hdparm windows port! stopping, APM, AAM ...

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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jojo4u
Posts: 806
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 7:00 am
Location: Germany

hdparm windows port! stopping, APM, AAM ...

Post by jojo4u » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:57 pm

EDIT: http://revosleep.realspooky.de/ seems to do the trick more comfortable. Not tested by me yet.

Wohooo! Sombody, more specifically Christian Franke, ported hdparm to Windows! Get it here: http://hdparm-win32.dyndns.org/hdparm/ Still marked experimental, though. Works in AHCI! Although APM seems to require a restart with my Fujitsu.

Now you can stop your drive in command-line and set APM and AAM. So you can write a little batch and put in on a keyboard shortcut now :)
A GUI program for all the features is HDDScan, which does not work with AHCI.
For setting AAM/APM you also can use Notebook Hardware Control or Hitachi Feature Tool or, if you own a Hitachi 2.5" drive, you can also use Power Booster for APM.
There are some other programs for AAM. I like SilentDrive, but it's german.

APM
There are 3 relevant power-saving modes for a 2.5" drive under Windows for my Fujitsu MHV2120BH
1. Active Idle: The head is in a position of extreme inner in disk
medium. (VCM Lock)
2. Low Power Idle: The head is unloaded from disk.
3. Standby: The spindle motor stops.

All subjective hearing descriptions with AAM@254.
Active Idle is alway executed after every operation. So I can hear a short click when the head is positioned at the extreme inner disk.
Low Power Idle can be configured by setting APM to 129-254. The heads are unloaded after some seconds, the clenk-clack is longer and more distinct then the Active Idle operation. When APM is disabled, the timer is set to 15 minutes.
Standby can be enabled by setting APM to 1-128, the disk is powered down after some seconds.

You should consider this when talking about clicking on 2.5". Don't forget to have a look into the manual about setting the APM.

Stopping
Stopping the system drive is fruitless as my tests have shown. But you may stop a second disk either automatically or manually. Diskmon and Filemon from sysinternals help to identify processes which access the drives.

manual stopping:
1. use mountvol.exe <drive letter> /D to unmount drive
2. use hdparm -Y /dev/hd[a...z] to disable drive
3. execute mountvol and note funny long volume name which is missing a drive letter
3. use mountvol <drive letter> <funny long name> to remount drive

minimize access to hdds so that Windows idle time shuts them down
1. get tweakui and disable general->"optimize harddrive when idle" and taskbar->"warn when low on disk space"
2. disable or move page file
3. get exctrlst.exe and disable perfdisk since Windows accesses some perfomance data every hour.
4. don't use windows file explorer since it tries to access all devices when started
by kogi:
5. Disable Recycle bin on drive
6. Disable System restore on drive
7. Disable indexing service

Practical experience: Thanks to Windows on USB, I can stop the drive using mountvol and hdparm. When using the PC, from time to time the hdd spins up again for unknown reasons. I will investigate this further.

Enhanced Write Filter (EWF)
This comes from Windows XP embedded and works like this: For a protected partition every write access is redirected to a separate layer in RAM or on a disk. On normal restart, every change is lost. In order to prevent this, you can commit changes on restart. And for RAM layers also commit changes live but the the service is stopped then until restart.
This also works under XP, I used a german HOWTO for this. With EWF and tweaking I was not able to prevent my system drive from spinning up again after some seconds. Conclusion: Stopping your system drive permanently is very hard and next to impossible.
The sucessor of sector-based EWF is File Based Writer (FBWF) but this one is not mature yet and no HOWTOs are existing (no commit of deleted files some restrictions on commit of created files).
Link as a starting point: http://mason.gmu.edu/~sfiorito/eXPinstall.htm

I cannot guarantee that my stopping methods work since I've only one drive.

One last note: the Intel Matrix Storage Manager claims to enables some SATA low-power features on notebook platforms, you might want to give it a try.

EDIT: practical experiences added.
Last edited by jojo4u on Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:43 am, edited 8 times in total.

dvdmonster
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:19 am

Re: hdparm windows port! stopping, APM, AAM ...

Post by dvdmonster » Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:17 pm

jojo4u wrote: 4. don't use windows file explorer since it tries to access all devices when started
Thanks for the heads up jojo4u!

Any idear if Vista file explorer also access all drives when startet?

jojo4u
Posts: 806
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 7:00 am
Location: Germany

Post by jojo4u » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:22 am

No idea, Vista is still unexplored and probably will be for 1-2 years. You can put a CD in your drive, wait to let it spin down and then open the explorer.

jedster
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:48 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: hdparm windows port! stopping, APM, AAM ...

Post by jedster » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:12 pm

dvdmonster wrote:
jojo4u wrote: 4. don't use windows file explorer since it tries to access all devices when started
Thanks for the heads up jojo4u!

Any idear if Vista file explorer also access all drives when startet?
i definitely haven't done much testing, but i don't think it does, at least in the power saver mode. i do know that if you log on it spins all the drives up by default. i'm trying to see if there's a way of stopping it from doing that...
Quietly rooting for the glorious comeback of the MCE2005 UI to Vista media center

dvdmonster
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:19 am

Re: hdparm windows port! stopping, APM, AAM ...

Post by dvdmonster » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:41 am

jedster wrote:i do know that if you log on it spins all the drives up by default. i'm trying to see if there's a way of stopping it from doing that...
Nice, let us know what you find out! :P

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