Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Windows7 laptop with two external 2.5" HDDs and a cooling pad connected through USB ports.
When I put the laptop to sleep, these devices are still powered on - the fan in the cooling pad is still spinning, the drives are still spinning.
I want to set it all up so that they power down when in sleep.

I tried setting the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option in the USB Root Hubs' Properties in Device Manager and enabling USB selective suspend in power options - it didn't work.

As it's a laptop, BIOS options are extremely locked down, so I can't even see anything relevant to sleep in there.

Is it even possible to do this?

share|improve this question

refer to the answer as below:

"Within Windows, I found I had to do two things; for each USB hub, I ticked "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power", AND I had to go through every keyboard & mouse device an un-tick "Allow this device to wake the computer".

It seems Windows 7 is smart enough to maintain power to the USB hubs as long as there is a device connected that is allowed to wake from sleep. I should also mention that this is despite having "USB selective suspend setting" DISABLED. All very confusing but doing all of the above has made my USB ports power down in sleep/standby mode." by goosmurf2 from

It works for me.

share|improve this answer

It depends on your laptop motherboard. Some motherboard manufacturers provide an option to control the power to ports in BIOS settings.

But, some hard code it with the motherboard and you can't change it; like with Dell Studio laptops with a Phoenix BIOS. Power to all ports goes off when you put your laptop to sleep.

I hope this helps...

share|improve this answer

You can try hibernating instead. Yes, it'll take longer to come out of hibernation than sleep, but the computer is essentially shut down. Sleep keeps the USB ports powered because there may be an attached device that will bring the computer out of sleep; say for instance, a mouse.

share|improve this answer
Yes, I almost always hibernate because of the problem in question, but there are times when I want to put the computer to sleep, and it annoys me to no end that the devices are kept powered. – Greg Aug 4 '11 at 12:39
@Greg, you can set your power policy to hybrid sleep so that you can put it to sleep, then it will hibernate on its own after a while. Depending on your situation, that could work, especially if you tweak the time-outs. – Synetech Nov 3 '13 at 23:24

My PC has an extra driver, or something, installed that allows charging of USB devices while the PC is turned off, which required me to unplug my USB powered headset every time I turned off the PC or leave the headsets control unit glowing at night wasting power.

Maybe your laptop has something similar, the thing that allows my PC to do that has an option in the "Programs and Features" page that allows it to be uninstalled.

share|improve this answer

I have the same problem, and I am thinking on buying these 2 things to solve the problem, I guess we will need to check very careful power consumption...........



share|improve this answer

Most laptops tend to not use powered-ports (USB ports that have a charge even when the system is off or in standby). However, those that do have powered-ports will usually only have some of them be independently powered and the others will be regular ports that shut down with the rest of the system.

You didn’t mention your laptop’s model, so assuming that it has more than the three ports you mentioned, then you can check your laptop’s manual for information on which are powered and which are not (though since manuals are often useless and generic these days, try simply plugging them into different ports to see how each one works).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.