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Power Management and HDDs

By Snowy Commando
Jan 23, 2003
  1. I've recently been getting annoyed by the noise my PC makes, specifically the 2 HDDs. It's the high pitch whirring noise of the 7200rpm spindle spinning constantly. It's very noticable when my room has gone completly quiet.

    I see the power options to shut off hdds after 10mins, i could hear the difference straight away, the whirring noise has near enough gone.

    Is there anything wrong with doing this as my second 'storage' drive only warms up when i need to access it rarely say when just using Word and hdds have gone to sleep in background until i save or something.

    remember they goto sleep after x minutes of idle time so if i'm surfing and C: drive is occasional in use with the IE cache, it stays alive.

    it makes more immediate difference then anything else i've tried b4.
     
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    You really shouldn't spin down a HD if you're going to start it again more than 3-4 times a day.

    I don't know if there is a way to spin down only one HD. There were such utilities for DOS, but I haven't seen such a thing for newer OS.

    Have you tried a thick sock around the HD?
     
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    Well, the longer it keeps running - The shorter its life will be.

    One could argue that constantly spinning up and down may actually damage it more quickly though.

    If it is a unfrequently accessed drive, then I would recommend putting standby on something like 1 hour. This way it WILL standby, but only if you are not at your computer for long periods of time (like you are out, or asleep). You will still hear the noise from time to time though.
     
  4. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,919   +9

    I haven't had any problems with hdds powering off after 7 minutes of idling.
     
  5. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 205

    Say i had it set to power down at 10minutes, i don't think it really matters if i'm barely using the computer where the hdds are not needed much like at nite or using Word for a few hours for work.

    The whirl of the 7200rpm spindles is sure more annoying and noticable to my ear drum then the blowing of my system fans...it's all about a different type of noise - air blowing vs hi pitch whirling - the latter being worse imho.
     
  6. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 1,595


    Consistent, constant use will wear it down FAR less then having powered on and powered off again more then a few times a day.

    Contrary to popular (incorrect) belief, most damage to computer components does not come from heat, it comes from the stress of constant temperature extremes. High temperature use, then powered off, low temperature... powered on again, high temperature.. so on and so forth. That puts an intense amount of stress on every component of the device as it is constantly expanding/contracting.

    Take the story of the lightbulb in the fire station in new york - It burned for near a century, because it was never turned off.
     
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Soul Harvester is right.

    I pretty much do not turn my computers off at all.
     
  8. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 1,595

    Neither do I... unless there is an electrical storm or I'm moving, all my boxes are powered on (excluding monitors)
     
  9. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,745

    My roommate and I are the same way. We have 6 or 7 computers running at the same time, as well as 4 monitors. I am just glad I don't have to pay my own electric bill. :)
     
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