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 recently bought a new 3.5" USB external hard drive which I thought had a power save feature on it, but it turns out that it doesn't. So whether it's being used or not, it spins, which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't so loud and didn't get really really hot. After doing some research, it seems like what controls this is the enclosure of the hard drive and not the drive itself or the OS (although I suspect that's not entirely true). I attempted to use the "hdparm" utility but it couldn't identify my externals.

Just to be clear, I'm defining power save as a hard drive spinning down after a certain time period of not being used (read from/written to). Also, I have other externals that do this, so it's not a problem from my computer.

Here's my question: Is there a way to implement a power save-like feature on my hard drive through software, OS settings, or anything else?

Here's some details:
Running: Windows XP Home SP2
HD Model: Cavalry CAUM-B-OTB 2TB (although the website only lists 1TB max)
Inside: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 (HDS722020ALA330) (I would link, but new users can only post 1)

Thanks in advance.

share|improve this question
For USB drives you can use the sdparm tool. – whitequark Jan 22 '10 at 10:04
I'm running Windows. I'm pretty sure sdparm is Linux only. – blastawaythewall Jan 22 '10 at 10:55
You can boot a live cd, run the command (hdparm, check documentation) and boot back to your windows system. Consider this:… – Ярослав Рахматуллин Mar 3 '13 at 8:42

Your Answer


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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.