Are there ANY internal desktop HDDs out there that do NOT power down every 5 seconds?

Guys, I need serious help :( Long story short - I've just been enlightened, that there are pretty much NO mechanical 7200rpm internal hard-drives that will NOT spin down and park their heads every 5 seconds even while I'm playing a game that's on the drive which causes the game to glitch as the drive is unresponsive every 5 seconds.

Now, I've contacted Seagate and WD and it looks like this is nowadays "normal". Please tell me I'm wrong and is there any manuafturer out there that makes regular desctop drives without this "advanced power management system"?

For detailed info on the story, you can check the thread I've started in the General section that includes some more info on this and a disturbing reply from WD that apparently confirms that they don't even have regular HDDs without this "feature":

I have to ask the obvious question, have you turn off all the power saving stuff . Turn them off by choosing high performance mode in power settings. Go into bios and turn off any power saving there to , like cool and quiet. Oh and the best way i know to get around that issue i answered in your other post.

Yes, these are the first things I've checked. In fact, this is the first thing I do when I either build a new PC or install a new OS, but yes, I've double-checked and the Windows power settings are set to high performance, the "turn off harddrives" setting is set to "never" and frankly, it doesn't even have 5 seconds as a setting, the lowest is 1 minute.

Furthermore, there's software that can disable this, but only temporarily until you boot up your PC next time and according to SiSoft Sandra, the "feature" that causes this is called "ACPI Advanced Power Management". When I disable this using the other software temporarily, the problem is gone and this feature shows as disabled. When i reenable, I can take a stop-watch and 5 seconds from then the drive spins down and parks the head.

Again, contacted Seagate and they say even the latest firmware does not allow to turn this off permanently and now I've got a reply from WD that ALL their drives have this except for maybe the Red series, but since they're more expensive and I'm not planning a RAID setup, that's not an option. Oh and... it's not really that they don't have that, they just say that these drives allow me to set the spindown time.

So yes, I'm desperate as I've just learned that modern drives have this crippling function that makes no sense for a desktop PC. Sure, on a laptop I want to save power and make sure the head won't damage the platter so I'd like to have it parked on every possible occassion, but when I'm in-game and the game glitches because it can't instantly read a texture or a sound effect or any other file as the drive seems unresponsive until it spins back up and 2 companies tell me that all their products have this "feature" incl. those that are advertized as "for performance" and "for power gaming rigs" (WD Black) then this is easily enough even for a RANT:30.

 Run a ssd, hdd hydrid you will be happier. :)

I surely would, but there a $1,500 price tag for 4 x 500 GB SSDs standing in the way of my happiness :(

idk, i've experienced no such thing with my wd blue

What model number is it, if I may ask? I've had many drives, incl. Seagate drives which also did not ahve something like this, apparently it's something that "modern drives" have. My primary Seagate Barracuda doesn't even have ACPI on the list of supported features so it does look like it's a new thing.

HDD manufacturers are trying to extend the life of their commercial series HDDs so they low-ball the consumers with the same basic HDD design across all of their consumer grade products. The only major difference is firmware or amount of platters and read/write heads. You want my honest opinion? Forget about RAID 0+1 SSDs and just buy a 240GB SSD with a newer NAND controller and use the HDD for storage. Your other options are a commercial 3TB HDD or a 4 HDD RAID 0+1 using RAID drives. One final option is to get yourself a Remanufactured SATA II HDD from 5-6 years ago which dont have this silly "green drive" firmware update in them.

If you get a Western Digital drive they offer a peice of software called wdidle3 which allows you to set the timing for the head parking and power saving features.

The link is the download, have a read up on it and see if its a thing you can deal with

The above link has ways to stop your HDD from ever spinning down (.bat files etc). again have a read and see if you can use any of it.

i can check when i get home, it's only a month old

though this conversation's getting a bit over my head, and it's *possible* (though i don't think likely) that it does this and i just never noticed

UPDATE - I think the answer to my main question may be indeed "no" :( which is sad becaue, as I wrote somewere else (in my "How to avoid idiocy" rant linked in the first post), it seems that the manufacturers became so arrogant that they have the guts to push such crippling technology to us just so we can have 100+ spin-up/down cycles a day and kill our drives. For decades, it was obvious that a desktop class drive will differ from a notebook drive, but nowadays it seems that it doesn't.

To give credit where credit is due - Seagate has offered me an option to replace my drive and they would send me an enterprise-class drive as a replacement (...usefull if I had an SCSI interface).

To point out the villain - Western Digital makes it very clear that I MUST buy a Red series drive (the ones they advertise as "for RAID") where I'll be able to manage the spin-down times so it's as Batojiri mentioned - they want me to pay more.

But there's "hope" and I'd like to thank everyone who mentioned this earlier and posted tips etc. - HDPARM. It's a "dirty workaround", but one I could live with until the prices of SSD storage finally reaches the point where it will be affordable to have 2 TB of SSD space.

If anyone (Overlordnick) would like to set this up to prevent a quick death of their constantly powering down and up drive, a small tip how to make this process automatic as all the instructions on HDPARM I've found aren't too accurate.

1. Get it from

2. After installation, open your system's Task Scheduler, create a new task that will trigger "At logon of any user", "Run with highest priviledges" (as in needs to run as admin), un-check everything in "Conditions" and here's the key part:

- The task should "Start a program", the program should be hdparm.exe and NOT any of the other CMD files with pre-defined commands,

- The "start in..." field should point to the folder in which HDPARM is located (even though it says optional, it didn't work for me when left blank).

- It must run a certain argument. The default would be "-B 255 hda", but note - hda is your first physical disk, if you want to apply this to your secondary (physical) disk, use hdb and so on.

From now on, each time you log into your system, this will launch once, you won't even notice it and it will disable this stupid behavior, your drive will not die from extensive head parking dozens of times a day and will perform... as it would normally perform if it wouldn't spin down during your work ;)


I hope that solution works for you, paying more money after paying what you've already put into trying to fix the problem would suck.

I don't kown about this... it doesn't seem to be a problem for anyone else and I've never noticed it on any of my hard drives. My WD Blue, WD Green, nor Seagate Barracuda seem to have this problem. The seagate is old, the WDs are new. If the drive is causing games to glitch every 5 seconds, then this must be a problem somewhere else in your computer. Drives are not supposed to spin down every five seconds, that's not at all normal. Maybe you've got a dodgy hard drive or perhaps the cables are loose (which can cause drives to be unresponsive).

Well... you're wrong. Note - I didn't say that games glitch every 5 seconds, but that the drive spins down after 5 seconds of inacticity and this is a fact. I have contacted Seagate and WD and after some back and forth conversations, I now know that this is the case - pretty much every modern drive has an advanced power management system that is in most cases set to "minimum power consumption" which means - spin down anytime you can.

Also, just to make it clear that it's not an issue such as loose cables, I downloaded a program that has a switch to enable and disable this power management. I also have SiSoft Sandra (a diagnostic tool that shows all functionality of every component of your PC in great detail) and by default a function called "ACPI Power Management" is enabled. When it is, after 5 seconds of no activity on this drive- I hear it spin down and park the head. Next, I disable this, I see in Sandra that now ACPI Power Management is disabled, I wait and wait and wait... and the drive will NOT spin down. And I've repeated this test multiple times to make sure it's not a coincidence.

Check out this thread on Seagate's forums: all these people realized what's happening, that this APM (Advanced Power Management) does that.

Now, reg. glitching - to clarify, this is not something that happens all the time, in most cases it either doesn't happen at all because the game reads stuff often so the drive never has 5 seconds of inactivity or the game can actually handle this very well, but there's one game which can't handle it well and that's Saints Row: The Third which seems to load sound effects from the drive as it needs them, so when I enter a different car, the engine sounds (car horn etc.) are loaded at this moment and the game behaves weird when they're not loaded instantly and this causes either the sound to be delayed or glitch so I hear the accelerating sound for a couple of seconds even though I'm no longer accelerating.

And again - scientific test: what happens at this time with the drive? I hear it spin up and unpark the head to get the required file ASAP, but of course it can't as it takes a second or two to get it, so I use the little program to disable ACPI and guess what - no such thing occurs. And to clarify - this program does absolutely nothing else to the computer other than disabling the APM.

That said, I am 100% sure that this is the problem and again - the drive manufacturers simply confirm it. I don't need more proof.

Could always use RAMdisk (turns RAM into HDD) software for this one specific game :)

Sure it will slow shutdown times a bit but will help with the delay in sounds :D

That's really weird, if it's a problem that lots of people are getting it really makes you wonder why the manufacturers put this stuff in. Did they overlook it?

As you said you get the most problems in Saint's Row the third, how long does the inactivity last? Does it take a couple of seconds to spin back up? I've set my WD drive to spin down after 10 minutes, and when I want to access it again, it normally takes around 4 seconds to fully get back up to speed.

You know what you've caused with your reply to me? An awesome nostalgic moment and I thank you for that :)

Why? Because for some reason, as I read this, my brain shoved me a memory of me firing up "Workbench" on my Amiga 500+ for the first time and seeing this icon called "RAM DISK" and my first though was "Cool, can I copy an entire game on a floppy disk to this and run it from there so it won't have to load". Of course it wasn't that easy and only after buying a 20 MB (yes, MB) hard-drive for the Amiga, I've experienced the lack of long load times, but anyway... for some reason this has triggered this memory and man, what a nice one it was :)

Now back on topic, I will "investigate" this further so thanks for the info, but for now, the current solution with HDPARM is working for me. I turn on my PC in the morning and guess what? Nothing. Business as usual, but as I log in, soemwhere in the background one command is executed that turns off this bullshit from my drive and that's it.

Still, I'm really looking forward to see SSD prices be if not the same as HDD then at least just a bit more expensive so that 2 TB of SSD storage will not cost as much as a Titan and that would be the true solution to this problem as let's face it - the days of mechanical drives are counted, it's just the price that prevents people from going solid-state only. At least I would jump ship the moment it becomes affordable... or if I win in a lottery, but that may be difficult as I don't play lottery ;)

Yes, that's why I'm posting about this and "escalating" it like this. To be honest, it took me a whole month before I even realized that this is happening. You may indeed not even notice it and if you never will - good for you.

This is the first drive that does this to me and the last one I bought before that (less than 2 years ago) is also a Seagate, I still have it and it's my primary drive and doesn't do this so what's the difference? Well, the old one if from the 7200.12 generation and the new one that does this crap is from the new 7200.14 generation. Chances are you either really don't notice it (which is possible) or you might have bought drives that are just not THAT new. I've heard that apparently some manufacturers (WD) sometimes don't even change the model number if they go from 3-platter to single-platter versions so this could easily be implemented "behind the curtain".

Did the manufacturers overlook it? No. So why are they doing this? My theory - 2 reasons:

1. Because if it does that, it consumes less power so they're allowed to advertise it as eco-friendly and this boosts sales for people who prefer such products.

2. Because it can kill your drive faster and when it does you need a new one so more money to them. Or, as WD told me, just buy a Red drive from them which of course is more expensive so as you see - they just want my money.

Normally, I boot up my PC once a day so the drive uparks and park the head back in the evening as I turn it off. That means it does one "load cycle" (unpark/park). There's a limited amount of times a drive can do that, but if it's 2-3 per day, you're good for decades, but when it parks the head every 5 seconds of inactivity, if you access stuff a lot from this drive, you can easily do 50-100 load cycles per day so again - drive dies, you need a new one = they profit.

Now, as for your question about the game - by "inactivity" I mean the time it takes for the drive to think "nothing happens, I'm going to sleep" and that is about 5 seconds. So when a game loads everything and I sit in one place, if it won't read stuff for 5 seconds, the drive powers down and next time the game wants something from it it must power up and this isn't what I would consider a healthy power up where it has the time to spin up and un-park like when you turn on your computer, nope, this is the kind of power-up where it needs to IMMEDIATELY get data as soon as it can so the head just jumps to the sector instantly which sometimes may even sound very concerning... and that's the "click" that people sometimes hear and don't know what it is.

As I've researched this, I've found a lot of people complaining about a clicking noise in their drives and sure, in some cases, this is indeed something faulty with the drive, but I knew this click and that's how I've searched deeper and found out what's really goign on because frankly, I would have NEVER though that a desktop-class drive would do this. It's great for laptops where you save battery life and when the head is parked, it's safer when you move the computer, but on a desktop? Makes no sense.

About how long it takes to spin-up - I'd say somewehre between 1-2 seconds so yes, it can spin-up fast, of course it would be ridiculous if they would have designed it with a low spin-up time because then really everyone would notice this, but still - these 1-2 seconds in a game that needs to load a texture can be bad. Most games won't have a problem with that, textures are loaded in advance, they utilise the memory on your graphics card, your RAM so that's why it took me a month to realize it and it was actually the click that raised my concern because I thought that Saits Row is simply broken, but after knowing what happens I went back to Saints row after disabling the power management and low and behold - no problems at all.

The worst thing about this is that it doesn't care about your system's power management, that is - I have disk spin-down set to never, always had, but it doesn't matter, it ignores this setting.

Oh and another reason why I think they do it and people don't realize is that SSDs are popular as drives for yoru operating system. If I would use this crippled drive as my primary... damn, I don't even want to think about it - every time Windows needs a file, it needs 1-2 seconds for the drive to spin-up, but since people have their OS on an SSD, they just dump media files on a mechanical drive and if you just use this for movies, for example - that's fine - you won't notice that it takes extra 1-2 seconds to open the file and the movie reads constantly so it won't spin-down in the middle, but games are "special" in this matter and some may indeed not need the drive for some time, but if they will - we have a problem.. if a game thinks the drive it wants to read from is not responsive... weird things can happen.

hehe glad you had a good memory :P also happy to see that HDparm is working, i wasnt sure when i posted the link cos i havnt ever used it but it seems to have done the trick for ya.

Yeah going SSD is what most people want to do, lets hope the cost comes down over time and we can all start to use them :D