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I am using Windows XP with 3 internal SATA drives.
The first 2 drives are actively used but the third drive is for occassional backup purpose.
How can I initiate a manual shutdown and startup of the third drive under Windows whenever I want to do a backup. I will shutdown the third drive when I am not doing backup to save power.
In the Windows XP Control Panel-Power option, there is a "Turn-Off Harddisk" setting, does this option applies to all the Internal Drives collectively or does it monitor individual drive and apply the option separately.
Appreciate any feedback or advice on the above.
I'd take the 3rd drive out and put it in a caddy. Then you can switch it on only when needed. I also do a full back of all HDDs regularly using Acronis.
Thanks Mat, Marvin for your reply.
When the drive is idle, are the disc still spinning?, if it is then the wear and tear of the drive will be much faster.
I have tried putting the drive in a external caddy for several months via USB interface.
After several switching OFF and ON of the power, the caddy Switching Power supply unit quit on me which is why I thought of putting it back into the system.
No big deal on this matter as I thought it would be nice to be able to toggle the drive ON and OFF within Windows OS itself.
as far as I know you cannot do it as it will affect the BIOS, BIOS checks when it starts for all drives and a sets them up so you can see them in windows
you are better leaving it as and where it is, as in a caddy if you do not shut down using the correct windows process you will damage the drive
The question would be does it wear more on the drive to have it power on and off more than it does to have it on constantly? I myself would guess the answer would be to have it on constantly, that seems to be what an internal drive is designed for, though I guess others will disagree.
I myself use a hot plug drive bay (click here) which enables switching internal drives without the need for powering off the machine. To use one you may need to set the SATA configuration in your BIOS from IDE to AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) if it's not already set, doing this however may stop Windows booting, I had to reinstall Vista in order to get AHCI to work on my machine, Windows seems to install different drivers for the SATA channels to utilise AHCI along with registry entries. I've since switched to Windows 7 and it works fine in the new OS. Swapping drives is done via Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media, once the OK is given it's just a matter of opening the drive door, removing the drive and inserting a different one, Windows detects it just like an external drive and assigns a drive letter.
Using one may be worth consideration over using an external drive. An intyernal drive is faster than most external ones as the most common ones use USB instead of E-SATA for data transfer, fitting a SATA drive into a USB drive enclosure will slow the drive down to USB transfer rates also. The only downside is you can only use one drive at a time.
Thanks Woodchip and Gazzaho for your feedback.
Installing a hot plug drive sounds interesting as internal SATA interface is much faster than external USB or firewire interface.
Any issue on hot plug drive with Windows XP ?
The other question which was not touch on is on the Windows XP Power Option in the Control Panel, you are allowed to set the Hard disk turn-Off time for idle drive. Does this option monitor and turn-off the internal disks individually or all the disks collectively.
For example, if I set the idle time to 15 minutes and the first 2 drives is actively rather frequently but the 3rd drive is not active for more than 15 minutes, will only the 3rd drive will be turn-off or does it wait for all 3 drives to be idle for more than 15 minutes before all the 3 drives are turn off.
To be honest I've no idea if power management handles drive power individually or collectively, perhaps if you posted the question on a Microsoft Windows forum someone may have a detailed answer.
Regarding hot swap and Windows XP, I've never tried it on XP but I believe it works. As I've stated you will have to enable AHCI in the BIOS and also reinstall the OS (if AHCI isn't enabled) in order to get Windows to recognise your drives as removable media. If you use a hot swap bay without enabling AHCI it won't give the option to eject the drive in Safely Remove Hardware, and even though you can still remove a drive you will have to reboot in order for a new inserted drive to be recognised, I'm no expert, but that has been my experience, gained through trial and error.
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