Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    External USB3 Drives Don't Turn Off When PC is Powered Off`

    I had posted earlier about my external drives going to sleep (Power Settings were set to sleep after 60 minutes) even when a (large) file copy was running. I got helpful responses about what was going on.

    I have a related issue of external USB 3 drives not turning off when I power off my PC. I have three external HD connected via USB 3. One is a WD drive, one a Seagate drive and one is a bare WD drive in a third-party USB 3 enclosure. When I shut down my PC, the Seagate and WD drives continue to run - the drive in the third-party enclosure does shut down completely (which is obvious on power-up because I have to wait for that drive to start up).

    My Dell XPS 8500 (Win8.1) uses the UEFI feature, and I believe when I shut down, the system does not completely power off - and that is keeping the two drives running. It is interesting that the different implementations of the USB 3 connection behave differently - one drive shutting down and the others remaining running. (I had another Seagate UBS 3 drive that would shut down completely when the PC powered off - and would not start again unless I disconnected the power cable and reconnected it.) You would think there would be some consistency in implementing the USB 3 standard.

    Can anyone confirm that it is the UEFI that is keeping the drives running? Anyone know of any way to make these drives power off when I shut down my system? It causes unnecessary wear and tear on the drives. It will likely make the boot process slower, but I can tolerate that.

    David

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    First make certain you are actually powering off your system and not going into some form of hybrid sleep or whatnot.
    Check through your power options, and also ensure you remove hibernation.

    I also recommend you research your board's EUFI layout and properties more thoroughly and get to know it better.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    722
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 144 Times in 130 Posts
    "Windows 8 boots up faster than previous versions of the operating system ever did. To accomplish this feat, Windows 8 doesn't totally shut down when you click the Shut down command. Instead it only partially shuts down and partially hibernates. This is the Hybrid Shutdown part of the equation. Then, when you turn on your computer, Windows 8 starts very quickly because it only has to partially boot up and partially wake up. This is the Fast Boot part of the equation. Fast Boot also gets a boost from the efficiency of today's hardware; namely UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and multi-core processors."

    If you disable hibernation, the hiberfil.sys file is removed, which Fast Boot relies on, and you lose Fast Boot, so start up takes longer.

    On all the self powered 3" external hard drives I've used, the platters start to spin when the power is turned on and continue to do so until the power is switched off manually. With a 2 laptop drive, the power is supplied by the USB socket. Shut down the PC, no power to the USB, the platters stop. I've never come across an external 3" drive that could power itself down using the safe disconnection procedure.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    654
    Thanks
    96
    Thanked 14 Times in 13 Posts
    I came across a laptop a few weeks back that had a utility where you could program some of the usb ports to stay alive when the computer is off. The reason being to allow cell phones and tablets to be charged. I'd suggest checking your documentation for this feature may be the cause of you issue.
    http://www.toshiba.com/us/sleep-and-charge
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/c...rging/4011949/

  5. #5
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Hybernation is turned off and has been for quite a while. I was having boot problems with it turned on.

    I am not inclined to mess with the UEFI settings - as everything is running fine now.

    I recall an article by Fred Langa about the way UEFI computers control the shut down state. Does anyone remember the Secrets issue that was in?

    David

    Edit: I found the article. Fred explains that "shut down" doesn't completely power off the system. His suggestion was to disable the option to "Turn on fast startup (recommended)". This is already turned off on my system. His other suggestion was to do a command-line shutdown, and I will try that. (I have no problem with a fast boot on my system - my C: drive is a SSD.)

    Second Edit: the command line (admin rights) shutdown.exe /s /f /t 00 shuts down the system but still leaves two of my three USB 3 drives still spinning. I only option I see now is to connect the power for the three drives to a switched extension cord and turn off their power completely after a normal shutdown.
    Last edited by djredfearn; 2015-01-10 at 13:32.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Manning, South Carolina
    Posts
    9,436
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 1,457 Times in 1,326 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by djredfearn View Post
    Second Edit: the command line (admin rights) shutdown.exe /s /f /t 00 shuts down the system but still leaves two of my three USB 3 drives still spinning. I only option I see now is to connect the power for the three drives to a switched extension cord and turn off their power completely after a normal shutdown.
    David,

    Why would you expect windows to turn the power off if the drives are powered externally? I had assumed, incorrectly, that these were USB powered drives, which would of course loose power when the computer is turned off (unless plugged into a charging type of USB connector as alluded to by Vincenzo). I can recommend this power strip for your needs. I've had it for a couple of years now to shut off my monitors and USB powered hub when I shutdown my computer. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  7. #7
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Thanks for the power strip recommendation - I will give that a try.

    As to my expectation that the drives would spin down, well, I have external USB drives that _do_ spin down, and my Macs power down external USB and Thunderbolt drives when turned off - so I know it is possible. (As I noted, I have a Seagate Backup Plus USB 3 drive that turns off completely and won't power up unless I unplug and reconnect the power cable after the PC shuts down.) So, automatically spinning down after shutdown is an reasonable expectation.

    David

    I checked out the power strip and it won't meet my needs. I have my PC and each external device connected to an UPS. I would have to connect my PC power as the "trigger" power to control the other connections. UPS manufacturers don't recommend using UPS devices "downstream" from the UPS (at least that is what APS says). I think the simplest solution for me is just a manual power switch for an extension cable.
    Last edited by djredfearn; 2015-01-10 at 15:23.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Manning, South Carolina
    Posts
    9,436
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 1,457 Times in 1,326 Posts
    David,

    As I understand it a surge suppressor/power strip should not be between the wall and your UPS. However, I use the linked PowerStrip between the UPS and the Computer & peripherals and it's been working just fine for a couple of years now. YMMV HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    654
    Thanks
    96
    Thanked 14 Times in 13 Posts
    I agree that my desktop-type external drives do indeed stop spinning when the computer is off.

    One test to shed some light on the issue might be to unplug the USB cable and see if the drive eventually spins down.

  10. #10
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Yup - shutting down the PC and then disconnecting the USB cables from the drives that keep spinning causes them to immediately spin down. The PC is maintaining the USB connections in some way even when powered off. My Western Digital USB 3 drive does spin down when the PC shuts down - but the electronics in this drive stays alive. You get a slowly blinking light on the front to show that it is still "alive". I have had the best results with WD - I don't buy Seagate drives any more - mostly because of strange software issues and poor technical support. My WD drives have been very reliable and their support for two RAID drives with problems was efficient. (In one case, the RAID electronics failed - not the drives themselves - they replaced the RAID enclosure. In another case, another RAID drive using a Firewire connection failed - and they replaced that with a Thunderbolt interface RAID drive because the FW drives were no longer manufactured. These were both on my iMac. You hate to see a drive fail, but the support was excellent. One nice thing about WD is that they have three-year guarantees and you can purchase extensions - which I have done for one drive.)

    I have a switched multiplug power cable and will use that for the external drives. I use my PC every day and don't care much then - but when I leave the PC for several days or on vacations, I will be able to power then down completely.

    Thanks for all the great advice and suggestions.

    David

  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    If anyone is interested and is experiencing this problem, I thought it might be useful to describe how I "fixed" this issue. I bought a new WD 4TB MyBook USB3 drive, copied the data on the two Seagate drives to the new drive and then removed the Seagate drives which I am keeping as a second-level off-line backup. Now, I have two WD external USB 3 drives connected, and both spin down automatically when I power off the system. My boot time is slower now, as the external drives have to spin up and connect, but this is a minor irritation. As I have mentioned, I have had much better luck with WD drives than with Seagate - both for my PC, and for my iMacs.

    Hard Disks are so cheap now that this is not a major cost.

    David

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •