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I have a single WD Green HDD which would serve as a backup.
However, it's just loud (the oscillation of the HDD, etc) and just runs for nothing. It'd be only for backup and that's it.

So far, I wrote a script back then which can power down a HDD (and power up, vica versa). Literally. Once you power it down, it won't come up until you run the other .bat , or issue the command from 'cmd'. It uses smartctl.

But how could I prevent the PC from even powering it up before I want? Is there a .. hardware switch? Or this is only possible with an external USB HDD case? (Because ... if I do the power down stuff, it takes at least 4 spin up, spin down one day. Like. Start -> spin up; I stop it -> Spin down; Then if I want to backup -> Spin up; Finish with backup -> Spin down.)

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To be honest, if you're only using it for backup, you'd be much better off with it in an external housing. That way you can:

  • Switch it off when you don't want it
  • Store it away from the computer

A backup is only of any use if it survives the disaster that overtakes the rest of the computer. If the backup drive is in the computer and someone breaks in and steals the computer, they are also stealing your backup too. Also, backup storage that is permanantly attached to the computer is as vulnerable to virus / malicious software attacks as the main files.

Other than that, the power saving configuration of your computer should spin down the hard drive after a certain amount of inactivity time. Try shortening the spin-down delay. As for it spinning at bootup - Windows (or whatever OS you use) will have to spin the hard drive up to identify it at boot up (partitions, filesystems, etc), so there is really no avoiding that.

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Thanks for the answer. It should've been obvious to me. –  Shiki Mar 15 '11 at 16:30

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