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I have a few external drives that I don't always use and want to be able to have them shutdown when I am not using them. They shutdown when the computer goes into sleep mode but I would like to be able to make them shutdown (and power up) without putting the whole computer to sleep.

So I was wondering if there is a way to make a USB device think the port its plugged into is asleep in Windows 7 x64. Does anyone know how I can accomplish this?

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Is it reasonable to just use the built in secure removal feature? – dag729 May 31 '12 at 6:35

USB ports can be disabled via the Device Manager or registry edit. Disabling the USB ports will put the USB device to "sleep." However, the downfall is it requires a reboot after enabling or disabling the device.

Another solution that only works on external USB hard drives (and I assume pin drives) is putting your drive offline. The drive will not be accessible, but it will still receive power. The how-to steps are below.

How to Switch a Drive to Offline and Online - Windows 7

  1. Start
  2. Type: diskmgmt.msc
  3. Hit Enter
  4. Find the drive from the bottom half of the MMC
  5. Right Click the drive
  6. Select Offline or Online

Repeat steps to reverse your actions

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