Is external hard drive spin down truly a power saving only feature?
Posted on 2011-02-19
Can't find the Hard drive zone anymore, has it been removed?
Awhile back we were trying to identify the cause of several event 51 and event 11 paging errors (in Windows XP and Windows 7 respectively) in Windows that we noticed are caused by virtually all Seagate external drives. After speaking to Seagate support, we concluded they are caused by the hard drive sleep feature that puts the drive to "sleep" after so many minutes of inactivity. Seagate support suggested we set the drives to never sleep. Sure enough, this got rid of 95% of the errors.
However, we have now noticed it occurs on virtually all Seagate and a lot of Western Digital drives (and WD support also documents the sleep featuer causes it but it cant be disabled on all their drives).
The question is, it the sleep feature strictly only for power saving? If so, we don't mind the extra power to keep a clean event log (it makes it easier to monitor also). However, we don't want to decrease any life on the drive by not using the "power savings" feature. Seagate support said it should not really decrease the life of the drive. It may just go back to the age old debate of is it better to leave them spinning or spin them down versus the number of start ups. Most clients uses them for backups so we want to get some EE member opinions of we should follow the Seagate support advice. Thanks!