Turn off Hard Drive????


Another simple question - but one I need to ask.

I am setting up a new computer and have a question about the settings that can turn off (or not) the hard drive.

I have never allowed any of my computers to turn off the hard drives - and I never turn off the computer - I only re-start it occasionally.

Anyway - What are the pros and cons to having the system turn off the hard drive after a set length of time?

I think the reason I never did this before (on other machines) is because I had difficulty getting the system to acknowledge that I was ready to use the computer - it would like stay in hybernation. But if this is a good thing to do and there is a simple keystroke to bring it back to life - I may want to do this.

Thanks for any input,
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Pros:Save energy and wear and tear on your hard drive

Cons:Have experienced problems with computers coming out of hibernation after a prolonged period of time.

I would never let the computer turn off your hard drive. If you are going to be gone from the computer that long just turn it off completely.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I agree that many systems have difficulty properly restarting from hibernation and/or standby modes.  But that's DIFFERENT than simply powering down the hard drives after a set length of time.  There's NO reason not to do that => saves a bit of power; lets the drives cool down a bit;  and only take a few seconds to spin back up.   In most cases you won't even notice it.   I set all my systems to turn off the video after 10 minutes and the hard drives after an hour => and you can see the power consumption drop (I use a Kill-a-Watt) when those events happen (quite a bit for the video; much less for the hard drive).
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... and yes, it only takes a keystroke to bring things back to life.  I never turn my PC off; and when I sit down at it in the morning I tap the space bar and am ready to go ...
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DuVallAuthor Commented:
Since we have two differing opinions thus far - I will leave this open for more comments. I want to turn the drives off..... but I do not want to experience problems waking the system either.
Maybe i can test this new computer and see how it handles this - then decide if I want to continue doing this.
The reason why I prefer to turn the drives off is to reduce wear on the drives - period - this is the only reason. I seem to have gone through a lot of drives - maybe more than I should be burning up. I don't care about the power consumption as I do not pay for electricity where I live - it is included in my rent. I just want this new computer and new drive to last longer than they have in the past.
>Since we have two differing opinions thus far

You know that anyone can post, right?  I advise you to check who has the most points in the Hardware TA this year - Gary is a knowledgeable expert.  I also have no problems with turning off hard drives when idle - it's just a little beyond turning off the screen.  If you're having problems with drives dying prematurely, I would check the power at the outlet.  Fluctuating power can stress a power supply and the components it is attached to.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You are not "waking the computer" if you set a drive turn-off time.  That's completely different than putting a system into an S1 or S3 standby state, or into hibernation.   The big pro is that the drive's bearings get less wear and it's not constantly running.  The only con is that drives are designed for a limited number of spinup cycles => but that number is generally 50,000 or more.   If you spun up once ever two hours (VERY unlikely) it would be over 11 years before you reached that limit.   A much more likely scenario is a couple of spinups a day => the drive will be obsolete LONG before it fails because it's not able to spinup !!

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Gary would be correct. The turn off time doesn't make the computer go into hibernation. I was mistaken in my entry. All the turn off drive does is spin the drive down for less power consumption and doesn't send the computer into sleep or hibernation mode. I apologize for my error.
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