Windows 10: Do AC powered external HDD's work with Windows turn off hdd feature?

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  1.    03 Jul 2017 #1

    Do AC powered external HDD's work with Windows turn off hdd feature?

    Been a while since I owned an AC powered external hdd. Do they respond to the same turn off hdd after setting in that of power features or do they have their own power management features?
    Last edited by Kol12; 03 Jul 2017 at 07:12.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    05 Jul 2017 #2

    No, they don't unless they have built in power saving feature like some do but that's in the USB controller not disk itself but that works independent of OS.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    05 Jul 2017 #3

    I just brought a Seagate external and it claims to have it's own power saving features but gives no indication as to how it works. It's likely the sort you mention. Do you know how they work?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    05 Jul 2017 #4

    Mostly have just a timer that shuts it's motor down after some period of inactivity. The rest has to stay "awake" so it can restart when OS asks for data from it. Windows itself may start it up at any time for maintenance so it's best to turn off auto defrag, indexing or other maintenance services for it. If you could connect it always to same USB port you could maybe also set power saving features for that port if system and BIOS allows it. Had a similar one but WD and drove me bats turning on and off all the time which is not best thing for it's longevity.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    11 Jul 2017 #5

    Sorry for the reply, I didn't seem to get a notification to this thread.

    A timer, I see, ok.

    So the "the rest" is in the usb connection between Windows?

    There is a blue led on the enclosure that I guess indicates drive activity. Because I have HWiNFO running all time, if any drives are enabled to be monitored it causes constant disk activity and this is easily visible with the blue led on the Seagate external enclosure. When I un-monitor that drive the blue led remains static.

    Still, every time I pickup the enclosure it is vibrating as though the disk is spinning. I will try to leave it for half an hour to an hour to see if it powers down. Unless there is some other moving part in the enclosure you would expect the whole thing to feel dead when powered down right?

    I'm a little concerned at the noises/noise level from this drive, being external those noises I guess may be more noticeable but this one clucks and beeps and all sorts. Being that I brought it specifically for image and file backups I need it to be reliable as you could hope for. The noises are a little disconcerting. If it passes everything in S.M.A.R.T is everything usually ok?

    Turning the drive on/off in very short periods might not be the greatest idea but at the same time running a backup drive constantly could reduce it's life span also...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    12 Jul 2017 #6

    Drives do tend to be noisy and with external drives can be more noticeable because of smaller housing.
    Turning HDDs on and off or letting them run all the time is "damn if you do, damn if you don't" proposition. They will wear down anyway. Personally, I keep inside drives running all the time and backup drives connected only when I need them.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    12 Jul 2017 #7

    Ha fair enough.

    I would need to keep this backup drive connected with USB for Macrium Reflect to be able to do it's automatic backups.

    Why can't Seagate actually detail how the power saving features work? Looks like I'll have to email them and ask myself! It uses an interesting type of USB cable, it's like a micro USB cable connection but with another small connector next to that.

    I have noticed the desk does vibrate sometimes and sometimes not so maybe that's an indication that it's powered down!
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  8.    15 Jul 2017 #8

    I got a reply from Seagate and if I read correctly they're saying it responds to the Turn off hard disk after settings in Windows power settings as do all other drives.

    I noticed at on stage recently that the blue led turned off completely and that the drive did actually feel powered down. I will assume this is the powered down state.

    Most of the time the blue led remains on so something in Windows must be keeping it awake. How can I determine what is keeping the drive awake? I know some hardware monitoring programs will keep drives awake while monitoring them but it's not the cause this time...
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  9.    15 Jul 2017 #9

    Automatic maintenance, disk indexing, disk defrag and just plain search will wake any disk. There is one problem with Disk settings in power plan, it's not disk specific, one setting affects all disks. So if for instance OS needs to read from or write to C: all other disks will wake up. As that happens all the time when there is any activity, all disks will wake up. That's the reason I don't sleep them at all, functionality is reduced as it takes some time to wake disk up, it has to spin up, go thru it's POST checks and all that can take some time.
    There maybe one thing to try. Go to Device Manager, find the USB port you plug that drive to and see if you could set Power saving just for that port.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    15 Jul 2017 #10

    My other external drive does respond to the turn off after setting in power options and doesn't seem to be affected my C: activity. Are you sure C: activity interferes with the turn hard disk off after setting?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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