By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. I don't do this often, maximum 3 or 4 times a day it would spin up and down. I wont do a lot for wear ether. Expand that to see (and set) how long the HDD will wait between when it was last accessed and when it spins down to save power. "Will that constant powering up [and down] add wear and tear…?". No. I suppose my other option is buy a Sata switch, so I can actually turn off hard drives that are not being used. For example, after booting Windows and everything else, when the computer is idle. If the system doesn't need to access the hard drive for normal operations, then it's perfectly possible for it to boot from a HDD, take whatever preparatory steps may be necessary, and then allow the drive to spin down while working with data in RAM only, with the hard disk spinning up only very occasionally if indeed at all. ), But I got a very different answer from Steve Gibson, author of SpinRite, a venerable and highly-regarded hard drive maintenance program. When I close the screen to put the the laptop into Sleep mode, how long does it take for the mechanical HDD inside to spin down? In other words, these things are fragile, and there's little agreement on how best to treat them. By shutting the hdd off, it wont be using as much energy. Typically my hard drives are in use for 5-7yrs before I retire them per upgrades. Much better record than anyone I know. Does the HDD drive keep spinning continuously in this state? Let's take them in turn. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. My OS, and subsequently my desktop is installed on an ssd. To see what your PC's current settings regarding drive inactivity are, open "Power Settings" (on a desktop you can search for it from Start or in the Control Panel; on a laptop you should be able to right-click the battery/plug icon in the system tray). No file copying or transferring, nor any activity like browsing websites. The power is used when the hard disk is reading and writing, writing more than reading. It only takes a minute to sign up. Does a mechanical hard drive (not SSD) spin constantly while the machine is on? Would the HDD just slow down the spinning speed and keep running? But so can running it around the clock. With the physical switch you can leave the power turned off to them completely until you want to use them. Tech Support. The faster a disk (platter) spins, the faster your computer can find the file you want. Who counts as a "player", for Steam achievement percentages? 1,814 posts I think this is a topic of debate, whether spinning drives up/down often wears out a hard drive faster than just letting them remain spinning while not in use. The amount of energy you will save from powering down an otherwise inactive hard disk will be tiny. I can feel the drives spinning even though they are not in use. Some hard drives will automatically spin down after a predefined period of inactivity, particularly those intended to save energy. Personally I just leave mine on all the time. Or do they just merely spin to a lower rpm when not in use? I believe it is a feature in OS 9.2 for it to be done automatically. Hi. This is a normal behavior of any external hard drive. 0s and 1s). Whether or not the hard drive spins constantly depends thus on: For example, setting the period of time before the hard drive spins down to 30 minutes means that it is less likely to spin down than if it is set to 5 minutes. However spin up and spin down of a traditional hard drive will, in general, decrease its life. Should I let it do that, or keep it constantly running if I want it to live as long as possible? An example of such a system could be one that is running number-crunching applications that don't require a large amount of storage. I'm wondering if anyone knows of external hard drives --eSATA preferably-- that spin down when not in use? XP / Win7 x64 Pro. Some hard drives will automatically spin down after a predefined period of inactivity, particularly those intended to save energy. the disks never spin down, is this a bug ?, OS is WHS2011, setting in energy management is 15min is this a known bug ? On 7200RPM disks can be a second or two. Spin speed (rotations per minute, or RPM) is relatively important. Does a Kohen have to give "Chalah" from his own dough? which we can answer with yes. In my power options, ive set my hard drives to spin down after 1 minute of no use, mainly due to the hard drives causing a small amount of vibration noise when they are running which i prefer not to hear. Feb 15, 2013 #11 A. asgards Limp Gawd. In a 2005 article, he wrote that "Most of the normal wear is on the drive bearings: They’re always in use whenever the motor’s spinning, even if the rest of the drive is idle. How would one justify public funding for non-STEM (or unprofitable) college majors to a non college educated taxpayer? Thank you, Brian He did. Click "Change Plan Settings" for your current power plan, then click "Change advanced power settings". That seems pretty good to me. For solid state drives (SSD) this has no affect, but for traditional mechanical hard drives, when this happens the hard drive will ‘spin down’ – reducing its power usage and giving the drive an opportunity to cool down. The hard drive only needs to be spinning while there is I/O activity occuring on it. I just bought an external drive box and have noticed that the drives are always on. All standard drives spin down in OS X with inactivity and with sleep. It depends on the drive used and the configuration of the operating system. Since they are supposed to spin down when not in use, I thought that this was strange. It might also be worth noting that spinning a hard drive up and down repeatedly can place more wear on it than leaving it running constantly. Changing the timing may help keep tasks from overlapping and working the hard drive harder (that is not covered below, but you can check those tasks and their schedules). I have an SSD that I boot off of, so the data disk isn't needed most of the time and can safely go idle and stop spinning. Read our, Learn more about PCWorld's Digital Editions. From what I can tell, regularly turning a hard drive on and off can wear it down. Typically, hard drives do not shut themselves down unless your comptuer is set to "sleep" or "hibernate". Because spinning up takes some non-negligible amount of time (usually on the order of seconds), we generally want to keep the hard drive spinning for a while after the most recent disk activity. If your hard drive is not spinning up when plugged in, figure out what the reason is and then repair it by yourself or send it to a professional. This can cause disk accesses even when those would not be expected, and thus prevent the disk from spinning down. Each pulse moved the actuator over the platters in predefined steps. In story writing, can I switch between stating the character's thought in italics to indirectly narrating them? There are a number of situations that can cause a mechanical hard drive to spin down. A 7,200 RPM hard drive is obviously faster than a 5,400 RPM hard drive. depends on the bearings and … Older hard drives used a stepper motor actuator, which moved the heads based on a motor reacting to stepper pulses. PCWorld This is likely a hardware problem. But with external drives, you’ll hardly notice a difference between the two RPM speeds. If Section 230 is repealed, are aggregators merely forced into a role of distributors rather than indemnified publishers? I have other hard drives for media storage and games. Windows Swap (Page File): Enable or Disable? Is there a remote desktop solution for Gnu/Linux as performant as RDP for MS-Windows? does a mechanical hard drive (not SSD) spinning ALWAYS when the computer is powered ON? To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. @DavidVernon: Incorrect. Since the hard drive is connected using an USB dongle, let's check the power settings set for the USB controller using which the external hard drive is connected. Is there a way to turn these drives off when not in use? PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. Stepper motor actuators are not used in modern drives because they are prone to alignment problems and are highly sensitive to heat. Note that this assumes you're using desktop or server-style 3.5" drives, and not actual laptop drives, which are rated for a much-higher number of spin-downs. Really bad news. in a system with a single mechanical hard drive, is it possible for the hard drive to spin down while the system is working? I also have 2x 1TB WD Blue HDD which i store exclusively games on. i tried also flexraid storagepool and the drives spin down. With the software spin-down solution, all the hard drives still power on when the computer starts. The problem is that spinning a mechanical disk back up to full speed takes a few seconds, during which the drive is essentially unusable, so that can slow things down a bit when use of the system resumes. It would only spin up later, when issued an ATA command. Would running them all the time decrease longevity, and would the increased power demands make a big difference on the electricity bill (for say, 6 hard drives)? Most operating systems can also be set to spin down a hard drive that has not been used for a predefined period of inactivity. Be responsible and help save the planet by saving electricity and switching it off. I have a 1TB Western Digital book external hard drive. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. A pagefile is not always busy and a system drive can and will spin down when idle. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. But my roommate, who has both 1TB and the 500GB externals, says that they stop spinning when not in use. Is it wise to keep some savings in a cash account to protect against a long term market crash? What does "We've been fooled by our tool" mean? Do hot spare drives spin when not in use, or are they parked/powered down until one of the array's drives fail? ", I asked Langa if he still agreed with what he'd written nearly eight years ago. A hard drive, be it internal or external, may fail to spin up due to several reasons, generally a mechanical or electrical failure. I would say 1 hour of not in use is the most. Thanks for contributing an answer to Super User! 02 Apr 2012 #4: FliGi7 . I checked with two experts on hard drive technology, and got two very different answers to the leave on/turn off controversy. In addition to technology, freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector is a passionate cinephile who writes the movie blog. My System Specs. It's getting annoying & confusing. I'm guess this is because the hard drives spin down when they're not in use for while. Problem with mathematical text in xelatex. Can I prevent a secondary HDD from spinning up when waking my computer? Why are most discovered exoplanets heavier than Earth? I've never let drives spin down, and I have only had 2 hard drives ever die, ever. As a result, the disk does not automatically spin up when power is applied. because backups are always good.). So i have an SSD with windows, programs and my favourite games installed. "grep string | grep string" with awk without pipe, Finding sum of all pixels in raster using QGIS, user not in sudo group but can perform sudo operations, If the hard drive has been configured to automatically spin down after a set period of time, If the period of time after which the hard drive has been configured to automatically spin down ever elapses during normal use. How to stop my 6 year-old son from running away and crying when faced with a homework challenge? site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. So if I am saving some pictures quickly from online I just save them to my desktop so I force myself to sort them later (gotta have a clean desktop). On any personal computer (especially a Windows computer), the drive housing the operating system will never spin down. If you open the computer case and remove the power cable from the second drive (which is allowed by modern interfaces; it's termed "hot removal" in the SATA standard), then pretty obviously the second drive will no longer be spinning, since there is no electrical power for the drive motor, yet the system is still running. Compare for example PXE or Preboot Execution Environment. Contributing Editor, Do internal hard drives not being accessed inside the tower case, power up & spin when PC is on? On the other hand, the question you probably meant to ask. However, when the data is accessed from the drive it starts spinning fast. You can change the spin down behavior (i.e. There are cheaper/smaller switches, I just posted that one as an example. For that matter, you can kill a drive by leaving it off and untouched for too long (I've actually done that). Every time I use my hard drive, I hear it spin up then spin down after a while. And with that consideration, I vote for shutting the drive down when it's not in use. There are two aspects to your question. Control Panel --> Power Options --> Turn Off Hard Disks after x time Only downside is spin up time when you need to access them. Our engineer found the drives had the Power-up in Standby (PUIS), or power management 4 mode (PM4), enabled in the hard disk configuration. I recommend not setting them to spin down too quickly as lots of spin ups and downs is not good for the disk (lots of temp changes etc). Joined May 8, 2008 … And i always unplug it when not in use. This theoretically extends the life of your USB or SATA hard drive. That’s why letting the drive 'spin down' (stop rotation) during periods of idleness can extend the drive’s life. You should also keep in mind that many hard disk drive failures happen during spin-up, so having the disk spin up and down repeatedly may increase the probability of it failing during use. It is either your Computer or the Hard Drive and you have to pray its the drive. Podcast Episode 299: It’s hard to get hacked worse than this. Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc. On Windows machines hard drives automatically sleep and spin down when they are not in use. Hard drives spin up even when not in use? Modern operating systems rely on a stored paging file to handle virtual memory, and this will keep the disk spinning (because it always busy). in other words how long should I wait before it's safe to bring the laptop elsewhere? Therefore we normally prefer not excessive spin ups or spin downs with a hard drive. With the new i7-8700K build (every thing running nominally) I noticed on the hardware monitor that the spinning drives are always between 28 and 33c. Therefore he leaves his plugged in constantly. Or would it stop spinning at all until next user action? If there's that much controversy between experts (and I've read plenty of others on both sides), the differences can't be that great. It depends on the drive used and the configuration of the operating system. The drives are rated for only so many spinups/spindowns, and if you cycle them too frequently, the drive will start to exceed its rated capacity for this. Most Windows systems automatically power down HDDs after a period of inactivity. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. I have gone into power manager and set the timer to turn them off after 3 … RC integrator: why does it convert a triangular wave into a sine wave? In a 2005 article, he wrote that "Most of the normal wear is on the drive bearings: They’re always in use whenever the motor’s spinning, even if the rest of the drive is idle. As long as you keep them cool, you won't have an issue. Most of the wear on the drive spindle takes place during start up when it is cold and is using a lot of energy to bring it up to speed. What about "Terumah" from fields that his wife inherited from her family? Different operating systems expose this functionality in different ways, but just about anything reasonably modern will have some way of setting these power savings settings. either. One option near the top should be "Hard Disk". What makes representing qubits in a 3D real vector space possible? On Linux systems you often have to configure power saving parameters for your hard drive manually. rev 2020.12.18.38240, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Super User works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. Hence, we have shown that "a mechanical hard drive" does not necessarily "[always spin] when the computer is powered on". I am assuming this is an internal drive. Could 1950s technology detect / communicate with satellites in the solar system? Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Some HDDs might slow down to a lower speed rather than stopping entirely, but I think they generally stop spinning entirely once the idle threshold is reached.