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I have a problem with my Windows XP operating system, particularly with the USB device that is plugged in - 1TB WD My Book external drive. I haven't found any information about such behavior when searching in Internet, so I have to ask You.

The problem is: when I am using computer, especially during work (programming), when I try to access any information on a hard disk ("internal" one), Windows seems to "consult" it with the external drive. For example, when I open file selection dialog window, if I try to change directory, system activates external drive, reads something (I hear the disk's operational noise) and after some seconds of such pause it makes the operations I requested. There are many situations in which I can reproduce this behavior - opening My Computer, shutting down system, opening partition folder from My Computer -> every operation involves the usage of external drive. Please understand me properly - this is not something that happens EVERY time, but at least "many" times a day.

What causes such behavior and how can I "turn off" external drive when it's not needed?

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No answer solved my problem, but thanks all for participation. I'm now a full-time Linux user (finally made myself to switch) so I marked best answer regarding to my thoughts about probability of mentioned cause. –  Tomasz Kowalczyk Dec 6 '13 at 4:27

3 Answers 3

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I would check that the USB device can be idled down by Power Management. To do so, just do the opposite of this article : How to Turn Off a USB Port's Power Save Option.

When the device is not idled, it is normal for it to be accessed when all drives are to be displayed.

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There's probably an icon for the drive specified in autorun.ini, Windows has to load it when browsing for files.

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Nope, no files in the root folder of drive partition. –  Tomasz Kowalczyk Jan 8 '11 at 10:48
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Does the drive display an icon? Like farm4.static.flickr.com/3584/3326457862_21cec5c3d8.jpg?v=0 –  ta.speot.is Jan 8 '11 at 10:55
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Failing this, get Process Monitor and watch to see what Windows is doing. –  ta.speot.is Jan 8 '11 at 10:59
    
No, it doesn't. I don't have an icon on any partition. I've read somewhere that it may be caused by some write-protection mechanisms ensuring data integrity on all connected disks, but I cannot relate to any source, nor confirm it. –  Tomasz Kowalczyk Jan 8 '11 at 11:18

It could be antivirus protection, it access in advance all hard drives before you actually open them.

cant tell until you run filemon or process monitor

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645

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