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Turning off second hard drive

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by jasi, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. jasi

    jasi
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    Hi, I'm buying a second hard drive for my pc and would like to keep it turned off most of the time except for very occasional use. If anyone could enlighten me as to whether this possible within windows xp I would be most greatful. :thumbsup:
     
  2. Maff et1

    Maff et1
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    Theres no easy way to turn off an internal hard drive (you have to pull out both the power and data cables). But it wouldn't hurt windows much (PC has to be switched off obviously).

    You could do it with either a cold/hot swapable mounting bay (cold = have to turn off PC before pluging/unpluging drive) - this isn't cheap as they are mostly for servers.

    Or you could use an external drive - usb will definately allow you to turn it on/off whilst the pc is on, not sure about firewire.

    Why would you want to turn it off anyway - 1 hard drive doesn't use much power - and running your OS from one drive and swap space (virtual memory) from another will speed up your PC
     
  3. jasi

    jasi
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    thanks for the reply! I was only going to use the other hard drive to store films on and wanted to turn it off because its currently the noisiest thing in my pc. I don't mind leaving it on too much though, what's this thing about swap space? If it will increase performance I suppose I ought to look into it...
     
  4. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    If you buy carefully then HD noise isn't too much of a problem these days. I've got the current Seagate Barracuda incarnation and it's silent to my ears. :)
     
  5. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    Or Samsung Spinpoint - I find I hear the Barracuda gets a bit noisy when it's idle - dont know why though.
     
  6. jasi

    jasi
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    Yeah, the hard drive I ordered is a seagate, hope its quiet. I'm just don't like the maxtor I have at the moment which is louder than my psu and cpu fans combined!
     
  7. mjn

    mjn
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    3 choices really:

    1) Disable the HDD in the BIOS when not needed

    2) Install the drive in a remoavable HDD caddy

    3) Make the drive external and use a USB2 or firewire interface.
     
  8. DaveP

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    This wont turn the disk off, it will still spin! Also, XP will most probably still see it!

    Dave
     
  9. jasi

    jasi
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    Thanks for all your help. I think I'm going to go for the usb option since my antec aria won't allow for much else. Would a normal ide to usb adaptor be sufficient (say off ebay), are some faster than others?
    Thanks!
     
  10. mrmoo

    mrmoo
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    Or you could put a switch in the HDD power feed cable. Do a search, I've answered this question before.
     
  11. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    The removable drive trays certainly work.
    On many there is a key-operated switch that allows you to switch the drive off without physically removing it.
    I have 2 of them.
    1 has winXP on one.
    1 has Win98SE on another.
    My SCSI drive has DOS (and Win3.1) on it.
    I can boot from any of these.
    Thus by the turning 1 or 2 keyswitches I have the choice of 3 OSes without needing Boot Manager s/ware.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     
  12. mjn

    mjn
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    Yeah, there is USB 1/1.1 and 2.0

    V2.0 is around 10 times faster than v1/1.1, so make sure you get 2.0.
     
  13. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon
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    USB drives arent recommended if your intending to use them for PVR use as they cant maintain a sufficent write speed.
     
  14. jasi

    jasi
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    Thats ok, I was just going to store dvd backups on it - I'm assuming usb would handle that...
     
  15. mjn

    mjn
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    Yes.
     
  16. Maff et1

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    Some drives can be set to an optional lowpower / lownoise mode via a software utility (I think I've seen some with jumpers for this aswell). Put the drive in your PC, use the software to set it for low power and them put it in a USB enclosure and it should spin down when not in use.

    I have a lacie P3 usb drive in my living room (linked to my topfield PVR) and can't hear it at all unless I'm right next to it.

    If you have a 5 1/4 bay free www.overclockers.co.uk seem to be doing ATA drive bays for 10 quid http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Removable_Hard_Drive_Racks.html
     
  17. Xiox

    Xiox
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    If noice is your only concern, here is also an option not mentioned so far - you can use a normal internal hard drive and install some utility (depending on the manufacturer of the drive) which handles the acoustic management of the drive. These utilities decrease the noice at a minimum performance cost.
     
  18. jasi

    jasi
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    that sounds like a good idea, do you know if these utilities reduce the idle noise or just seek noise?
     

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