our drives, double-up our GPUs all to shave seconds or milliseconds off of daily operations. It's not impatience; we live in an instantaneous world now with expectations of how fast certain actions should take. When said actions suddenly take longer than expected - yes - it's aggravating. You've never been frustrated at your cable box that is slow to respond? Smartphone that locks up? Etc. It's the same thing.

Well, I disagree. I don't think they are at all the same. You're talking a 2-3 second delay a few times a day vs optimizing speed for something you use the entire time (faster CPU/GPU, OC, etc to make the computer run faster the entire time you use it). But hey, whatever works for you guys! If you access the drive PERFECTLY so that it just spun down 10 minutes ago and you're spinning it back up, then set the spin down time to an hour even. Best of both worlds.

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Ravensky

If I wanted patience I would have been a Dr. LOL... I know it's spelled differently ... don't troll it's a joke!

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cybertimber2008

I leave all my drives spinning to. If a drive is going to fail it will more than likely do so upon spinning back up. same goes for a lot of stuff. You always hear people say "I turned my computer off at night, and now it won't turn back on"

it's that spinning up that puts strain on the motor. So I leave all my drives on.

I had one fail while I was using it just last weekend.

That said, there are other mechanical parts besides the motor that rotates the platters... as well as other components that can fail.

Would a defragmented harddrive wear the head arm motor less? yes. Would it prolong the life of the drive? Depends if the arm is what is going to be the part that would have broken anyway.

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+warwagon

I had one fail while I was using it just last weekend.

That said, there are other mechanical parts besides the motor that rotates the platters... as well as other components that can fail.

Would a defragmented harddrive wear the head arm motor less? yes. Would it prolong the life of the drive? Depends if the arm is what is going to be the part that would have broken anyway.

Which is why I said "more than likely" and not absolute!" :)

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Edrick Smith

So wait you're saying that having the drive spin is going to dramatically shorten its life? Yet how do you think server and storage arrays work?

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+warwagon

From the google hard drive study

Power Cycles.

The power cycles indicator counts the

number of times a drive is powered up and down. In

a server-class deployment, in which drives are powered

continuously, we do not expect to reach high enough

power cycle counts to see any effects on failure rates.

Our results find that for drives aged up to two years, this

is true, there is no significant correlation between failures

and high power cycles count. But for drives 3 years

and older, higher power cycle counts can increase the

absolute failure rate by over 2%. We believe this is due

more to our population mix than to aging effects. Moreover,

this correlation could be the effect (not the cause)

of troubled machines that require many repair iterations

and thus many power cycles to be fixed.

Power-on hours

Although we do not dispute that

power-on hours might have an effect on drive lifetime,

it happens that in our deployment the age of the drive is

an excellent approximation for that parameter, given that

our drives remain powered on for most of their life time..

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      Symptom Workaround Certain operations, such as rename, that you perform on files or folders that are on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) may fail with the error, “STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)”. This occurs when you perform the operation on a CSV owner node from a process that doesn’t have administrator privilege. Do one of the following:

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      Moving on to Windows 7, the monthly rollup update is KB5001335 and you can download it manually here. It includes the following changes:

      It has the same known issue as the updates above.

      Finally, the security-only update for Windows 7 is KB5001392 and you can download it manually here. It also has the same known issue as the other updates, and includes these changes:

      As a reminder, only select users are eligible to get updates for Windows 7, since it's no longer supported for the general public. Also, as mentioned at the start, the monthly rollup updates will generally install automatically over time, but you can install them manually if you prefer. The security-only updates can only be installed manually using the links above.