Hard Drive Power Settings in Media Server (1 Viewer)


Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • March 3, 2012
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
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    I have recently discovered that the power settings on my Windows 8.1 PC, used as a media server, were set to power down the hard drives after 20 minutes of inactivity.

    I changed this to never and it solved a lot of access problems that I was having from the 4 client machines, and two laptops. Namely hanging, not responding, server not accessible. Now I get much quicker access and faster response times from all machines.

    My question is - what is the pay off likely to be in terms of electricity usage, and shortening the lives of the hard drives? The server PC is left on 24/7, it is also an Argus TV Server. It has 6 hard drives in, about 12TB storage.

    What do other folks do?



    MP2 Product Manager
  • Team MediaPortal
  • May 16, 2008
    Germany Germany
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    Each drve is likely to consume approx 3-4W more when running - let's assume +20W for your six drives, which are now up 100% of the time instead of maybe 20%. In total we are then looking at an additional consumption of

    0.80 x 20W x 24h x 365 = 175 kWh - in Getmany the equivalent of 50€, but th depends on your local tariff.

    Regarding the life-time, it might actually be beneficial to not power up and down the drives as electric wear-out happens at power-up rather than during use. It is difficult to judge if the total runtime will shorten the life-time. In any case modern SMART parameters will at least give you sufficient heads-up that the drive may become faulty.

    Lastly, I have also switched to drives not powering down, mainly because of short nework pauses of my server when the drive had to power up. The machine is standby'ing after some idle time if not needed.


    Test Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • June 10, 2013
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
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    I have also switched to drives not powering down
    Me too. But I have only three disks in my HTPC, with the bulk of my recordings stored on a remote NAS which is switched off most of the time. In the HTPC, I have:

    (1) Slow 160GB 5400rpm OS disk (ex-laptop, 3 partitions == 3 OS installs).
    (2) Fast 750GB 7200rpm "capture" disk (where the recordings are placed by TV Server).
    (3) Slow 2TB 5400rpm "library" disk (where recordings are moved if they will be watched in the nearish future).

    Restricting the number of disks in the HTPC is as much about minimising noise (the HTPC is located in the lounge, adjacent to the TV), as it is about minimising power consumption and disk wear. My HTPC hibernates when not in use and not recording.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK


    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • August 15, 2009
    England England
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    Interesting. I posted in another thread that I was looking for a way to spin up my drives when the MP UI was in active use; I was assuming there would be significant energy savings and reliability payoff to having them spun down when possible, but it seems that's not the case, so maybe I should run my drives 24/7 too.

    This makes me wonder though; I bought WD Green drives, whereas WD recommend their Red drives (NAS/RAID) for 24/7 operation. Is there really anything special about drives that are sold as being specifically for 24/7 operation?


    MP2 Product Manager
  • Team MediaPortal
  • May 16, 2008
    Germany Germany
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    Is there really anything special about drives that are sold as being specifically for 24/7 operation?
    Besides being more expensive? ;) Yes and no, but it's more a statistical thig with higher MBTF and data volume figures. Compare green and red certified figures and you will see that red will give you higher numbers. However, green is still pefectly in line with a normal user's requirements. So unless you don't operate an internet server, I believe that green will perfectly fit your needs.

    Running green myself.

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