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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    USB Hard Drive Power Management

    Not too long ago I add two 500 gig USB external hard drives to my system, which I use mostly for alternating backups. They replaced a couple of smaller USB drives. These are Seagate Free Agent drives and are working just fine. When I installed them, I DID NOT use the provided CDs and the included Seagate software since both XP and Vista recognize the drives and I didn't think (as I usually do) that I needed the Seagate stuff, whatever it might be.

    However, these two drives have buried somewhere deep in their bowels or the innards of Windows some power management setting that I would like to disable or turn off. They both "go to sleep" after some unknown time and it takes each one about 30 seconds or so to wake up when I try to access them either in Windows Explorer or some software application. Now, 30 seconds or so is no big deal so I'll live with it if I have to, but I would like to turn it off nonetheless. I tried yesterday to go ahead and install the Seagate provided software but it acts like it's already installed and I can't get it to update, repair OR uninstall. There's no indication in my installed software list that anything from Seagate is installed but I have NOT done a search on the registry just yet.

    Looking in Device Manager, the only place I can find power management is in the "USB Root Hub" entries and those are all un-checked (see attachment).

    Does anyone have any idea where I should look next, please?
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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: USB Hard Drive Power Management

    Do either of these threads point to a solution?
    Vista Forums
    How to stop Seagate FreeAgent Desktop Drives from going to sleep

    (I appreciate the second talks about a Mac, but may still hold clues.)

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: USB Hard Drive Power Management

    No help there so far, but at least I know the "problem" is global and not my stupidity! The guy who refers to a link for some other software - leads to a 404 destination, so I don't know. Anyway, given the other comments about the Seagate software, I think I WILL now try writing to them. In my case, one of the drives gets accessed ONCE a day, so I can live with this, especially if it has to be reset every time you boot the computer as that Apple guy was saying. Sheesh, I can't believe Seagate doing something like this.

    I did go to the Seagate site and tried to download the software for the FreeAgent PRO and they don't do that. You have to write to support with your serial number(s)! Lord have mercy...

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: USB Hard Drive Power Management

    Al,

    This power management is controlled by the firmware which is part of the disk. You need a utility from the vendor that can talk directly to the disk firmware and change the parameters.

    Did you try downloading and running the Seagate utility that one of those threads pointed to Ah, I see you did...?

    StuartR

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: USB Hard Drive Power Management

    Like they say Stuart, "...learn something new every day... " All these years and I didn't know that. I thought the power control was up to the OS. Anyway, I'll keep Googling with different search terms, but I think I'll write to Seagate and "complain." Might as well join what looks like a pretty loud chorus. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: USB Hard Drive Power Management

    I came across this problem many years ago, when RAID hardware first became available and we started putting relatively cheap SCSI disks into Enterprise class storage arrays. We had to get software that could construct the SCSI commands needed to disable the power saving.

    StuartR

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: USB Hard Drive Power Management

    I've filed a "support issue" at the Seagate site, so we'll see what they have to say. I also tried downloading their SeaTools software, not sure what functions are in there, but it won't install on my system either, so I included mention of that fact so their first response won't be to get Seatools. It starts scanning for drives and ends as shown in this attachment. Hmmm...
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