1. Joined : Aug 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       02 Nov 2016 #1

    Turning off Hard Drives to Reduce Noise/Power


    My desktop has 1 SSD and 4 HDDs, running Windows off the SSD
    I want to turn the hard drives off when I'm not using them in order to reduce noise from the PC and power consumption (it does matter to me because I often run my PC off a UPS). What are my best options for doing that?


    Currently, I have set my Windows power options to turn off hard drives after a set time, but with this approach the hard drives turn off and on too many times, which I imagine would not be good for the drives. Also, with the drives off, if I put my PC to sleep, ALL hard drives must come on before the pc goes to standby, which again would cause wear.
    My question is, what is the best way to go about it? And is there any way to prevent unnecessary access to the drives by Windows so that they dont randomly keep turning on?(like in Linux, the drives can be unmounted easily, preventing rogue access to them)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,407
    Windows 10 Pro
       02 Nov 2016 #2

    You can use a manual option like this, but make sure to turn off write caching on the drives connected to it to minimize the possibility of data loss when switching off. I would recommend this for drives that you only read from and write to only occasionally:

    SISUN PW4101 3.5-Newegg.com

    Turning off write caching may also help with the computer cycling the hard drives when you don't want it to. You turn off write caching by clearing the check box to enable write caching on the drive properties window from device manager for the hard drive:

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Aug 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       02 Nov 2016 #3

    That is actually a really solid solution to many of my annoyances, thanks for letting me know this exists. However, i live in Pakistan and shipping from Amazon etc is not possible.

    I'll try and get it somehow, are there any available for the 5.25" inch bay? since my casing does not have a floppy slot
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Dec 2013
    Portsmouth Hampshire
    Posts : 1,163
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       02 Nov 2016 #4

    This is Windows, and Windows does not recognise disks or volumes that are hidden because they have no drive letter assignment. This is equivalent to unmounting them, as no access from the system is possible. However, the disk drive spindle and platters will keep running, but the heads will remain parked, unless there is a volume on a partition that remains mounted.

    There ought to be a warning here that if you hide some drive volumes, you risk making your system unusable.

    However, this may be accomplished with a disk management utility, or with preconfigured registry edits, saved as .reg files that may be merged into the registry to hide or unhide drives.

    There is also at least one freeware utility that does the same thing:

    description

    Windows Drive Hider - Free Tool Hide and Protect Your Drives on Windows | www.SecurityXploded.com


    download page

    Windows Drive Hider - Free Tool Hide and Protect Your Drives on Windows | www.SecurityXploded.com

    One nice thing about this utility is that it is password protected, at a rudimentary level to prevent accidental operation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Aug 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       02 Nov 2016 #5

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    This is Windows, and Windows does not recognise disks or volumes that are hidden because they have no drive letter assignment. This is equivalent to unmounting them, as no access from the system is possible. However, the disk drive spindle and platters will keep running, but the heads will remain parked, unless there is a volume on a partition that remains mounted.

    There ought to be a warning here that if you hide some drive volumes, you risk making your system unusable.

    However, this may be accomplished with a disk management utility, or with preconfigured registry edits, saved as .reg files that may be merged into the registry to hide or unhide drives.

    There is also at least one freeware utility that does the same thing:

    description

    Windows Drive Hider - Free Tool Hide and Protect Your Drives on Windows | www.SecurityXploded.com


    download page

    Windows Drive Hider - Free Tool Hide and Protect Your Drives on Windows | www.SecurityXploded.com

    One nice thing about this utility is that it is password protected, at a rudimentary level to prevent accidental operation.
    The problem with this approach is the fact that it does not turn off the drives, hence does not reduce noise and power consumption. Also, like i said, when i turn off/hibernate/standby the PC, the drives will all first spin back up, then spin down.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 


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