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  Solved?-Hard Drive Spin-down Control in Win7 (and/or WinXP) 
 Date Written 
john albrich Mar 25, 2011, 12:39pm EDT Report Abuse
A few questions re: HDD spin up/down management.

Is there any way to easily and INDIVIDUALLY control which HDDs are included in spin-down power management in Win7 (and WinXP)?

(note: I would assume that spin-up would always default to occur when activity is required from a given drive)

For example, I'd like to keep the drive with the OS spun-up 100% of the time, but spin-down some (or all) of the other drives either on demand OR as part of a power management profile.

I.E. Is there perhaps a registry setting (or can one be created) that would let me say "exclude this drive from Windows HDD power management"? Then I'd create that registry entry for drive C (or HDn).

I.E. Is there a way to add to the drop-down context menu in Windows Explorer an option to spin-down a given drive? For example, I'd like to be able to right click on drive X, and click on an option that says "Spin-down Drive Now".

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Reason Mar 25, 2011, 01:11pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Hard Drive Spin-down Control in Win7 (and/or WinXP)
MS says no:

It's an issue for this XP user too:

Stuff like this bugs the crap out of me. Multi-HDD systems are not rare by any definition, and the need to manage power individually apparently *can* be done in Linux.

I'm also seriously annoyed at the inability of Win7 to move taskbar buttons correctly; for example if I'm dragging and dropping from my PC to a thumb drive and want the thumb drive window and button on the right and the PC window and button on the left, I have to move the windows because Win7 groups the Explorer windows (and IIRC there is no longer the option to check or uncheck "group similar taskbar buttons").

Why let you have the illusion of customization but you can't actually customize it? [/rant]

Ultima Ratio Regum
john albrich Mar 26, 2011, 04:48am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Hard Drive Spin-down Control in Win7 (and/or WinXP)


Thanks for the pointer to the tomshardware post. It referred to a freeware program called HDDscan (written by Artem Rubtsov)
The author of the post said it did NOT work for him...however, it DOES work for me. This may be because my individual drives support the feature. See below.
I was very surprised that I wasn't already aware of HDDscan.

I'll try it for awhile and see how things go.

In some very quick and simple tests, HDDscan DOES seem to provide for BOTH individual drive timed spin-down control AND manual spin-down control (although the manual "spin-down now" is not the single-button click like I was looking'd have to keep HDDscan running all the time and actively displaying the "Features" panel to do that).

However, for these to work, the target drive must support the "Power Management" feature. For example, in my test machine I have an ~5 year-old 250GB Western Digital drive. It apparently does NOT support either power management option as I can't even access the Features "tab" in's grayed-out...the only drive on which that happens. The test machine has a mix of SATA and PATA Samsung, Hitachi, Maxtor, Seagate, Western Digital drives from 40GB to 2TB.

Click on "Identity Info" then look at the "Power Management" parm and it must show "Supported". It apparently does not require that the drive support "Advanced Power Management". I've got a Seagate SATA drive and a Samsung SATA drive. They both support "Power Management" but the Seagate drive does NOT support "APM" but does support "Power Management". Both the Samsung and Seagate drives respond as expected to both the time and manual spin-down controls.

You go to the "Features" option, then click on "IDE Features", set your time interval (0secs to 12hours) or click on the "Spindown (now)" button as desired.

I also point out that AHCI is NOT enabled on my SATA drives (not set as removable/swappable). I don't know if HDDscan would work on AHCI enabled drives (in addition to his drives possibly not supporting "Power Management", if his AHCI was enabled could be another reason the tomshardware post guy's attempt didn't work).

Anony Mouse Nov 02, 2012, 06:41pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Solved?-Hard Drive Spin-down Control in Win7 (and/or WinXP)
Yeah I hate to bump an old post, but in win7, go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings

Click advanced power settings, then open the Hard Disk part

Change 'Turn off hard disk after' to something higher (or 0 for never), and see if that solves your problem.



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