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Best time setting for putting a hard drive to sleep.

I have a powerhouse desktop that is doing nothing except number crunching (SETI@Home) that rarely uses the hard drives.

I set the drives to spin down at 10 minutes, but it seems now like I hear them spinning up (or down) more often.

Does keeping the drive spun down prolong its life?

Does spinning up and spinning down shorten its life?


What is the best time for spinning down a hard disk?
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More about best time setting putting hard drive sleep
  1. Why do you think the hard drive isn't going to be used? Presumably things need to be paged out to the hard drive if you're doing a fail number of calculations. How much ram do you have? What memory consumption are you seeing?

    Argubly yes keeping the drive spun down will prolong it's life. However constantly moving states for long period of time will probably be detrimental.
  2. Rusting In Peace said:
    Why do you think the hard drive isn't going to be used? Presumably things need to be paged out to the hard drive if you're doing a fail number of calculations. How much ram do you have? What memory consumption are you seeing?

    Argubly yes keeping the drive spun down will prolong it's life. However constantly moving states for long period of time will probably be detrimental.


    I have 4GB and rarely does it go over 25%
  3. Which OS are you running?
  4. Rusting In Peace said:
    Which OS are you running?


    Windows 7
  5. > Does keeping the drive spun down prolong its life?

    Yes


    > Does spinning up and spinning down shorten its life?

    Yes


    > What is the best time for spinning down a hard disk?

    Well, that depends. First of all, I wouldn't get too hung up regarding the life expectancy implications - hard drives are designed for hundreds of thousands of load/unload cycles. For example, Western Digital Caviar Black and Green drives are rated at 300,000 load/unload cycles. That means your drive should last for 10 years even if it spins down and then back up again 80 times per day.

    The basic answer to this question is that the disk timeout is a trade-off between how much power you want to conserve vs. how sensitive you are to delays caused by the system having to wait for the disk to spin back up again. If you want to conserve the maximum amount of power then you set the timeout to a shorter value, but at the cost of having to wait more often for the drive to spin up again after a timeout. For a desktop system power is usually not at a premium and so a longer timeout is usually preferred. For a laptop power is usually more of an issue and so the timeout is usually set to a shorter value.

    I have the disk timeout set to 2 hours on my desktop system.
  6. The default for High Performance in Windows 7 is 20 minutes.
  7. Best answer
    Do you have services like indexing disabled? These will spin up the hard drive.
  8. I have turned off indexing services. I will see what happens.
  9. While not a scientific answer, I don't hear the spin up spin down that I used to, so I think Indexing Services was to blame. Thanks.
  10. Best answer selected by sadena.
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