How can i check if HD is powered down?

i recently migrated to vista 64 and would like to take advantage of the power management options so i can use an internal HD as a storage device. i have the drive set to power down after 20 min but i can't tell if it does. i don't hear a spin up when trying to access the drive after a long period of idle. it is a 650Gb WD blue drive WD6400AAKS-00A7B0.

i use Hard Disk Sentinel to monitor the drives temp and it never drops down to anything close to ambient. it stays at like 35 deg C. is that software messing with the drive powering off? is there a way for me to check if the drive is off?

i want to use the drive to archive tv shows once a week and then every other month burn to DVD, only the shows that i have 4Gb of. i am used to doing this with external USB drives and it is easy to tell when they are off. i am wondering if that is the way i should go with this drive.

any help would be great.
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More about check powered down
  1. You should be able to tell by touching the drive with your hand and feel if it vibrates. Don't touch the electronical components at the bottom of the drive, though.
  2. There's a utility called Drive Power Manager which shows the drive status (and has some power management options).
  3. i found the problem. it was the HDS software. it queried the drive every 5 min. i needed to change the time to something longer than what i had windows turn it off. so if windows turns off the drive in 20 min set the HDS to 30 min and the software will recognize that it is off and not mess with it :)

    it works great now.

    thanks for the help
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