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Discussion Starter #1
Hi overclockers, my system is entirely nvme/ssd drive based except only from a 3.5" WD Black. As I use this HD only for file archive, for big data and backups, I rarely access/use it. I know mechanical disks are not silent, especially WD Blacks, but when in it's sleep/spin down state it gets pretty damn silent, and I like it. So, I obviously set in windows power management the option "Turn off hard disk after" on 1 minute, which seems the minimum. The only problem is that after 1 minute nothing happens.

I can't really understand how to manage this, the drive seems to get to sleep quite randomly, maybe after 5 minutes, maybe after 1 hour. I know there are multiple, so many, factors that could keep it active and spinning: software accessing files, third party programs, file indexing...etc. So I decided to start ticking the options one by one, with a wiped out completely empty drive. This are all the steps I followed: 1. Set power options 1 minute, as already said; 2. Disable all the file indexing options; 3. Turning completely off Windows Search service and the search indexing, as some people reported win search was actually keeping their drive active; 4. Monitor every single system task/app/service with Process explorer, and saw that nothing is running/accessing the drive. Nothing seemed to work or change, it just goes to sleep completely random and doesn't want to follow the 1 minute rule I set (that would be fine in my case).

The WD has and sometimes reach this "slow spinning/sleep mode", but I can't understand what criteria it uses. Is there anyway to force this idle sleeping state? I want to find a solution that does not involve psychically disconnecting the drive, or mounting power switches... Maybe some third party software ? Has anyone really got to work the windows "power management 1 minute" rule, and if so how ? Many people online are actually complaining about the opposite, that they don't want their drive to go in standby. How do you guys spin down or maintain your HD in sleep state ??

Having a fully water cooled and silent system, low noise is always my main goal. Every opinion or comment is very much appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope, it's completely clean (everything on C:\). Really can't understand what keeps it from stop spinning randomly
 

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Neither, no antivirus, no antimalware, no third party firewall. As I sai I've been monitoring all the activity and processing with Process Explorer but nothing meets the eye.

Little Update: yesterday I actually managed to create a .bat command line to just spin down the WD black, and it works. It spins down the disk and as soon as I intentionally use/access the HD it comes on again as expected. I've also created a rule to execute this command every time that the PC powers on or awakens from sleep / hibernation, and again it works fine. So when I start a session on the PC the command is executed and the HD "starts" silent. But, AGAIN, after 15-30 minutes in the session or whatever random lapse of time it starts spinning again, for a reason I actually can't find. There's something in the OS or a software that at some point acvtivates / access the disk.
I've tried to stop almost every service in the manager (both 3rd party apps services and win services), did many clean starts trying to exclude all the startup and background sw (like Steam or AIDA64), but with no success.

Resume: I applied the 1 min rule for HD in power settings, and even the Disk burst time (another advanced energy option for disks I added from registry), but this seems to have ANY effect.
After applying the rules basically I've never seen the WD black sleep or spin down itself. I can only got it to spin down with my command line, but randomly after a certain time it activates again.
Are windows power management option complete BULLS**T ?

Maybe I could use a logger or a console that monitors all HD actions and find out what's using it ?? Any suggestions are kindly accepted.
 

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Take note of that little white flag in the taskbar, the Action Center/Solve PC Issues icon. If you leave your system idle for a few minutes, does the white flag have a little clock face appear on it?

I notice this on my system and it causes my HDDs to start up despite me not using my pc.

Perhaps something to do with this?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I noticed that icon, and it's related to automatic maintenance. It just performs and update search, optimization, scans the system etc.. so probably it activated the HDs when scanning files or for whatever reason. Nice suggestion, but I disabled this while back, also notice that being a scheduled task it's only performing on certain hours and not all the time.

I really can't get how the windows power management works, apart from simple option as "turn off the screen / standby after ...". I can't actually tell if the thing is more related to windows os itself, to my drive (I haven't plugged any other mech drives in my system so I can't tell it) or to a third party software (which is unlikely imo).

The only thing that leaves me with a doubt is if the "turn off hard drive" option is affecting all the generic disk drive in the system, so both mechanical disk and SSDs too. I sure know that if you have more mechanical disks it applies to all of them, not just one in specific. I heard people with more than 2 HDs saying that the activity on just one, kept all the other spinning.
Anyways if this Power option is related to all type of drives (HD and SSDs), leaving apart how many you have, the WD will actually NEVER get to sleep. Following this logic, if only my main system SSD with Win 8.1 installed is active it's keeping all my other "drives" (4 TB WD Black included) ACTIVE. So this is total bulls**t again. The os windows drive C:\ it's pretty much doing activity all the time if you're using the pc, so probably blocking all other drives (I fear external USB included) active and spinning ?
This is the final solution I came to. Can anyone confirm ??
 
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