For many PC users the issue of data storage is quite important. With the rapid Internet development more and more people are beginning to use cloud storages, but they are not always convenient, especially if the Internet is not very fast. In such situations, HDD – external or internal – are a great help. But there might be one problem – the hard disk is getting disabled in Windows, if it is not a system one. It is pretty easy to fix this problem and it will protect your hard disk from an early failure.
Table of contents: 1. Why is it dangerous when the HDD shuts down in a state of inactivity 2. How to make a HDD not to get disconnected (stopped) during operation?
WHY IS IT DANGEROUS WHEN THE HDD SHUTS DOWN IN A STATE OF INACTIVITY
It is very easy to determine that the second HDD on your computer stops while the system is running. This can be done according to two main criteria:
- If it is a hard disk with a rotating spindle (and usually those are used as a file storages in 99.9% of cases), it’s on / off processes are quite audible;
- Speed of operation. When an additional hard disk in your computer stops, it will take it 3-5 seconds to return to the working state. It’s very easy to notice, referring to the files on the disk, that for a while it does not respond – at this moment the hard disk is gaining necessary speed so that the system can read data from it.
First of all, we need to consider the number of hard disk’s acceleration / stopping cycles. There is an opinion that the software of any HDD has a certain number of cycles, after which it becomes unusable. On average a modern hard disk has about 250-500 thousand cycles. That is how many times any HDD can perform the process of stopping and accelerating during the operation before the heads of this device become worn out.
The second parameter discussed is the efficiency of electricity consumption. When the hard disk shuts down, the electricity from the power supply unit is no longer supplied to it, and it works exclusively with the SATA protocol. The SATA protocol power is enough for the disk to be recognized by the system at a low speed (this is why it is visible in “My Computer” column). However, the additional energy will be required when accessing the drive, to read information from it or write a new one. And this energy will be automatically transmitted by the power supply. Thus, if a HDD is permanently switching on and off it leads to the wear of not only its heads, but also the elements of the power unit. However, there is also a positive side to this solution – saving electricity. According to the averaged data, by disabling an additional hard disk during the system operation, it is possible to save only 2-3 Kilowatt per month so we are not talking here about any fantastic energy saving.
The third parameter is the hard disk elements deterioration during operation. If you do not let the additional HDD to “sleep” on your PC, its rotation speed will remain constant. This means that all the hard disk elements will be worn out. Computer professional deduced an interesting theory which says that 5 hours of continuous hard drive operation are equal, due to the deterioration of its components, to one cycle of hard drive stopping / accelerating. Naturally, this figure is only the average result.
Having familiarized with the given information, everyone can draw a conclusion about the necessity to stop supplying power to an additional hard disk in the course of system operation. Below we will give instructions on how to use Windows tools so that the additional HDD of any computer will not “fall asleep” during the active system operation. By the same instruction, changing only one parameter, you can configure disabling the power supply for a hard drive after a certain period of inactivity.
HOW TO MAKE A HDD NOT TO GET DISCONNECTED (STOPPED) DURING OPERATION?
In a situation where the hard disk shuts down after some time of active work, you should set the time for Windows OS to shut down, or set this value to the “Never” indicator.
We offer you a detailed instruction for Windows 10, which is also relevant for earlier versions of this operating system:
- Right-click the Start icon and choose Control Panel from the menu that appears. When it opens, switch the view from “Category” to “Large Icons” and go to “Power Options”.
- In the “Power Options” section, you must change the default profile. To do this, click on “Change plan settings” near the profile that is marked active.
- Then the information about the installed profile will be opened, and here it is necessary to dive even deeper into the settings by clicking on the “Change advanced power settings” button.
- Here you need to select the “Hard disk” item, then expand the “Turn off hard disk after” menu, and in the “Setting (Minutes)” column set the required parameter. To disable the additional hard disk, set the value to “0”. Then just apply the changes, and the configuration is complete.
After changing these settings, the HDD of your computer will stop disconnecting spontaneously, and it will do this only after the time you have set.