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Running Windows Server 2012 R2 as a Hyper-V host.

I want hard drives to spin down after they have been idle for some time. (None of these hard drives are used by any Hyper-V VMs)

The applicable setting in Windows power settings is set to spin down disks after 20 minutes idle, but it does not appear that they ever spin down.

How can I make it so that HDDs will spin down after being idle for some time?

The drives are standard desktop-level drives which do support power management. The controller is a Dell Perc H200 in IT mode - I am unable to find any information on whether this supports power management but my understanding is that in IT mode it should not matter. I have found some information to suggest that Windows disables this functionality when Hyper-V is installed?

Using smartctl to set the drives to "standby" reports that it works, and subsequent queries using smartctl report that the drives are in standby mode. Whether they have actually spun down or not I can't tell? However it appears the drives never go into this mode on their own.

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  • Does your hard drive controller support power management? Do the drives? You might also view superuser.com/questions/17228/is-turning-off-hard-disks-harmful
    – Jim B
    Feb 6 '18 at 17:23
  • I'm trying to understand the value in doing this. Can you give us an idea about your use case or end goal?
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 6 '18 at 22:22
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    With all due respect, the value of doing this is not really relevant to the question of how to do it. Suffice to say that I have a reason I wish to do this. However, since it has been pointed out, I'd like to say that it's quite likely a myth that spinning down disks is more harmful than leaving them on. Despite the large amount of people who believe it is, there is very little evidence to suggest such is true. In this particular instance, I have a collection of drives which will only be accessed infrequently, and I wish to save power by not spinning them.
    – Ned Martin
    Feb 7 '18 at 1:20
  • I wasn't calling your motivation nor your reason for doing this into question, I was merely curious.
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 7 '18 at 1:31
  • Understandable. This is entirely about saving power. The drives are being migrated from a situation where they currently remain powered off a lot of the time, to this server, and I'd like to maintain roughly the same power footprint.
    – Ned Martin
    Feb 7 '18 at 1:51

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