How to spin down a single drive on Windows?

I have a second drive on my Windows 2000 system that I just use occasionally for backup or scratch space. I’d like to not have it spinning all the time when the computer is running. Is there a way for me to manually enable/disable the drive? A command line way would be great, but a GUI method would be fine as well.

This is trivial to do, and probably automatically done, with an external drive, and all but impossible to do with an internal drive.

Typicaly, Windows will shut down an external drive after five minutes, but for internal drives, it’s all-or-none - there’s only one timeout for drive shutdown and power management. If you want the drive to go to sleep after ten minutes, your boot drive will also sleep after ten minutes. Depending on what you’re doing on the computer, this may have an adverse effect on performance and your patience if you have to keep waiting for the drive to spin up.

The good news, is that if you’re truly doing nothing with the internal backup drive, it should stay off until you need it, assuming you have power management set to shut down drives after some time of non-use.

You can manually disable/enable a drive, but i believe it needs a restart to change status, so not very convenient.

To do it, Right click on “My Computer” and click on “Properties”. Go to the “Hardware” tab, and then click on “Device Manager”

Once in there, click on the plus next to “Disk Drives” to expand it, right click on your backup drive, and click “Disable”.

However, as I said before, not very convenient. Using power management to automatically spin down the drives is much, much simpler.

No idea how to do this in Windows.
For anyone who cares how to do it in Linux, my spindown script used to be:

#flush buffer
hdparm -f /dev/hdb

umount /dev/hdb1
sleep 5

#set spindown to 5 sec
hdparm -S 1 /dev/hdb

#Low power standby
hdparm -y /dev/hdb

To spin it up again, I had:

mount /dev/hdc1 /home/backup/store2
sleep 5

#Lets make sure it's spun up before we start things.
ls /home/backup/store2 > /dev/null
sleep 20

#set spindown to 5 min
#hdparm -S 60 /dev/hdc

I would suggest instead that you should move your Windows swap files to this drive, and leave it active and spinning. Having the swap files on a different drive from your data & programs will reduce contention on both drives, and likely improve the life expectancy of them.

After all, you’ve already paid for both drives, why not put them both to use?

You could use Microsoft’s DevCon utility to perform the procedure Aserrann suggested from the command line. To do this, first run devcon find =diskdrive. Identify the hardware ID of the drive you want to disable. Make sure it’s the secondary hard drive, not the primary. Then run devcon disable <hardware ID>. That should disable it. Running devcon enable <hardware ID> should bring it back.

Put the last two commands in separate batch files and you should be able to disable and enable the drive at will.