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Hotplug in Win7 Home Premium

By Vollezar · 21 replies
Mar 22, 2012
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  1. I moved everything into a server case. The case has a hot plug box for 4 hard drives and since there is no other place I can put them I moved my hard drives in there. I also moved one of my spare drives there so I can use it to store backups. My intention was to plug the drive in, make a backup and remove it. Without having to restart the machine. However once I moved it in there I realized that windows does not see it as removable drive but as normal drive. and there is no "Safely remove your hardware" icon in the tray. Now I am wondering whether it would be safe for me just to remove the drive straight out or do I have to restart it every time?
  2. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    Was that hard drive that you intend to use just simply for your "back up's", is that hard drive an I.D.E. or SATA or USB?

    Because if it's an older styled I.D.E., you will never get that "safely remove hardware" message. Even if the drive is a more modern SATA one, just like with an I.D.E. you will not get that "safe to remove hardware" message as well. But if your drive is a USB styled one, your Operating System should have picked up on what it was, how it was being connected and more importantly, what kind off hook up the device is using. Almost every Operating System I've ever put my hands on, know when something is a USB device, and will almost always display that "safe to remove hardware" message, both by way of ((right clicking)) the device icon itself by way of Windows Explorer, or going for the little icon in the lower right hand corner on your Windows taskbar.

    So if it's not a USB device, I'm afraid to properly remove and install the drive, your going to have to power down the computer, each and every time.....sorry! :(
  3. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Sorry forgot to clarify that part. It is an SATA.
    That's too bad. I figured with the hot plug it would allow me to plug it in and remove as I need it. Like on server. Oh well.
  4. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    I'm not 100% certain here, maybe with that "hot plug" thing your talking about, maybe there might be a way for a SATA drive to be installed and remove while the computer is still running. Even though I've got a degree and some cert's in the world of computers, severs and networks, I have had very limited contact with "hot plug" and or the other term for it "hot swapping" devices. Maybe there is a way, like some piece of hardware that goes in between the drive and computer, as to register it with your Operating System and would allow you to safely remove it while the computer is up and running.

    I've seen what your talking about inside company cold rooms and Telco rooms and such, they got servers that all you need to do is press a little button on the front, the servers Operating System gives an instant message that it's safe to remove the drive, it's removed to be returned later, or a new drive is installed in it's place.

    I pretty much only deal with the normal and regular stuff, yeah I'm certified with servers, but I've never really dealt with "hot swappable" ones! Maybe some other TechSpot member who has more experience than I do with this technology can step up and help you out!
  5. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Being a ******* I decided to just try and see what would happen if I did that a few times. It seems to work just fine.When I remove the drive it simply disappears from the list and when I plug it back in It shows up and Autoplay menu shows up. The system keeps running without so much as a hick up. But I think I am just going to leave it be and do it either through HDD docking station or plug it in and remove whenever I need to shut the machine down.
  6. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    Kind of sounds to me, that you got this issue all ironed out! Glad to hear that the "hot plug" things works. And don't shy away from this or be fearful here, if what you wanted is working, and your computer shows no signs of trouble, than I'd say just plug the drives in and take them out on demand. Sounds like you got the makings of a good basic "hot swappable" system!

    Glad for you.... :)
  7. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    I was afraid to fry yet another system. That's one thing I am master at.
  8. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    I think we all at some point were "masters" of doing something wrong on a computer system. Personally I don't think you've got anything to really worry about. Sounds to me that everything is acting and responding normally for a "hot plug" situation. I could be wrong, another TechSpot member may come in here and set things straight, but I doubt it. I think you've figured things out for now, you have a little "touch & go" experimentation to do yet, just to get a feel for things, but I suspect everything is going to work out to the way you wanted it.

    So have no fear, show those hard drives who's BOSS! :cool:
  9. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    I just figured it out. And it does not have to be a hot plug box. Just as long as you can easily disconnect the wires from the drive you are able to use it as hot plug.
    First you need to set IDE in BIOS as AHCI. Than you can set each of your SATA ports as an eSATA. And voila.
    I don't know whether or not I was actually doing any damage to the system or the drive by doing what I did previous to this. I didn't do extensive testing. But now I can see a "Safely remove your hardware icon".
    I am guessing this will only work with SATA drives.
  10. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    Wow, here you are all "new" at this sort of stuff, and your teaching this "certified" person a thing or two! Again, only about 2-3 times had I ever had to put my hands on a hot swappable system, I did not know about this BIOS thing you are describing. Also, I wouldn't be concerned with maybe doing any possible damage to your system, before knowing this settings stuff inside BIOS. If your computer was to have been damaged, you would have most likely known about it by now. Heck, I've learned that computer almost never give it's owner or user any messages like "hay big guy or gal, things are great, I'm running super duper"! But computers don't ever hesitate to give out "error messages", I think computers some what live to hand those messages out!

    Now I would say "live it up" and enjoy the fact that you've now added to your education level in the wonderful world of computers. :)
  11. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Thanks. Stumbled on it by accident. I had to reset my BIOS and when I started to put everything I noticed that setting. Now I just need to find a good aftermarket CPU cooler and I am good to go with this machine.
  12. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    What type of computer processor do you have? What's it speed and power rating? For I might have one or two good recommendation up my sleeve.
  13. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

  14. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    Holy smokes, I've never quite seen computer cooling like this before. That's some pipe you got there, pumping in that outside air. I've never seen the "window" approach to this, but I have once seen the "air conditioner" approach. One of my former clients did a different variation of your deal. He crawled under his house and cut out a nice round hole from the floor duct pipe that ran cool air into his office. He then mounted the hole with some flex pipe, secured it and sealed it with clear silicon. Then he cut out a clean hole in the floor directly under his computer station, ran the flex pipe through the hole and through the hole he cut out in the bottom of his computer case. Then he mounted some sort of special end to the flex pipe that would evenly distribute the cool air conditioning air into the computer. It's been like 6-7 years since I saw it done that way, I thought it was quite innovative, but to me the only bad deal about it was that only so many times out of an hour or day would the computer get a good blast of super cold air, plus I advised him that exposing a computer to extreme low temps then allowing it to spike to at least room temps wasn't the most healthiest thing in the world. But he got by!

    Let me ponder for a little while what I would feel might be a good cooling solution for you. What I was thinking about recommending doesn't apply, your processor is to powerful and runs hotter than what I was thinking about. I might have to look into the "orb", and see what that cooling solution can handle. Trust me I will get back to you soon!

    "That's a big pipe"! :)
  15. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    LOL. I got no air conditioner so for summer I better get a cooler.
    That pipe is a 6" dryer duct. Before that I had made a pipe out of 3 large coffee cans and a big plastic container. That one wasn't flexible enough.
    The pipe works great and at the intake I got a dense mesh installed to hold off the dust.
  16. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    Possible Cooling Solutions....

    My step Brother operates the following cooling solution, he's running an Intel i5 CPU and it's overclocked.

    Corsair Hydro Series H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH80)

    One of my friends operates the following solution, it's not quite identical, I think he's got the model design bellow this one, so this one may be the step up from what he's got.

    Antec Kühler H20 920 Liquid CPU Cooling System

    When I build client computers, if there are a couple of PCI slot spaces available, I always try to throw in about 2 of these small cooling solutions. It helps take out hot air that builds up around the PCI cards and sound and video cards. Plus it helps keep the air flow moving inside the computer case.

    Antec Cyclone PCI Slot Blower Cooler Case Fan for Any Expansion Slot

    In just about all the computers I build for myself, I normally throw in one of these, I usually get mine at Fry's Electronics for around the same price. I've never had a problem with CPU cooling with this kit.

    Zalman USA CNPS9500AT-Zalman CNPS9500AT Processor Heatsink and Cooling Fan - Kit

    Also, normally for just the computers I build for myself, and maybe a couple client builds, I try to throw in at least a couple of these, it helps air flow around the hard drive or drives. Also the spare cool air that sneaks by the hard drives, it's dumped into the open spaces inside the case, to assist with extra cooling.

    STARTECH 5.25 Dual Fan Drive Bay Hard Drive Cooler Cooling Kit Maximum Airflow Plastic Black

    And as always I try to find computer cases that support at least a minimum of 2 to 3 120mm fans. I mount them in the back, aiming outwards, a minimum of two makes for a good amount of air pushing through the case. And sometimes I try to get away with an oversize front intake fan, I normally chuck out the stock front intake fan with an oversize one, you get greater air intake in front of the case that way.

    Cooler Master 120mm Silent Case Fan 4-in-1 Value Pack

    I don't know if any of what I've said here will help. it's just when building computers for people, who I know don't have the greatest air conditions in the rooms they choose to have the computers in, I always try to go a little "overkill" on cooling fans and sometimes will opt for liquid cooling over air cooling because of warm conditions in the rooms that either friends, family or clients choose to use the computers in. With your claim of not having "air conditioning" for the summer months, I would then opt to go balls to the wall with the fans.

    *Just some things to take in and mill about I guess!*

    Hope this helps..... :)
  17. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Holy cow.
    I was looking at those Corsair Hydro series coolers today. I think they would be perfect for my case. Since it's a server case I have a whole lot of space inside.
  18. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    My step Brother has chosen to run that very cooling solution for a good long while now, without any complaints at all. Again, he's kind of young, likes his power and speed and always try's his best to "push things to the extreme"! He likes to overclock computer processors, sometimes I think he wants to cook an egg on the darn chip! So I would strongly recommend the Corsair Hydro, just for the simple fact that it can survive an over zealous kid. So I suspect if it can survive my Brother, it can survive what ever your going to throw at it.

    I still think that's a pretty big pipe! :haha:
  19. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    I don't even know why I am overclocking. The stock speed is enough to run all the programs I usually use and I don't play games much anymore.Although I did ran through Dues EX:HR about 6 times while overclocked and it was great.
  20. jdillman1502

    jdillman1502 TS Enthusiast Posts: 119

    Even though you have already resolved your question, I just wanted to clarify something (in case you ever run into this). Only SATA drives are able to be plugged/unplugged without powering off the pc. IDE drives will not respond the same way.
  21. Vollezar

    Vollezar TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Thanks for confirming.
  22. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,187   +207

    confirmed :)

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