hard drive stir whirring on usb eject safe removal-safe to switch off?

  theDarkness 14:34 09 Dec 2012

An old ide hard drive is connected via usb to a vista laptop-the drive stir whirs constantly after disconnecting with safe removal, so is it safe to take the plug out? When I remove the mains plug, you can hear the drive click quite loudly, with a forced stop. It sounds like if I keep using this method, the drive may not last. Yes, it was a very cheap ide/sata to usb adapter kit, but it does work, and I wonder regardless of what kit I have, if this is common?

Is there a way within windows to stop the drive from whirring, or slow it down at least, before mains removal? Thanks

  xania 13:04 10 Dec 2012

What happens if you simply close down your PC?

  theDarkness 13:35 10 Dec 2012

I thought this too if it wasnt anything to do with the cheap ide/sata to usb adapter, or windows, but Ive managed to try another drive, and its the same thing. The drive is whirring on after safe removal. I think I had the same issue in the past with my old ide drives and the same adapter on xp. I remember now that the only way around the click was to safely remove, and then shutdown. That made the drives switch off without any sudden 'click'. I probably made the wrong move by simply unplugging yesterday with the drive still going, but I dont know how far that could go to damage any hard drive?

If anyone has an ide/sata to usb adapter kit for 3.5 hard drives, I would be grateful if they could state the brand. Perhaps its just a case of buying a better one, as the usb adapter was cheap and came with no software. In future I think some sort of docking station for a couple of large drives would be a lot better than my current cheap adapter, and might keep the drives less prone to damage, stored safely. Startech seem to pop up every time in a search, although I dont know how reliable their docking stations are. If these stations had proper software to switch the drives off after every shutdown, I would trust these ide/sata to usb solutions a lot more.

I know in windows power options (power options>change plan settings>advanced settings) I can change how long a hard drive remains active for, before it automatically shuts off, so Im wondering if this will shut off a usb connected internal drive or at least slow it down before mains removal, if I have 'safely removed' the drive beforehand or not. I could try it, but I dont want to use my current drives too often as testing beds, just in case I damage them.

Thanks for the reply :)

  theDarkness 14:42 10 Dec 2012

Thanks for that-the logilink one is the closest you have to my own, essentially the same, except im sure my one was a cheap chinese equivalent on ebay - perhaps I was just asking for trouble, but ive now noticed most on there appear to be almost or the exact model of my own, closer to £5 ;( lol


  Bris 18:28 10 Dec 2012

Safely removing a USB device merely causes any data held in a data cache to be written to the disc which is then logically removed from the PC such that the PC no longer "sees" it. Power is still supplied to the drives motor and head via the power supply of the adapter and is independent of the PC such that if you switch the drive on with the PC switched off the drive will power up.

When you switch off the adapter the drive will first park the heads (probably the click you are hearing)which it has to do very quickly this prevents them crashing onto the platters as the drive spins down.

This should not damage the drive as its a built in function however it should not make too much noise. I suspect the fault lies with the drive rather than the adapter but personally I would continue to use the drive but make sure any data kept on it is backed up.

  theDarkness 19:56 21 Dec 2012

Its only ever made this very noticeable click with the cheap adapter. I am fairly certain its the result of a forced stop as all power to the drive is lost so quickly? I have two old drives, and believe this click happens with both, as both continue to run fast after disconnecting-although Id rather not attempt to use this adapter again if theres a possibility of data or disc damage. If its not just the adapter, hopefully its not a vista issue or incompatibility with both. I will find out once I can get myself a replacement! thanks to everyone :)

  lotvic 21:00 21 Dec 2012

Would disabling write caching for that drive make any difference? ('Optimize for quick removal')

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