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We have a modest server at work running Windows Server 2012 and we recently bought new hard drives for backups.

The backups are scheduled every night. The disk is being used only a few minutes per day since we do incremental backups and it takes generally less than a hour to complete.

However, the disk is spinning 24/7. So I assume that it would be best for the hard disk lifespan to spin down (am I wrong here?).

The hard drive is a Seagate Archive 8 TB. It is connected to the server with a SATA to USB3 dock. Disk Write caching is turned off.

So could I just turn the dock off (even if the drive is spinning) in the morning and turn it back on when leaving for the night? Or is it better to just make it spin down? Or is it better to just do nothing..?

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Spin-up and spin-down are relatively stressful operation for a mechanical disk, so from a pure lifetime standpoint it is probably better for the disk to never spin-up.

Theoretically, when the USB device is suspended, the disk should automatically spin-down. Check (in device manager) that the USB device is allowed to be suspended. If it is allowed to suspend itself but the disk continue spinning, it can be related to the SATA/USB bridge firmware/driver, and I suspect you can't do avoid it.

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  • Ok I see. Then maybe it would be better for them to spin down only once a week. We rotate the drives weekly and we can take one off-site. – TurboGraphxBeige Jan 5 '17 at 15:31

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