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[solved] How the hell do i keep a HDD off? please help

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July 22, 2010 11:17:56 AM

i want to keep the drive off until i need to use it but windows keeps turning it on. what do i need to do?

i have a WD blue drive for my os 6400aaks and a black drive for storage 1002faex. running win vista 64 ult

i set the storage drive to turn off after 20 min and it does but windows keeps turning it back on :fou:  i can tell it is turning on because i hear it spin up, it is loud, and the system freezes for a few seconds. it mostly happens when i delete something or move some thing, tasks that have nothing to do with the storage drive. it happens other times too. i can't figure out what exactly triggers it but sending something to the recycle bin turns it on every time.

this is getting frustrating. i want to figure this out. i don't need the drive on all the time and keeping it off would lower the noise and heat of the system. that is what i want.

my only other option is to get an external adapter and manually turn the drive off. that would be a pain, cost me money and external adapters tend to fry HDD more often than keeping them in the system

would un-checking the "enable write caching on the disk" in device manager help? is there any other settings that i can change that would help keep the drive off?

any help would be great.

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a c 128 G Storage
July 22, 2010 2:45:41 PM

Couple of things you can do, none are totally simple.

Move the drive to an external case.
Get a hot-plug drive bay for your drive.

If it's pluged into the case, and on power, it will never be shut off.
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a c 361 G Storage
July 22, 2010 8:45:13 PM

You MIGHT be seeing some background automatic process like the disk indexing system that periodically reads through all the HDD's files and updates its index of files for fast finding. That can be turned off.

The other thought I have (because I did this) is: where have you put your Virtual Memory or Page File? By default Windows puts it on the C: drive where our OS is. But some people (like me) change that and tell Windows to place it on another HDD so that accessing it does not interfere (and slow down) access to user files in normal operations.

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July 22, 2010 10:31:26 PM

thanks for the help. i checked the page file and it is only on the c: drive. i also checked indexing and it was turned on. i turned it off. i hope that helps. that was some good advice. :) 

i'll update in a few days. i hope that was the problem.
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July 23, 2010 3:51:07 AM

hang-the-9 said:
Couple of things you can do, none are totally simple.

Move the drive to an external case.
Get a hot-plug drive bay for your drive.

If it's pluged into the case, and on power, it will never be shut off.



I agree here as I have half a dozen different drives with data backed up on them. Just turn on AHCI or Raid, but install the drivers before doing this in bios. Next get you a
mobile 5.25" HD tray kit, and now turn it on and off at will as needed.

I use these KINGWIN KF-813 they keep my drives good and cool, and not running when I don't need them. :D 
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July 23, 2010 4:50:50 AM

A_Real_Overclocker said:
I agree here as I have half a dozen different drives with data backed up on them. Just turn on AHCI or Raid, but install the drivers before doing this in bios. Next get you a
mobile 5.25" HD tray kit, and now turn it on and off at will as needed.

I use these KINGWIN KF-813 they keep my drives good and cool, and not running when I don't need them. :D 



i looked into that but from what i could find out, it was not easy to research, that is only possible with ESATA drives or enterprise systems. is that right? i don't want to fry a HDD but i am willing to try something that is proven to work.

my board has AHCI, gigabyte 785gm, and is supposed to be hot plug capable but from what i have found that does not mean that i can manually turn off a drive while it is attached to the computer. is that right?

i looked at the tray you recommend and it looks like all the rest. how are you able to remove the drive? do you just pull it out or do you need to turn it off with windows, like using the remove external devices dialog.

i looked at this drive cage and liked it because there is a power button for each drive. no need to remove the drive just turn it off. seems too good to be true.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if all this is possible i should be able to just unplug the drives power connector, or do these trays have some special firmware that allows the drives to be removed?

as you can see i have lots of questions and would love to find a place where i could read more on the topic but, so far, i have not found any.

thanks for the great help :)  i am hopeful that i can find a solution.
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a c 128 G Storage
July 23, 2010 1:54:42 PM

Any documentation for the cases would tell you how you can use them, if you can hot-plug them, what steps you need to do for that, etc...
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July 23, 2010 11:03:28 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Any documentation for the cases would tell you how you can use them, if you can hot-plug them, what steps you need to do for that, etc...


i wish it were that simple. i can't find any of that kind of info about that, for any of the devices i have looked at.


the good news is that turning off the indexing service has stopped the drive from turning on when i put something in the recycle bin :bounce:  i also unchecked the write cashing box but i think it was the indexing that caused the drive to spin up when i did not need it to.

now i can put some more storage drives in and not worry about my system turning into an easy bake oven

thanks for all the great help :D 
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July 24, 2010 8:45:38 AM

superhighperf said:
i wish it were that simple. i can't find any of that kind of info about that, for any of the devices i have looked at.


the good news is that turning off the indexing service has stopped the drive from turning on when i put something in the recycle bin :bounce:  i also unchecked the write cashing box but i think it was the indexing that caused the drive to spin up when i did not need it to.

now i can put some more storage drives in and not worry about my system turning into an easy bake oven

thanks for all the great help :D 


Sorry for late reply got busy at home here. Ok I think your motherboard is a amd 785 chipset, and it should support hot plugging with AHCI enabled in bios. I am more familiar with intel chipsets, but if it fully supports the hot plug and swap features of AHCI you should be fine with the Kingwin's like I use or even the one you gave the link to on newegg. All you need to use the drives is install your hard drive in the tray, install the housing into 5.25" drive slot in your case, or the one you looked at goes in place of 2 5.25" drive slots. Connect the power and sata cables from motherboard, and you are ready provided you already have AHCI enabled in your PC's system bios. To swap or just turn a drive off on the Kingwin you simply turn a key which is a switch that disconnects the drive from PC. Same thing for restarting drive back up while system is on. The Drive bay you looked at should be very close to the same function. Yes it will work while system is running hence the Hot plug name.
only problem I have had is one of my drives sometimes don't get detected when I switch it on, but I simply go to device manager and rescan the system for hardware changes then windows picks it up again. I tell this just in case it ever does this with you however the drive that it happens to with me is rather old and cranky anyways :pt1cable: 

CAUTION !!! Do not enable AHCI in system bios in a up and running os that does not have the drivers installed as you won't be able to boot back into your os. Untill you install the drivers.
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July 26, 2010 4:30:50 AM

thank you for the informative reply. i think i understand how these things work now. they do seem too good to be true but work. i would like to avoid having to use one of these devices and it looks like i don't need one.

it has been a few days now and the drive has only turned on a few times when i did not want it to. one time it was when i sent a file to the recycle bin. it only happened once and i have sent lots of files there. not sure why that time was different. the other time was when i was using NanDub/VirtualDub, a video editing program. i go to save the avi and the hard drive turned on. i think it was because the last time i use the software i was working with the storage drive. i have used the software since and it did not turn on again :sol: 

it looks like the solution was to turn off the drive indexing. if you want to keep the indexing on and keep the drive off you could create your own personal recycle bin folder. if you want to delete something you would right click on it and use the send to function to put it in that folder or just do a regular drag and drop. you would need to empty that folder periodically but it would be worth it to keep the storage drives off. you should be able to create an automatic task that would do it for you every time you turn off/on the computer, or even once a week. it is not too hard to program one of those tasks.

the indexing is not important to me because the drive is filled with large, 1-8GB, movie files and if i want to do a search it goes quick, even without indexing. if you need to search through lots of small files, indexing may be important.

thanks again you guys. i appreciate all of the great help i got here and hope that others with the same problem can find this thread. :hello: 
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a c 361 G Storage
July 26, 2010 3:55:08 PM

Glad you have found a workable improvement. You also commented on having turned off write caching, and I suggest you make sure to turn that back on.
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July 27, 2010 11:38:27 AM

i took your advice and turned the write cashing back on but it is off now. with it on the drive would turn on when i drag a file to one of my favorite links.

in vista, there is a left side bar that you can put folder shortcuts in. so that it is easy to drag and drop files. it does not have any shortcuts to the storage drive but when i would drag a file over to the favorite links bar, the storage drive would turn on. i do not even need to drop the file there, i just hover the file over any of the links and it would trigger the drive to turn on.

i don't notice any major changes with the cash off. i don't run any programs off of the drive an just use it for storage of large files.

thanks again for the help, i figured i would update about the write cashing thing ;) 
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a c 361 G Storage
July 27, 2010 3:20:57 PM

Thanks for the update. Interesting info on the behavior of the system.
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August 3, 2010 10:22:26 AM

Best answer selected by superhighperf.
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