Power management to quiet hard disk

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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beefybeef
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Power management to quiet hard disk

Post by beefybeef » Sun Apr 27, 2003 4:42 am

Hi everyone. My 2nd drive that I use for backups only is now the loudest thing in my system. It's an IBM 20.5GB 7200rpm drive and is quite loud when spinning. It's mounted on rubber gromits so without buying a drive enclosure I can't make it any quieter.

I've tried setting both drives to power down after 3 mins in the power setttings (Windows XP) and sometimes it powers it down, sometimes not. I don't want or expect it to power down the main disk because I know it's always needed for virtual memory and other things. That isn't a problem because it's a lovely quite Cuda. :)

I don't have a page file set on the backup drive and unless I want to run a backup, I don't need it. Sometimes it doesn't power down though, or if it does and then I do a backup, it stays spinning and won't ever switch off.

Is there some way I can either stop the drive spinning at all on start-up until I try to access it, or at least make sure it stops spinning after I've done a backup?

Thanks for any help,
Geoff.

L4177312
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Post by L4177312 » Sun Apr 27, 2003 9:41 am

your setup is simlar to mine.. except mine spindown after 15 and the noisemaker is a maxtor. i noticed when the maxtor is sleeping.. if i run windows media player, some game, certain apps, or send something to the recyle bin, the maxtor will spin up and then back down after about 15 min.. even though the files accessed are located on the cuda. :evil:

someone suggested to set the second drive as a removalbe, which should give you more options.. like to manually power off the drive.. but i havent been able to find how to do that.

beefybeef
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Post by beefybeef » Sun Apr 27, 2003 10:25 am

Thanks for replying. Based on what you've written, I think I need to do some more testing. If the drive turns off once all other programs are closed apart from whatever I'm downloading from when I'm trying to sleep, that'll be fine. I'll give that a test later and see what happens.

If if still doesn't work I'll look into making it removable. It sounds like a good idea if I can get it working, but if you can't I doubt I'll be able to either. :)

Cheers,
Geoff.

fancontrol
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Post by fancontrol » Sun Apr 27, 2003 10:44 am

You could get a usb/fire to IDE adaptor, and with some mods be able to switch it on/off & keep the whole mess internal. There would probably be a speed hit, but it doesn't sound like that would matter much to you.

pingu666
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Post by pingu666 » Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:05 am

to me it sounds like the hard disks are treated as one
recycle bin is also shared across drives/partions i think

dgouldin
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Post by dgouldin » Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:54 am

The recycle bin does span all windows partitions.

As far as removable drives go, the only way I've found (using the "eject hardware" feature of 2k/xp) to make a drive removable is to connect it using usb or firewire as fancontrol suggested. Those hard drive trays that you see all over the place will allow you to quickly swap hard drives when the computer is off, but they provide no hot swapping capabilities.

...

You could try using one of those and just taking the drive out and see what happens ... might be interesting.

dedogs
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Post by dedogs » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:47 am

am i not right in thinking windows lets you stop SATA drives like a usb drive :?:

Not sure how old this post is but hope im helping

Orlock
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well

Post by Orlock » Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:08 pm

You could do what I did with my noisy maxtor. It would mean a slight change in behavior though.

I picked up one of those drive bay disk sleds, like the vantec ones. Then moved the offending drive into it. In this case it's an older drive sled that's not so cramped, so I had no worries killing the 40mm ventilation fan.

What this allows me to do is to externally switch power on or off to that drive. I only power it on when I need to do a backup or restore from the drive. To do so, I shutdown the machine, power the drive on or off, then power up the workstation. So I only get noise during those few times I need to backup or restore files.

You could achieve the same thing without bringing the workstation down by moving your second drive to a USB2 external case. They're cheap (mwave.com has a generic one for $25), and allow you to yank them whenever you want (provided you drop access properly in WinXP first).

mpjohnst
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Post by mpjohnst » Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:06 pm

I was just thinking about this tonight for (2) old, loud, WD PATA drives I have and want to use as media storage...

I don't plan on using them often and already have a very quiet system using (2) SATA samsungs for my OS and data. I was looking into a switch of some sort I could mod into a free 3.5" or 5.25" drive bay. Then if I got PATA->SATA adapters, and SATA being hot-swappable, I could flip on/off the drives as needed.

My question is, if you look at a standard 4 pin Molex HDD power adapter, there is a 5v, a 12v and (2) grounds. Does the HDD use both the 5 and the 12v? If so, is there a switch that could switch them both simultaneously? Most of the radiorack-type standard switches don't look like they could handle that...

Ideally I could mod these switches into a multi-format card reader as I was thinking of getting one anyway. If I were to, I was thinking of using this one: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDe ... 502&depa=0 as it has the open back and space on the right front to add switches.

However, this one: http://www.pccasegear.com/prod850.htm looks like it may work off the shelf assuming you get the standard to mini 4-pin adapters.

What do you all think...? Is this possible? Is it a good idea? I don't really want another external USB 2.0 drive (already have one for backups) so I would prefer to keep these (2) drives internal. However, I want the ability to totally power them off and on while the computer is on. Any other suggestions are welcome...
-MJ

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:10 am

mpjohnst --

Breaking the ground would also unpower the drive, wouldn't it? Could be a simpler wiring task. I suggest checking eletronics DIY sites for detailed switch/wiring info.

Windows will probably be OK w/the drives being power up/down. The drives might not be as happy but...

If your system is quiet, you might consider decouple mounting these WDs to keep the noise down.

bomba
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Post by bomba » Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:11 pm

mpjohnst wrote:I was just thinking about this tonight for (2) old, loud, WD PATA drives I have and want to use as media storage...

I don't plan on using them often and already have a very quiet system using (2) SATA samsungs for my OS and data. I was looking into a switch of some sort I could mod into a free 3.5" or 5.25" drive bay. Then if I got PATA->SATA adapters, and SATA being hot-swappable, I could flip on/off the drives as needed.

My question is, if you look at a standard 4 pin Molex HDD power adapter, there is a 5v, a 12v and (2) grounds. Does the HDD use both the 5 and the 12v? If so, is there a switch that could switch them both simultaneously? Most of the radiorack-type standard switches don't look like they could handle that...

Ideally I could mod these switches into a multi-format card reader as I was thinking of getting one anyway. If I were to, I was thinking of using this one: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDe ... 502&depa=0 as it has the open back and space on the right front to add switches.

However, this one: http://www.pccasegear.com/prod850.htm looks like it may work off the shelf assuming you get the standard to mini 4-pin adapters.

What do you all think...? Is this possible? Is it a good idea? I don't really want another external USB 2.0 drive (already have one for backups) so I would prefer to keep these (2) drives internal. However, I want the ability to totally power them off and on while the computer is on. Any other suggestions are welcome...
-MJ
I've done this... sort of. You need to not only switch the power to the drive, but also to the SATA-PATA adapter. It's also a good idea to uninstall or disable the drive in device manager prior to power-down to avoid data corruption. I use a Kingwin PATA mobile rack. The mobile rack has a key which unlocks the drive and switches off power to the drive (both 12v & 5v). However, in order to power down the drive without locking up the PC, you must also switch off power to the SATA-PATA adapter, either prior to or simultaneously with switching off HDD power. I accomplished this by soldering the 5v and 12v leads which supply power to the rockethead to suitable locations on the pcb of the mobile rack so that power to the drive and adapter are switched simultaneously. You can do the same by wiring power to both the drive and SATA-PATA adapter through a DPST (double pole single throw) switch so that both 12v & 5v are switched. I'd recommend switching power and not breaking ground. The HDD likely has digital ground and earth ground referenced internally, so switching DC return may at best, fail to power down an earthed drive and at worst will cause current to flow in a path not intended by the design engineer.

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