I have 3 external 2.5" USB HDDs - all from different manufacturers and with different capacities. I also have access to multiple Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows XP computers.
My problem is that with the Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers, the external USB drives DO NOT spin down when I do "Safely remove hardware". Windows will tell me that I can safely remove the device, but I can see (and feel the rotations of the disk when I touch the casing) that the disks are still spinning and NEVER spin down. They also never go into their suspended state (which is generally signaled with a slow flashing of the activity LED).
However, with Windows XP, when I do "Safely remove hardware", I can see that the drives do indeed spin down without any issues and go into their respective suspended states.
I notice that this behaviour is consistent across all my 3 drives and on different hardware.
Has anybody else noticed the same issues? Is there any way we can have the same behaviour as Windows XP on Windows Vista and 7, because I feel on the long run, disconnecting the drives while they are still spinning will have a negative effect on their life span.