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Disable HDD in Device Manager w/o it spinning up first?


osRe
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How can one disable an HDD in Device Manager without the HDD spinning up first?

 

I'm trying to have a way to disable/enable an HDD on demand. It's on an nForce 410 controller. HotSwap! and revoSleep don't work in different ways. There's no "Safely Remove" icon for the HDD. If I enable RAID in the BIOS, the partitions in the drive don't appear.

 

What does work is unmounting the volumes with mountvol and spinning down the HDD with HDDScan. But the HDD is still visible to lower-level software, like HDTune, which spins it up.

 

I thought I'd just disable the HDD from Device Manager, but it's spun up before being disabled. After it's disabled I can't spin it down. :)

 

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I'm not certain you will be able to solve this with software alone. You can get internal enclosures that support removing, disconnecting or powering off hard disks but even this may not be enough. The SATA controller would also need to support this function. Some boards do support hot-swap on certain ports, or a backplane/controller may be needed. Without having that part taken care of, Windows may become unstable, throw an error or even lock up.

What is the reason you want to be able to do this?

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I'm not after full power off, just spindown and device disable. I want to have this option for a mostly "offline" storage disk. I believe the HDD will last longer if not spinning, and it also reduces noise.

By now I've tried without the Nvidia drivers. HotSwap! now does spin down, but after waking up the drive (using the software's "scan for hardware changes" option) it constantly spins it back down even after the volumes are mounted. Maybe I'm missing something. revoSleep is better, no spindowns after wakeup, and even hibernation when the HDD is spun down works without spinning it up first. But I still have to check more Windows start/stop scenarios.

Assuming there are advantages to using the Nvidia drivers, it would still be nice to find a solution to the spinup problem when disabling the HDD manually from device manager.

Edited by shae
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I don't find it trivial. Dead HDDs are my biggest worry in computers, and as I transition from optical-based storage to HDDs I'd like to maximize their chance of survival. Yes, you may have an HDD work fine after 10 years, but also one that dies after 6 months.

There's correlation between uptime and failure rates:

blog-survival-drives-by-month.jpg

I would guess it has to do more with the mechanical parts rather than the electronics.

And there's also noise.

Why moved from the XP forum? My interest is specifically in XP. NT6 drivers, device manager, and software may behave differently.

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