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Windows 7: Hard Drive - Turn Off Hard Disk After Idle or Never


Hard Drive - Turn Off Hard Disk After Idle or Never

How to Turn Off Hard Disk After so many Minutes of being Idle or Never
Published by Brink
26 Jan 2011
Published by

How to Turn Off Hard Disk After so many Minutes of being Idle or Never


information   Information
This will show you how to have your hard disks to be either turned off after however many minutes you set of being idle, or to never be turned off in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

This setting will only affect internal HDDs and not for SSDs (solid state drives).

When set to turn off hard disks after idle, you will notice a brief delay of a few seconds when you try to access a turned off hard disk as it spins back up and is turned back on automatically as needed. Having your hard disks to be turned off after being idle can help save energry and extend a laptop's battery life.

Note   Note
If you have the hard disks set to be turned off after X amount of minutes of being inactive, then this behavior can be caused if any disk activity occurs, whether it is caused by user input or system tasks. Disk activity of any type resets the hard disk idle timer, and this can increase the amount of time it takes for your hard disk to turn off.

Windows is designed to automatically perform maintenance tasks to improve performance and reliability. When your computer is on AC power and is idle, system maintenance tasks may be able to run for a few minutes. These system maintenance tasks include disk-layout optimization to improve performance and preparing automatic system restoration points to increase reliability. Typically, these tasks occur the first time you leave your computer idle after you start it. These tasks ensure that the system maintains its performance and reliability even after long use. Because these tasks involve reading and writing to the hard disk, the hard disk idle time is reset regularly during this maintenance period.



There are other items that can reset the hard disk idle timer. These items can include:
  • Paging operations.
  • Windows Update checking the system state.
  • Event logging.
  • Network detection such as DHCP or Autonet.
  • Third-party services such as quota software or an antivirus program.
  • Scheduled tasks.
  • The loading of services or drivers.
When these items either read from or write to the hard disk, the hard disk idle timer is reset.

For more information see: Hard disks do not turn off after your computer has been idle






Here's How:
1. Open the advanced power settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8 for your selected power plan, and do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)
Hard Drive - Turn Off Hard Disk After Idle or Never-advanced.jpg
2. To Turn Off Hard Disks After Idle
A) Expand Hard disk and Turn off hard disk after, set how many minutes you want the hard disks to be idle for before being turned off, click/tap on OK, and go to step 4. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: The default setting is with 20 minutes.
Name:  Power_Options.jpg
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3. To Never Turn Off Hard Disks
A) Expand Hard disk and Turn off hard disk after, set it to Never ( 0 minutes), click/tap on OK, and go to step 4. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Never.jpg
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4. Close the Edit Plan Settings window. (see screenshot below step 1)
That's it,
Shawn


.

06 Feb 2011   #1
ben859420

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Was having trouble finding the "Never" option, finally figured it out; you must select Zero Minutes.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Feb 2011   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Ben, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Thank you for posting back your feedback. I have updated the tutorial to help others avoid having the same trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2011   #3
Trinitrotoluene

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Retail
 
 

After reinstalling Windows today, I noticed this clicking sound coming from one of my HDDs. The clicking coinciding with a re-installation.... Must have been the power plan. I've now set my HDDs to never go to sleep.
It had me checking out SMART data and everything already, thinking it was a click of death at first. so I googled around for firmware updates, stumbling upon this topic by coincidence. I really can't remember I've also set my HDDs to never go to sleep last time I installed Windows. So thanks for reminding me, Brink!
From a power saving perspective, the default 20 minutes make sense. But it adds extra wear on the drive, if it needs to shutdown and bootup more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2011   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome Trinitrotoluene.

Personally, setting the HDD's to turn off when idle is more useful if you let your computer run for long extended periods of time. If you are off and on the computer and put the computer to sleep inbetween, then setting the HDD's to turn off when idle will probably not be of much use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2012   #5
Exlans

Windows 7 Enterprise 32-Bit
 
 

Ok What about if i have more than one hard .. and i want only one hard disk to sleep if it become idle and other not .. so how i could do that if the option not giving me any choice ??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2012   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Exlans,

I'm sorry, but this is a all or none type setting. It would be nice to be able to select to apply this to only specified HDD's though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #7
nonpasaran

vista
 
 

Hi Shawn,

You said "This setting will only affect internal HDD's and not SSD's "

I confused
SSD's uses another power settings independent from Windows or what? Can you explain please?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #8
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nonpasaran View Post
Hi Shawn,

You said "This setting will only affect internal HDD's and not SSD's "

I confused
SSD's uses another power settings independent from Windows or what? Can you explain please?
I assume it has to do with the fact that SSDs have no moving parts and therefore can't "spin down" to save power. They are either in use or not in use---on or off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 



Yep, that would be why.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Hard Drive - Turn Off Hard Disk After Idle or Never





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