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I am connecting 1-2 hard drives via E-SATA. Using Windows, is there an option to force "shutting down" that hard drive (until it is needed again)?

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If you close all connections (Explorer windows etc.) I'm fairly sure Windows will power down any drives it's not actively using – ChrisF Nov 26 '12 at 12:59
@ChrisF - but doesn't the motor still run in hard drive ... Klyonrad, why do you want this? Typically I think hard drives fail due to multiple read/write processes, not just it being on per-se. The only suggestion to complete this is to have a separate box for each external hard drive with a built in power button (so not via Windows) – Dave Nov 26 '12 at 13:05
@DaveRook - I don't know to be honest. But on my machine I get definite "power down" and "power up" noises when I don't access one of the internal drives for a while. – ChrisF Nov 26 '12 at 13:07
I wonder if it means it can be controlled via a more specialist Windows Power Option software. @Klyonrad, Google power options for Windows: Look at – Dave Nov 26 '12 at 13:09
@DaveRook actually there is not a real "need" for this because the hard drive turns off rather quickly as I just realized, but I am just curious. For the rare case that by random the hard drive got turned on and you're watching something and are seriously annoyed by the noise... – klyonrad Nov 26 '12 at 13:14
up vote 4 down vote accepted

What you're looking for is to 'spin down' a drive. Here is a similar question.

If you want to disable drives with the command line, you can use DevCon:

devcon disable <hardware id>

Using the device manager:

Right click on disk > disable

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You might need to restart your computer if you do this. (I did). – Todd Feb 11 '14 at 8:47

Under the power settings you can set the turn off harddisk time.
This is for all harddrives connected to the PC.
If one harddrive is inactive for the selected period of time it will be deactivated
and reactivated when needed.

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Yeah, I know about the automatic turn-off power management. However this applies to all hard drives and not a specific one. – klyonrad Nov 26 '12 at 13:11

You can't do it with Windows directly - the only option you have is through power options but typically this turns off all hard drives at once - there is some specialist power option software (I won't link as links become outdated, just use a search engine).

Or, as you're using e-sata I assume this is external - you could get external sata boxes with power buttons but as per my comments I think the powering up and down would cause more damage than leaving a disc idle.

FYI typically even by disabling the disc in Device Manager does not stop it from using power nor from spinning. If it has power, it is on!

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Personaly i prefer revosleep, you need to "force quit" [ task menager ] application otherwise when you close application dick will be reenabled.

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