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Windows 7: External HD goes to sleep

01 Jan 2014   #1
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 
External HD goes to sleep

I use a USB powered external HDD for data storage on my laptop (via a mains powered HUB)
Sometimes when saving an existing or new file (mostly TXT files), there is a delay while the HD "wakes up"
Once "awake" (there after), saving is normal ... instant.
PC is not (and has not been) asleep.

The USB powered external HDD is connected to a mains powered hub.

Is my HDD dying ?
HD age = 5-7 years old ( a very rough guess)
. . . I purchased the HD before I started documenting/record keeping of IT hardware/apps/etc history.
HD is defragged about every 4 weeks by MyDefrag -- mode:= Data Monthly defrag.
Used space:= 2.66 GB
Free space:= 230 GB
Compress this drive... = False
Allow indexing... = False
- Windows Indexing was significantly reducing C:\ drive speed
- I use FileSearchEX to find files and file contents, it uses its own indexing process

External HD goes to sleep-ext-hd-asleep.png

Would appreciate any help, thank you
----------
SPECS:
Toshiba Satellite C665
OS:= Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit), sp1 (Build 7601) OEM
UI:=Classic Shell Start + Classic Explorer
Windows Indexing = disabled





My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Jan 2014   #2
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

In device manager it should have a setting if the USB port is allowed to shut down to save power.

If nothing fixes it you can use DriveAlive as a work-around. You may download from here:
Miles Ahead Software

As for drive going bad, only way to tell is to run diagnostics from the drive manufacturer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2014   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

It`s totally normal for a hdd to go to sleep and stop spinning, all 5 of mine do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jan 2014   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Go to Control Panel > Power Options > Change Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power settings


Attached Thumbnails
External HD goes to sleep-2014-01-02_0057.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2014   #5
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

In the above picture, about 3 items down from the setting marked with the red arrow ( which is important) you will see USB settings. Expand those and the setting will say 'selective suspend setting', disable it. It allows windows to turn off usb ports to save power.

Also, as AddRam said, most hard drives are built to go to sleep when inactive. it takes a few seconds for them to wake up. That is perfectly normal and a power saving feature as well as longevity for the hard drive.

As an aside, I would recommend backing up to more than 1 hard drive. Hard drives can die unexpectedly and you wouldn't want to lose your backups and data stored on it, so store it in 2 locations, to be safe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2014   #6
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
It`s totally normal for a hdd to go to sleep and stop spinning, all 5 of mine do it.
Agreed. Unfortunately some software times out before the time required for the drive to spin up. For cases like that you can use a utility such as DriveAlive to wake up the drive and keep it at the ready so that the impatient software may be run at your leisure. Just kill DriveAlive from the tray when no longer needed.

Also I had Seagate external USB 2.0 drives that were configurable. You could set the spin down time out or disable it. In fact the high priced Seagate drive came bundled with the software. But the less expensive models could use the same software bundle once downloaded from the Seagate site.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2014   #7
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

I backup the connected portable USB HD every day, onto another portable USB HD.

Would I be better of with a mains powered USB HD as my data-disk (instead of the WD portable USB HD) ? And back up to a portable USB HD too.

I didn't know that thumb drives were that unreliable.
I was considering read/write to the thumb drive through the day then copy/backup the thumb drive to portable USB HD at days end. The slow response of the current portable USB HD is exasperating to say the least.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2014   #8
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

If I understand the question, it would depend on how you use the drives as well as opinion. If you have a mains powered drive, that makes it not so portable. I personally use a mains powered drive in a dock. It is also eSAtA and I use 3.5" drives, so a USB portable drive is not possible. I have 2 docks that power 3 drives as well as a USB portable drive. For my set up, that works well. I prefer 3.5" drives and eSATA as it is much faster than USB. That being said, USB powered is fine and in some cases better. Not all computers have esata but they all have USB. If your system works well for you, I see nothing wrong with it. It also makes it easier to transfer data between two computers. No matter how you do it, there are pros and cons each way. I think as long as your system works for your needs it is fine. The most important thing is having backups on more than one drive, in different locations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2014   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I got a 1TB SSHD for less than $90 US and I stick that into a powered USB3 caddy. That is really fast for backups.

I got this one when it was on sale. And already had this caddy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2014   #10
HoneycombAG

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

I got a My Passport drive that disconnects itself when you place it at a wrong angle. The drive connector is that flimsy!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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