Trying to reduce power consumption by turning off drives

I could use some information. I want to be able to power off hdd s when I am not useing them. I am building a new system that will hold up to 16 drives but I will only access these drive once in a whil, once every couple of months. I am wondering if there any hard drive controller cards that can manage the on/off ness of attached hdd s. I dont want to have to open the case every time I need to access one of the drives and I dont want to be using 160 watts when all I need to be using is 10 to 20 watts for the hdd s.

I hope you can follow what I am trying to do here. If not ask!

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More about trying reduce power consumption turning drives
  1. Why do you need so much storage, and if power really matters, can you use notebook drives? Notebook drives have power savings techniques so they idle at almost no power, and even flat out use less than some desktop drives use at idle. Of course, they cost more per gigabyte.
  2. What about using external eSata drives and only connecting them when you need them? Or a separate network attached storage device? Or turning an old PC into a server on a network with them? Can you reduce the number with just a few larger drives?
  3. I have tought about the esata method and I might try to create a hybride of this system. to conserve space I want the drives in the new case. If I have to canballize a nas to do it then so be it. I have talked to adaptek about this and was told that they might be working on something like this in the future.

    As for size, I am using 1tb drives now. If I where to do the network method, do I need the complete computer to make the drives work? Probebly.
  4. Concerning the notebook drives, do you have a link the the power usage? I havent been able to find any. I have measured a 3.5 and the 1tb at 8 watts actually uses 2 watts less then a 500gb at 10 watts. Go figure. I guess thier technology is improving.
  5. You can set windows to turn off the HDD after a certain period of inactivity. Also you can consider a hotswap bay for you pc. Something like this kingwin model.

    Mine uses 2 x 5.25 bays but gives me 3 hotswap HDD slots. It's also made by kingwin I just can't find it on newegg.
  6. Now that you mention it, my computer - Silverstone Kublai KLO1 has a hot swap bay although I have never used it. Here is a link to Silvestone with info on bay.
    Several of their cases come with bay installed and you can add a few additional ones.

    And here is the link to the case

    I think the Windows control only turns off all HDDs when all are inactive. PsyK - do you know of a way to be selective?

    But what would happen if you disable a drive in device manager? Would that be a way to turn one off? You might test that.
  7. Did you notice the related content links on the right - including portable storage, NAS storage, eSATA storage, and network storage?

    If he external drives are connected by eSATA then they do not need to be in a full computer system. If in NAS, then they need the hardware and software to drive that, which essentially is a "full" computer, but I have no idea what the specialized hardware and software would cost. Reusing an old computer system might be the cheapest option - it does not have to be fast, have much memory, or an optical drive just to house the HDD's and and communicate over a network - although you might have to rig it to get it to hold a lot of drives and you might have to watch the 5 volt power of the PSU - or be limited by PSU connections. Although a hot swap drive might be the easier way to go - but I have no experience with them.
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