Can you recommend a fast-response external HDD?

  Pineman100 19:09 12 Sep 2015

My Core i5/8GB RAM laptop runs Windows 10.

I'm a photography enthusiast, and my 1TB internal HDD is over 90% full - mainly with thousands of big photo files. This is slowing down my computer significantly when I boot up and when I run Photoshop.

In order to free up the C: drive I have tried migrating all of my photos to an external HDD - a 2TB Toshiba connected to a USB2 port. However, its slow response makes opening a photo file on that drive immensely frustrating. If I click on the drive in File Explorer, it can take over a minute for the drive to wake up, spin up and finish initiating before I can even start browsing its folders for the file I want.

Is it possible to buy an external HDD that doesn't go to sleep? I'd like it to be spinning the whole time that the computer is on, so that its files can be accessed almost as fast as the ones on my internal C: drive.

Any advice gratefully received - thanks!

  Aitchbee 20:03 12 Sep 2015

This one from Argos might be worth a look.

click here

  wee eddie 20:20 12 Sep 2015

Nothing wrong with the Hard Drive, but USB2 is holding it back. You need to start connecting at USB 3 at a minimum.

I think that a powered HD would be better but I doubt that a faster spin speed would make the world of difference.

  Aitchbee 22:04 12 Sep 2015

Is it possible to buy an external HDD that doesn't go to sleep?

Seagate provide software utility called 'Seagate Drive Settings' which allows user to set HD so it never sleeps. [ I think this is the default setting ]

  Aitchbee 23:02 12 Sep 2015

PS. Some important advice from Seagate [worth reading] for anybody still using windows XP 32-bit with their new expansion USB external hard drives.

click here

  robin_x 00:00 13 Sep 2015

Also see additional measures (read Comments at bottom of page too)- click here

Source - click here

  Pineman100 12:22 13 Sep 2015

Many thanks for those responses, everyone.

robin_x - I have downloaded NosleepHD, and I'll see whether that does what I want. A cheap solution if it does!!

Aitchbee - if I end up buying a new external HDD, I'll certainly check out Seagate's default function that prevents the drive sleeping.

Wee eddie - I know that you can upgrade certain components in a laptop, do you know whether it's possible to replace a USB2 card with a USB3? Does it depend on whether the motherboard can support this?

Thanks again to you all.

  alanrwood 12:37 13 Sep 2015

Why do you want another external drive. They are all limited in speed due to the connection via USB. You could go for a NAS drive which would be faster if you are running a 1GB network. That should allow transfer of date at around 500Mb/s otherwise USB3 is the best you can hope for.

If it is still a PIA then consider fitting a 2TB hard drive to your laptop.

  Pineman100 12:45 13 Sep 2015

Thanks alanrwood. I think I've worked out what PIA stands for!! I'll certainly consider a 2TB internal HDD - it sounds like a good plan.

  Pineman100 12:57 13 Sep 2015

Well, I've downloaded and set up NosleepHD to prevent the external HDD from sleeping. No luck! Twenty minutes after setting it up, I clicked on the drive in Windows File Explorer and it took 1 min 15 secs for the drive's folder list to appear. I could hear the drive crank up, then hunt around for the data before showing the list. So clearly NosleepHD is not preventing it from sleeping.

Oh well... it was worth a try.

  robin_x 16:51 13 Sep 2015

I've had this problem before and it has been annoying and tricky to find how to change the drive on-board Sleep setting.

I can't at all, just now, because I have a WD drive in a Seagate enclosure and a Samsung drive in an IOMEGA enclosure. Needless to say the manufacturers' utilities don't like the idea.


Anyway, the idea of writing to the drive every 5 mins is working for me.

I created J:\DIR-Drive.bat on my ext drive, containing the text:

dir j: > j:\dir.txt


I opened Task Scheduler and created a Basic Task and filled in the details on all its Tabs, according to help from here


I exported my task and combined it with my .bat file in a Zip file

It should work on anyone else's setup by simply editing for the correct drive letter (mine is J:)


Download here. Copy to external drive top level.

Double click Zip and Copy the two files to external drive top level (don't extract to a sub-folder or the path will be wrong)

Right click the batch file and edit (Notepad is easiest)

Right click the XML file and edit the Drive Letter near the end of the file

Start search Task Scheduler and Import the XML file.

Click Properties and check through the settings.

When done, click Run to get it going for the first time. It then runs every 5 minutes

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Alienware Area 51m review

Serif just launched its InDesign killer Affinity Publisher

macOS Catalina Preview: First look at the new Mac update

Les meilleurs antivirus pour Mac (2019)