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Cutting power to SATA HDD to save heat and energy

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soldar:


I have a Seagate Barracuda, 750GB, ST3750640NS, 3.5", SATA HDD which I was using just for backups but since my main drive failed I have called this one into active service again.

I want to use it as a secondary storage drive, not as the OS boot drive.

BUT, it gets hot. Too hot for my taste. I assume it is OK but I am thinking that, as I will only be accessing it very sparsely, I could turn it off most of the time and only turn it on when I need it.

I assume just cutting the 12V and 5V supplies would be fine and would not damage anything. I do not know how the OS, Win XP, might deal with it but I am hoping nothing catastrophic. In the worst of cases I would need to restart the computer.

I assume it would be safest to cut both voltages but maybe cutting only one is safe? This would make installing a switch easier as I would not need double pole. I suppose I could always install a relay.

I would welcome any advice, tips or knowledge on the subject.

DimitriP:

--- Quote ---I assume just cutting the 12V and 5V supplies would be fine and would not damage anything. I do not know how the OS, Win XP, might deal with it but I am hoping nothing catastrophic.
--- End quote ---

Assuming and hoping don't sound very "engineery".

Go to your Power settings and tell windows to turn the drive off when it's not being used.
Or replace it since it's getting "too hot".
But whatever you do, don't assume and hope.

dobsonr741:
Friendly suggestions: get the basics right first: be able to provide proper airflow to cool the drive. Regardless of cutting power.  Get rid of Windows XP. Upgrade. It’s obsolete.

Then look for the spindown option on the OS you replaced XP with. Also, the drive needs to support spindown, which might not always the case.

madires:
AFAIK, support for hot-plugging is part of the SATA standard. You could cut the power or put the HDD into sleep mode (via a command).

magic:
Absolutely spin it down by software, every disk made in this century supports this.

Cutting power shuts down the SATA link and makes the software consider the disk gone for good. For all the software knows, the disk may now be plugged into another machine and being modified by it. Any data buffered by the software and not flushed yet will be discarded and lost.

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