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External USB drive enclosure with spindown timeout?

Gary Case
Gary Case asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Is anyone aware of any external USB drive enclosures that spindown the drive after a period of non-use?   Since they have their own controller interface, none of these are controlled by Windows drive time-out value; but there's no reason they can't have their own spindown logic.   I've only got a few of the enclosures -- the Penguins are my favorite; but none of the ones I have spin down.   I've also sent several e-mail to enclosure makes; but have had only a couple of responses -- and they were negative.

There have been questions in this regard before -- and none were identified.  Just thought I'd see if there's been any progress.
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I've also used/tried dozens of different brands/models but haven't found one that would spindown...
(though that was never an issue to me)

Usually, those enclosures have their own power supply (those that rely on USB power are often "troublesome") and so, power saving is not much of an issue.

Or do you have a different purpose in mind (besides power saving)?

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I have a NetDisk from Ximeta and it spins down after a period of non-use.  Has both USB and ethernet ports but you can only use one or the other.
Haven't tried any with ethernet ports. Just USB and Firewire...

But it may be just what Gary needs. :)
My Seagate One does just that...20mins idle time will spin down. It will spin back up on any activity.

See link below for disk model:


Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009


Well ... I get perturbed when folks aren't clear enough in their questions ==> and now I've done the same thing !!!!   I know several of the commerically packaged external drives spindown (and thanks for the references jhance and prof666); but what I MEANT here is a stand-alone external USB drive enclosure that has this capability.   i.e. one that you can put your own drive in.   The main reason I prefer this is simple:  the warranty for the pre-packaged drives is typically 1 year;  the warranty for a drive by itself is 3-5 years.   And the cost is not a factor -- in fact, it's generally a bit less to buy the drive and an enclosure.   So I'd simply prefer a 5-year warranty :-)

Carlos -- I don't have an overwhelming need for the spindown;  I never turn my system off, and my external drives have been spinning away for a year or so with no problem.  I'm just getting ready to add a couple more, and thought I'd see if I can find an enclosure that will spin them down after an hour or so like my desktop drives do.
Coincidentally I just finished assembling one more USB drive enclosure.
All those I mentioned are of the kind you put your whatever HD you want in there.
(didn't wait to see this one spinned down however)

My systems are also "always on", and using Cool'n'quiet.
However, regarding the HDs, I prefer to always leave them spinning - I'm paranoid about those "spinning-up/down" cycles.

So, if power and noise is not an issue, I don't see much reason to spin the HDs down.
(Unless you know for sure you won't be using them for a reasonable amount of time)

Right now I'm toying around with XP embedded for a project, and hope to be able to use for a silent Media Center PC, running of compact flash. :)
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009


It is true that spin-up cycles are probably the most stressful things you do to your hard drives;  but all modern drives are rated for a minimum of 50,000 cycles ==>  I have my drives spin down after 2 hours; and as much as I use my computer I doubt that happens more than 2 or 3 times a day.   At 3 cycles a day, that's 16,667 days = 45+ years before they hit their minimum rated cycles :-)    And the tradeoff for spinning it down is that the drive only uses a watt or so in standby mode, so is MUCH cooler.   Since my external drives are rarely used -- I just store backups, downloads, etc. on them -- it would just be nice if they were in standby instead of always spinning.   I could, of course, just reach over and power them off/on when I want to use them -- but that takes EFFORT on my part !!  (I'm lazy)   So I suppose they'll just spin away :-)
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009


Doesn't seem likely there will be any more responses, so I'm just going to close this.

The "solution" I'm going to use for future external cases is to use e-SATA cases and an e-SATA controller card.   Not as portable as USB drives -- but I already have plenty of USB drives for those times I want to connect to a different PC.   With the e-SATA setup, the interface is faster, and the drives work just like they were internal (i.e. there shouldn't be any question about spindown).

... but if anyone happens upon an external USB enclosure (JUST the enclosure) that spins down, please let me know :-)

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