Is start/stop better than just letting the drive stay on?

Windows 7 64-bit

I have an internal HDD that I use as a backup, so it is not used very often. I am using Hard Drive Sentinal to control the APM settings for the drive, so I can allow it to go into standby. Even though the drive is newly formatted and empty (haven't got my backup setup yet), it still periodically spins up. I'm not sure what is accessing it, but I noticed it does it when I open up Computer to see all my drives. Maybe Windows is accessing it to check the size, etc?

Anyways, is the periodic start/stop (spin-up/spin-down) better or worse than just letting the drive run all the time? In terms of drive health/how long it will last...

Or, maybe someone can let me know what might be accessing the drive and how to eliminate it from spinning up unless a program (eg backup program) accesses it? Drive indexing is off. Not sure what else to do, though. At first I was considering wiring in an external power switch for the drive, but was hoping HDSentinal would solve my problem...now it is looking like the power switch is back on the table; I don't like hearing the drive spinning up every once in a while for no reason.
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  1. What kind of hard drive is it? Some drives are designed to spin up and down. Not sure though if forceing a drive that wasn't designed to do that is a good choice though.
  2. nachamiyahu said:
    What kind of hard drive is it? Some drives are designed to spin up and down. Not sure though if forceing a drive that wasn't designed to do that is a good choice though.


    The drive is a Seagate ST3000DM001. I would think that if a drive was not designed to go into standby, then Seagate wouldn't define the APM levels to do so. The APM levels (0-255) are all defined by the drive manufacturer.

    Anyways, its not like the drive spins up/down every 5 minutes. Maybe once an hour? I'll have to keep track of it. I definitely notice it spinning up when I access Computer...its as if Windows if figuring how much space is available on the drive to display. Or when I go to save a file and the save file dialog box pops up, the drive will spin up (I guess this kind of like accessing Computer). This kind of behavior might be unavoidable, though.
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