Skip to main content

Drive Monitor stopping HDD's from spinning down?

Thread needs solution
Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

I'm running Windows 7 64-bit and I was running with a 640GB drive that contained windows itself and a spare 1TD drive as a data backup.

I was running this system fine, and I had a drive spin-down time of 20 mins. I knew this was working as when I went to access my data drive after a while, it would take a couple of seconds for it to access the drive, as the drive had stopped spinning.

Yesterday I purchased and installed two 2TB drives for a larger data store and I also installed Acronis Drive Monitor after fitting the drives.

The software worked fine, and gave me all the SMART drive info as you would expect. However I had the suspicion the new drives were not spinning down. It was late, so I went to bed.

This morning I did more testing, and, still the drives just never seemed to stop.
I was testing by placing my hand on the drive as you can feel a faint vibration when they are spinning.

It then struck me. Well, if Acronis is "live monitoring" the HDD's for faults, perhaps it keeping polling the drives to gather it's info and it's stopping them from spinning down.

I removed the Drive Monitor software, and sure enough, after a little while my hard drives appear to have spun down as I want them to.

Ideally I'd just be able to run this software manually to check every now and again, or perhaps just be able to set it to only check the drives one or twice a day for faults, not have it happening live all the time, hence (it seems) keeping my backup HDD's spinning constantly.

Is there any way around this issue?
And can anyone confirm my findings that the Drive Monitor software does indeed stop your HDD's from spinning down under Windows?

Many thanks.

0 Users found this helpful
Forum Hero
Posts: 613
Comments: 8747

What are the circumstances that should be causing the spin down, sleep, hibernation, green motherboard?

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

My settings in Windows 7.

My power/settings profile, where I have my drives set to spin down after say 10 to 20 mins.

I installed the new drives to act as backup drives just to hold date for safety, hence I don't want/need them to be spinning all day long.
Hence I have windows set to spin all my drives down.

Actually, exactly the same on my server also, which is running Windows Home Server 2011.
Most of the time it's just sitting there idle, only needing to have the drives running when I wish to write some data to the server drives, so again, I see no point in having the drives spinning, wearing out, and using electricity for hour upon hour for no reason.

Forum Hero
Posts: 613
Comments: 8747

I don't have an answer for your problem, I have W7 Ult 64bit and my settings are - monitors off after 10 mins, disks off after 20 minutes and PC sleep after 30 minutes.

Come to think of it, the fact my system sleeps after 30 mins means I have probably never noticed if the drives power down after 20 mins. I'll check that later today. The overall setting is for Balanced.

I also have a Gigabyte green MB so again this might mask a problem caused by ADM.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

Thanks for your reply.

The fact is, unless (like me) you can actually put your hand physically onto your HDD and feel the slight vibration which tells you it's running, you never know. There is not (as far as I'm aware) any utility you can run that tells you the HDD has stopped spinning.
You just set it under windows power management to spin down after "X" minutes and assume it does.

What you won't realise is that you have have a utility running in the background (lets say something like Drive Monitor, but I believe most SMART monitoring programs are the same) which keeps checking the drive every so often meaning the drive never gets left alone long enough to actually stop spinning, and it's actually running all the time, despite you thinking it's not.
Unless, as I say you can physically place your hand on the drive and feel that it's no longer running.

Of course each individual is going to have to have a different way of working and a different requirement for such software.
For me personally, as someone who turns their PC on once a day and off at night, I'd think one single check, say 5 mins after power up would be ideal. I don't profess to be a SMART stats expert, but a wild guess would tell me, a drive is unlikely to go from perfectly within specs and no problems to a total fail in one evening generally.
I'd be happy to have my drive stats checked once a day and perhaps saved to a log them, and then no more checking till the following bootup.
The drives will all be spinning at bootup anyway.

Just a thought :)

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 10

My apologies for this late reply,
I just only now noticed this thread.

But I think you might be interested in a related thread:
"system is not hibernating while background monitoring is enabled"
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/13016

It seems that on some systems Acronis Drive Monitor keeps the computer 'active', keeps the HDDs from spinning down, blocks sleep, and even inhibits the creation of daily restore points.
The only way to address those issues is to disable "monitoring in the background" in Acronis Drive Monitor options.

It seems that Acronis has not corrected this problem or these problems with last year's build 1.0.0.566.
The product seems to be abandoned, or at least to be severely neglected.