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I'm running Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit, i have a eSata hard drive for backups, is there a way for it to function like Time Machine does, and turn the drive on and off for the backups?

I'm not committed to any particular backup program, so suggestions are welcome to make this happen.

Then again, is it better for the external drive to just run all the time??

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The setting is called USB selective suspend:
If this feature is enabled your computer can selectively turn off USB ports that don’t need to be on. A USB finger print reader or mouse would stay on because they’re always needs to be ready for use. A USB camera or card reader might be turned off because they’re not being used and not needed.

See the article Disable USB Selective Suspending In Windows 7.
Follow the article step-by-step, except that at the last step do the opposite and Set USB selective suspend setting to Enabled.

However, it is not guaranteed that this setting will work for the USB drive.
Also, better ensure in the drive's Properties that it is not being indexed.

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does this work for eSata as well? –  zm15 Sep 27 '10 at 15:45
    
It's USB in general. But easy enough to try and see. –  harrymc Sep 27 '10 at 16:29
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