Achieving silence - how to turn off hard disk on Windows 10?

I recently moved to a clean installation of Windows 10 from Windows 7. And I need to turn off a SATA HDD, so that I will have silence coming out from using SDDs and passive-inaudible within my PC


On Windows 7 I used to use freeware HDDScan 3.3. But then I discovered another freeware software called revoSleep 0.2.4 beta. And it was much better

But now on Windows 10 HDDScan 3.3 do not even opens. Upgrading to HDDScan 4.0 change only this that now I get a massage saying "Access violation at address 00407789 in module HDDScan.exe'. Read of address FFFFFFE2". Although to be fare, I have not yet researched that error [but I am not a programmer and most likely this will be a futile for me]

As for revoSleep, it now works half way. The old version allows me only to turn the drive off but not dismount it anymore, while a new one 0.3.0 allows me to do both, but some time totally ignores my commands totally or discards them after few minutes of silence. And that latter one is also truth for the older version. And those issues I have researched, and there are already reported by other users on the forum of revoSleep, together with a [not working for me] suggestion of solution of using the newest 32 bit version instead of x64

I also tried using back then on Windows 7 via Command Prompt the mountvol from a BAT file, but could not get it to work according to my needs [although I do not remember on what account]. I might take another shoot at it but only as a last resort measure


I have two other solutions, both of which are unacceptable for me. The first is the The option in Windows available at Settings > System > Power & Sleep > Additional power settings > Change plan settings > Change advanced plan settings > Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after which allows to set a fixed amount of time for it- but not for each of the drives but for all of them all together. And that totally disrupts my elaborated modus operandi of backup software working in the background. [Two versions of Windows later and Microsoft still did not think about giving more control to the user over that- bravo...]

The second one is to leave the area of software and just physically disconnect the drive via a cable. But in order to utilize that workaround I would have to have that disk on a desk and that would bring even more noise during the time that it would be connected. And when laying on a bed I would have to literally take that disk to it with me- and then my wireless mouse might get jealous and bite it or the disk for doing so without her consent


So does anyone know of other software / methods for turning off and on of hard disk drives at a moments demand of the user?

I don't understand the problem with the windows-settings. Each harddisk has an individual timer and a harddisk that is actually in use will not go to sleep and a harddisk that is not in use will go to sleep in the time you configured in the power-settings.

Another simple way: Put your entire PC in a case which is designed to be "silent". There are various models. I'm not sure if understand your problem about the noise: Is it because you can't sleep if you hear the HDD?
Or why you don't replace your HDD with a silent SSD?

The key problem is this: Windows since always [i.e. probably since 1995] does not allow to set individual timers for each of the disks; or at least exclude some of them from overall setting

And as practice have shown me now, with [at least my version of] Windows 10 the behavior is worst than on Windows 7, as more unknown processes access the drive- thus waking it up unnecessary. I also get often hang ups of system because for some stupid reason a premium software like for example Corel DRAW decides to access the retired disk when I am doing something in / with that software. [And yes I have turned off pagefile.sys and indexing for that drive and it does not host any scratch / temporal files]

I have a silent case. I have a totally passive UPC. I have passive radiators [all radiators are passive, as I already pointed it out in the Noise Reduction section of my extremely popular Unofficial Mp3tag & Audio Efficiency Guide V.1] on which I put fans so silent, that I hear them only when I put them next to my ear. So you can imagine how an HDD is a disruptive in such environment

As it turns out, I have excellent hearing, and not only for my age. That is what my doctor says after performing multiple test on me. In a matter of fact I always been oversensitive- and now are even more [and that is why an audio specialist M.D. came into my life]

The times where I could sleep without earplugs is long gone. And [long story short] it is very hard to get good ones

In a matter of fact I took that approach as a workaround. Unfortunately I am unable to upgrade from that noisy drive in question, as I need a bigger and quicker one- because I need at least 12TB and I do not happen to have so much money for such HDD. And even if I did have I would still not buy a new one because the prices are like from 2016. As for the SSDs- there are almost no big ones like that and those few that exist costs more than what I earn in a year

What I did instead was to take my 10000RPM HDD out from a box that made it practically inaudible and put in it that noisy drive, while replacing the 10000RPM with yet another affordable SSD [which I have a few]. It works for now because it is a summer and a lot of noise is coming from the outside world. But this is an expedient, as when the winter come it will be much quieter in my neighborhood- and that drive in that box is audible to some extent even now. [Plus there is the problem of those often hang ups]

Ans so I will have to return in a few weeks to this topic and to the quest of finding a way to turn off a drive for good, with some script / shortcut

Some more ideas:

a) Switch your PC off entirely for the time you want to sleep
(If you expect your HDDs should spin down, they don't read & write anyway. I don't assume that you are one of this cryptominers?)

b) If your PC has to run - for tasks that don't read & write to your disks - put it away as far as possible. Maybe in another room? There are possibilities to extend the distance for your monitor, keyboard and mouse to another room or even to your basement.

c) Try to use a NAS. Put away this NAS as far away as possible. Let your PC run with only a 256GB SSD for your OS and read & write your data to your NAS.

d) Cool your PC down internally with a water-cooling-system. This replaces all the spinning fans.

I do

But I cannot turn it off when I am working or watching movies though

The core problem is that operating system and various programs access this disk for some stupid reasons, not asked to do that

I already have been through that back on Windows 7, where I was trying to processes doing that. I simply got tired running to the Resources Monitor to see what is happening because the drive is waking up again. I started to suspect that also the drive on itself was waking up to do some internal maintenance work

In the end only revoSleep did the job the with 100% effectiveness

What is that? A server?

I think that will be too much trouble. Just recently have I secured my professional operations by preparing a HDD with a copy of the system and copy of everything [that can be taken out from a drawer and used right away] plus prepared a SSD for that same system [so that it can be copied to it from an image]- and let me tell you, it seemed easy but in practice whole bunch of problems arose that I had to resolve. And right now I do not have a spare room in which I could put it and even if I had now- in the future this could change and I would faced with the same problem once again

Come on. Are you trying to tell me that there are pumps quieter than fans than are audible only when put next to an ear?

Plus I do not like the notion of having to dismantle the whole liquid cooling system whenever I need to change or check something, like if the CPU is the culprit of the computer not working

And foremost: my fans are not the problem- I do not hear them as there are top notch hardware for people like me, who enjoy silence when its needed

I tried another free software called HotSwap!

I did put the drive in question to sleep. It also unmounted it [e.e. made it invisible for other software and the letter of the rive was gone from the list of drives]

Unfortunately after the reset the system did not start up. After anther reset the system woke up. But the drive was now constantly being put to sleep while I could not unmount it [remove the letter]. Even after uninstalling, the problem with the drive constantly going to sleep is still present

This is not what I am after. As it is the user that is to decide when the sleep / unmount happens and unhappens. [But I do not know if this is how this software is suppose to work or am I just experiencing it in a erroneous way]


But at least I managed to utilize the mountvol command. [If HotSwap! had worked correctly I could then be using both of them to achieve whar revoSleep was able to do with two clicks]

So a BAT for unmounting of drive which has letter X asigned to it goes like this

mountvol X: /p

It is that simple

But a BAT for mounting it back goes like this

mountvol X: \?\Volume{########-####-####-####-############}\

where all those ## are he name of your drive in your system. And where to that name from? With the mountvol tool of course. Just run in the Command Prompt [CMD]

mountvol

and scroll down to the list of drives. Above each is its name in that gibberish format, which can be selected and copied. This name stays constant in between resets, so once a BAT is written down, it will work every time [probably until installation of a new system from scratch]


However there is one small catch: these BATs have to be run as Administrator


So to sum up

I am now able to unmount the noisy drive thus forbid access to it by any software, including the operating system. This is what I was after

However I still need to spin it down, the moment I wish for it


And I started to research that second part, but so far no luck. I found references to revoSleep, HDDScan and HotSwap!- which all [at least on Windows 10] seem to not be working correctly. I found also a suggestions to use Linux- it is not an option to me. And some solution to turn off the disk by accessing directly its firware- which is to risky for me

So now I have to wait till I restore my system from an image- to get of the HotSwap!. And only then can I once more look for BAT commands to put the drive to sleep [as I am unable now to correctly test them]

I found a workaround to the current situation; i.e. the issue of the most convenient solution [in form of revoSleep] no longer working correctly / steadily


HDDScan is available now in new version 4.1- and that version works on my Windows 10

In it I can set up the Idle Timer [lets say for 5 minutes]. This will spin down the selected drive to a complete hold. And on top of that I can run a BAT file with the code presented in the previous post

This combo works great, in that it is of no importance if the drive will be first unmounted and the spun down or first spun down and then unmounted. The spin down will execute itself automatically after the selected amount of seconds


Alternatively [this can come handy when HDDScan once more will stop working on the account of an Windows update] a more complicated workaround exist. Under the

Power options > Preferred plans > [YOUR CHOSEN PLAN] > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings > Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after

the user can also choose the amount of time. But as this is plain misleading because it affects all of the disks and not only one disk as it is written down there, a counter measure must be added for all of the disks that are not to be spun down. And this can come in form of also freeware software like NoSleepHD or KeepAliveHD, which is able to write a file on a selected drive with a selected frequency

And the you also add a BAT with the mountvol command


But what is important, mountvol BAT files with have to bu run as Administrator. It can be done by right clicking and choosing the "Run as administrator" entry or by creating an ordinary shortcut for which

Properties > Shortcut > Advanced > Run as administrator

box will be checked


Other alternatives to HDDScan are supposedly presented here

but these suggestions require way more more computing skills


So it works: I can have now quiet when I want with. But I am waiting for revoSleep to be fixed

And in the meantime I would still prefer not to use a tool like HDDScan and be able to run just a single BAT file, that would not only unmount but also spindown a given disk. Does anyone know how to do it?

This is not even remotely funny anymore; this whole "using now Windows 10 instead of Windows 7" experience of mine

i constantly find out that one workaround requires another or some other tweak. And when I think I finally got something working- something else brakes drown because of my adjustments


HDDScan 4.1 started to behave like its previous version. Yes, I could set it up and all my tests were positive- but later on [after a reset] I was unable to change anything as started to spit out

After using both "mountvol" command and Power Options of the OS, I was somehow finally able to get into that software once more. But only once and no more- in spite of multiple resets and joggling with this two options controlling drives, I am unable to enter HDDScan


I also tried to use CrystalDiskInfo to spin down that drive, but again the part of software for controlling drives was not working properly. I was suppose to use for that [for starters]

Functions > Advanced Feature > AAM/APM Control > Advanced Power Management (APM)

and manipulate the slider at the bottom - but the slider is inactive for the HDD, while active for 2 out of 5 SSDs

It is not the first software showcasing problems in regards to such control functions that I tried to utilize and probably not the last of such programs. As I said: not even remotely funny


So for now I am using the provided by operating system

Power options > Preferred plans > [YOUR CHOSEN PLAN] > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings > Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after

It did not occur to me earlier that I can use it now, because I have only one HDD with remaining ones being SSDs. am using it also in conjunction with BAT containing "mountvol"

Unfortunately: my backup software apparently got somehow affected by all those various pieces of software and multiple requests to hide and show that drive. Because all copy task that are suppose to be run after entering Windows after reset are now ignored if they are to be saved on that HDD- those with destination for SSD are still executed automatically. I can only hope, that it is the result of accumulated requests and / or maybe some glitch from one of the programs somehow made that drive invisible to the backup software - and that it is not what will happen again after a system restoration on the acount of "mountvol" being the culprit

The topic turned into a personal log of different problems the user experienced while using Windows.