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Windows 7: intelligent external hard drive

06 Jan 2011   #1
Aidan Bell

7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
intelligent external hard drive

I'm looking for a way of running an external hard drive which only mounts when instructed to do so. I run a backup program every night on shut-down, backing up to an external drive. All day long occasional actions require everything to come to a halt for a few seconds while the external drive starts up. I've heard about drives which don't power down, however that means my backup drive would be spinning all day long when it's only used for about five minutes at shutdown! What better a way to wear out a drive?! Is there any hardware or software that will allow me to have an external drive that doesn't mount or spin until instructed to? Yes, I know, the easy answer is to leave it unplugged all day and only plug it in at the end of the day when needed, but that's so incredibly primitive and inelegant. Any asuggestions please anyone?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

A little more "elegant" solution would be if you get a remote controlled switch in Home Depot and switch it with that. Heath Zenith Indoor Remote Kit - SL-6135 at The Home Depot

I tried like you to finagle the power supply to the disk, but without success. That'a why I resorted to that solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #3
Aidan Bell

7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Thanks. Yeah, I think that's probably the way I'm going to have to go, though I won't need to worry about a remote control; I'll install a little power switch on my desk. It just strikes me as incredible that "in this day and age" there's no software solution to this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #4
essenbe
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

I do basically the same thing you want to do. However, I use a powered external enclosure. When I want to use it I just turn on the power switch. When through turn it off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
I do basically the same thing you want to do. However, I use a powered external enclosure. When I want to use it I just turn on the power switch. When through turn it off.
Yeah, that is the other option I use for one of my installatios. I have an external disk (640GB Hitachi) with a power switch. The disk is on my desk within my reach.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #6
essenbe
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

I use mine for backups mostly. I'm just not a very trusting soul. I have 2 eSaTA 1TB Samsung Spinpoints. When I do backups, I do one to each. That way if one dies, I still have the backup on another. I learned the hard way!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You are right essenbe. As we say in my country: "Prudence is the mother of the china shop" - LOL. I actually use 3 disks for the images: 1 internal, 1 external permanently running and 1 external switched off when not imaging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #8
Aidan Bell

7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

I certainly concur with backing up on more than one drive. Ironically I had a 500Gb drive die on me just this afternoon! I refuse ever to buy anything bigger than 500Gb for the very reason that when a drive goes I'd rather lose 500Gb than a Tb or more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aidan Bell View Post
I certainly concur with backing up on more than one drive. Ironically I had a 500Gb drive die on me just this afternoon! I refuse ever to buy anything bigger than 500Gb for the very reason that when a drive goes I'd rather lose 500Gb than a Tb or more.
That is too bad. I guess I was lucky (knock on wood) - none of my 8 externals ever quit on me, nor did the internals.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #10
thehappyman

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aidan Bell View Post
I'm looking for a way of running an external hard drive which only mounts when instructed to do so. I run a backup program every night on shut-down, backing up to an external drive. All day long occasional actions require everything to come to a halt for a few seconds while the external drive starts up. I've heard about drives which don't power down, however that means my backup drive would be spinning all day long when it's only used for about five minutes at shutdown! What better a way to wear out a drive?! Is there any hardware or software that will allow me to have an external drive that doesn't mount or spin until instructed to? Yes, I know, the easy answer is to leave it unplugged all day and only plug it in at the end of the day when needed, but that's so incredibly primitive and inelegant. Any asuggestions please anyone?

While maybe not what your looking for, WD's new Mybook 3 TB USB 3.0 External Drive has a power scheme caller 'Miser" - This is the way they explain it.

Power miser—My Book external drives are designed to save energy. WD GreenPower Technology™ lowers internal drive power consumption by up to 30%, a sleep mode reduces power during idle times, and a power-saving feature turns the drive on and off with your computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 intelligent external hard drive




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