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)?

  • 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
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    @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
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    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 revosleep.realspooky.de – 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... – kluka Nov 26 '12 at 13:14

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

  • You might need to restart your computer if you do this. (I did). – Todd Feb 11 '14 at 8:47
  • @Todd No need to restart here. You do need to use devcon enable to use the disk again (or do it manually in the Device Manager). – tomasz86 Apr 6 '18 at 16:59




Personally I prefer revosleep

  • This one is much better. Both GUI and CLI, and you don't have to run around for hw ids. – user3125367 Aug 24 '18 at 5:34

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this turns off all hard drives at once - there is some specialist power option software (I won't link as links become outdated, just use a search engine).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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    It's hard to Google for software when you won't even mention its name :) – Gili Jun 29 '16 at 16:17

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.

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

I have 20 hard drives connected to my server. I've been looking as well, and what I've come up with is using esp8266 with relays to turn them off and on with the power. I'm now looking at having the server let the user know over the network when the drives are powered on and ready to use.

So far so good. I can control the hard drives, Now I'm working on the com. between the esp8266 and the server. When I'm done I'm going to post it on GitHub.

I know it will be slow, but it will save the hard drives big time. The hard drives in the server are for long time storage. This will allow me to use a smaller power supply to run everything.

This is what the hard drive setup looks like so far.

   RELAY 1
1 Movies 1 4T
2 Movies 2 4T
   RELAY 2
3 Shows 1  4T
4 shows 2  4T
5 Shows 3  4T
   RELAY 3
6 Education & Programs 3T
   RELAY 4
7 Movies 1 Backup 2T
8 Movies 2 Backup 2T
9 Movies 3 Backup 2T
   RELAY 5
10 Shows 1 Backup 2T
11 Shows 2 Backup 2T
12 Shows 3 Backup 2T
   RELAY 6
13 education & Programs backup 2T,1T,750g,250g,250g,320g.
   RELAY 7
 Turn server on/off
   RELAY 8
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    This doesn't actually answer the question. – DavidPostill Jun 2 '16 at 15:32

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