Done quite a bit of searching and found lots more questions but so far no answers. I need to shut down power to a USB hard drive when the computer shuts down. I understand why Vista and Windows 7 both leave power applied for charging other devices and I had no success with this Global option from MSoft. It did nothing. http://support.Microsoft.com/kb/2401954

Also "Safely remove" actually drops the Drive from the drive list but does not shut down power.

Interestingly XP and w2000 do shut off the USB with "Safely Remove."

Can anyone suggest how I can shut off USB power at shut down?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 7 '11 at 14:55

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    I'm pretty sure whether USB ports are powered after shutdown is a motherboard-specific feature, not controlled by Windows. As far as removing power to individual ports during the Safely Remove command, that requires hardware support and I don't believe there's a consistent interface for controlling it. – Ben Voigt Oct 7 '11 at 0:25
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    Hi Ben, Thanks for the reply but according to the MS website and that KB I stated, it is or should be possible. It is just that the instructions in that KB did not work. To check your premise I used my Vista PC with VirtualPC 2007 running win2000 and used the "Safely Remove" and it shuts the drive down, so it is not a hardware issue. – user983145 Oct 7 '11 at 15:08
  • "shuts the drive down" does not necessarily mean power is removed. There is a standardized "park heads" command which will cause the drive to stop spinning. Are you wanting to park the drive or remove power? Additionally, I don't know how you expect to learn anything about hardware control from inside a virtual machine. – Ben Voigt Oct 7 '11 at 16:40

This is a motherboard specific feature. The driver model does not currently have a feature that allows it to cut power to a USB device on enumeration. It sounds dangerous to me, but I'll have to clarify that with an actual device driver programmer.


@Ben Ideally I would like to remove power, but stopping the drive from spinning would be adequate. I don't like the drive running 24/7 as the computer is only turned on maybe 2 hours per day. Currently I am unplugging it on shut down, but sometimes I forget to plug it in before booting, and I have to plug it in then reboot and wait as a lot of the start-up apps are on that USB drive.

I don't know how you expect to learn anything about hardware control from inside a virtual machine

Let's not jump to conclusions here Ben. In my original post I said it worked in XP and w2000 and they are two other PCs. I used the VirtualPC to test your theory that it was mobo related. Obviously it is not hardware related as the w2000 running in VirtualPC shut the drive down on the same mobo that Vista does not shut the drive down.


This is a motherboard specific feature.

Had you read that KB I mentioned you will see that MSoft thinks it can be shut down as they gave two options. Neither of which worked though.

  • Problem solved with some Registry tweaking. Definitely doable regardless of hardware. – user983145 Oct 9 '11 at 22:59

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