Laptop Power State Filter: Why does my Hard Drive keep waking up?
December 3, 2006 11:36 PM   Subscribe

How can I discover how to keep my laptop's hard drive powered down? Hibernating or standby states are unreliable or very slow to wake up from.

[Windows 2000, updated, virus and malware scanned, Thinkpad 600X P3 500 MHz, D-Link PC card wireless stopped and removed, so no internet connection] It takes a long time to come out of hibernation, sometimes forever, so I am happy just to turn off the screen and power down the hard drive after 3 minutes. But the HD keeps waking up, for a short time, at irregular intervals of roughly 20-40 minutes. The display LCD stays dark. How can I find out what is doing this, and how to correct it if possible?
posted by SamFrancisco to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sysinternal's Process Monitor (formerly known as filemon) might help you track down the offending process.

Good luck.
posted by IvyMike at 12:03 AM on December 4, 2006

My slightly older Thinkpad sometimes goes a bit loopy with putting it to sleep. I've found it seems to fix the problems if I turn hibernation and all the powersaving features off, set it to 'Always On' scheme, reboot, then step by step re-enable power saving features one by one, rebooting after each change.

This may just be the equivalent of a raindance, but it seems to fix the issue. XP SP2 here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:30 AM on December 4, 2006

Do you have Indexing Service enabled? Or any 3rd party Desktop Search application installed?
posted by Boobus Tuber at 3:22 AM on December 4, 2006

I'm not sure there is a way to do it with Windows. It will just poke the hard drive every once and a while. (I spent a very long time trying to do this on a Windows 2000 server that was idle about 90% of the day)

If you haven't, do what Boobus says and turn off indexing, and also turn off all event logging and error reporting, error logging and automatic updates.

I don't have win2K in front of me, but you might try enabling write caching on the hard drive as well.

But like I said, it might not be possible (I never got it to work) and if you can't, then I'd disable sleeping the hard drive. Spinning up 30 times a day (or whatever) will put a lot more wear and tear on a hard drive than just keeping it spinning all day.
posted by Ookseer at 7:43 AM on December 4, 2006

Response by poster: IvyMike -- thanks for Process Monitor. Looking at the unfiltered output was like drinking from a firehose. but I narrowed it down to nearly nothing by filtering out 3 categories: "begiining with" Explorer, Services, and AirPlus. That left occasional bursts of WimMgmt, a few bursts of winlogon, and a few bursts of svchost. The bad new is that Process Explorer seems to keep accessing my disk, so I can never see what may be the event that triggers HD activity. The AirPlus disk access when idle is a known problem that I thought I had corrected, so I will work on that. I am sure open to any thoughts if any of the proggys I listed seem suspicious to you [or anyone]. Thanks all.
posted by SamFrancisco at 8:13 AM on December 4, 2006

Response by poster: BoobusTuber -- I am pretty clean for 3rd party apps, but am not sure how to query indexing service. If I can find it, I will turn it off if on. Thanks for the thought.
posted by SamFrancisco at 8:15 AM on December 4, 2006

Response by poster: Ookseer -- I was wondering about your opinion, since resting the hard drive for longer life was my goal [along with quietness, which I can always use more of at my desk] I suspect you are right that spinup/down wears a HD more than always on, though it seemed counterintuitive at first.
posted by SamFrancisco at 8:22 AM on December 4, 2006

A heads-up: read a little of the site before you rush to post, SamFranciso, to get an idea of how things usually work. Quoted text is generally indicated with italics, rather than your own comments.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:05 PM on December 4, 2006

Response by poster: UPDATE -- One thing I have learned by watching process monitor is that the wakeup call is quite regular, occurring every 32 minutes on the clock. Ring any bells, anyone?

Indexing is off...

Stavrosthewonderchicken -- it seems that it may well be time to do the raindance of desparation. I used to call that "waving the dead chicken", but out of respect for your tagname....
posted by SamFrancisco at 9:28 PM on December 4, 2006

Response by poster: Stavrosthewonderchicken wrote Quoted text is generally indicated with italics, rather than your own comments. I actually lurked on Mefi for weeks before joining. Amazing how much I can read without absorbing the syntax of posting. Thanks for cluing me in. Is there a way to distinguish my responses from the postings of others?
posted by SamFrancisco at 9:33 PM on December 4, 2006

Is there a way to distinguish my responses from the postings of others?

Just post. Your username is at the foot of each comment you make. People are reasonably smart 'round these parts, relatively speaking. If they're paying attention, they'll be able to follow who said what without being led by the nose. Most people just quote a piece of someone else's comment (if necessary), italicize it and respond, as I have here. Some others use a Firefox plugin that does it automatically and adds attribution to the quoted part, as you seem to be doing by hand. Yet others find that annoying, because it jars against the paradigm over the years that developed of unattributed quoting.

This is a lot of text for something so minor. Apologies for the derail.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:36 PM on December 4, 2006

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