Question Hard Drive with no files in use keeps spinning randomly

stundrah

Commendable
Sep 24, 2017
15
0
1,520
1
I use my PC mostly for music production and then some gaming. I recently moved all of my sound libraries and system folders (such as desktop, documents etc) to a new 2TB SATA SSD (WD Blue). My main system drive is an NVME (Samsung 970 EVO 256gb), and I still use a 4tb WD Black HDD to store my games.

Even tho there are no files being used on the gaming HDD and no application that should be trying to access it, it will start spinning randomly with some write sounds etc and then stop after 5 minutes (I set my hard drives to stop spinning after 5 mins of inactivity in my power settings).

I used Process Monitor to see what was happening, and it seems once in a while Windows Explorer will try to access the drive for no apparent reason even when I am not browsing folders. Why is Windows Explorer doing this, and how can I prevent this? Is it some drive management or diagnostic thing? Or does it have something to do with file indexing?

I would really like my PC to be as silent as possible, and right now that WD Black is the only source of noise coming out of it. This is why I bought my 2TB SSD in the first place. If I can't shut that HDD down when I am producing music then my new SSD has no purpose. :(

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

R_1

Judicious
Herald
I suggest an external enclosure on the fastest interface your motherboard supports.
this way when making music or otherwise need silence you can power off the drive completely.
I am a fan of docks myself but enclosures work too
dock

enclosure

examples only, not endorsements shop around
 

stundrah

Commendable
Sep 24, 2017
15
0
1,520
1
Just because you're not using it does not mean the system is not using it.
Indexing and defrag are two common culprits.
Disabling search indexing and auto-defrag seems to have fixed most instances where the drive will spin randomly. However, for some reason it will still start spinning when I start some programs (like Chrome or Photoshop) even tho they should not be trying to access that drive. None of my document or system folders are on that drive anymore, and there are no hidden folders either. The only two remaining folders are my installed games folder and my saved games folder.

I realized FL Studio was trying to search for sound samples in their old location upon startup, so I changed the sample folder path inside the program, but it still starts spinning anyways. I went through all possible folder settings in all my programs to make sure nothing was trying to access the old drive, and everything seems fine... but it still spins.

Any more tips would be nice!
 

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