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External hard drive won't idle while in an empty dock


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I have a surface pro 3 with docking station. I have a WD portable USB hard drive plugged into the dock. While docked, if the surface goes to sleep or if I actually shut it down, the attached hard drive will also go to sleep and stop spinning.

However, if I remove the surface from the dock, the hard drive will actually turn itself back on and spin forever while attached to the empty dock.

The hard drive is powered by the USB bus and does not have an external power adapter.

How do I stop this? When there is no surface in the dock, the external hard drive should idle.
I wouldn't worry about it. Disk drives are built to withstand constant spinning. As a matter of fact, You need to read the specs on the drive. I believe for the drive to idle it may have to be connected to a computer. If you really are concerned, I would either unplug it from the dock or unplug the power plug for the dock. Incidentally, I've been repairing disk drives since the days of the Calcomp pizza oven drives on IBM 360s mainframes, when you replaced and aligned heads, so I have some experience with disk drives. I keep thinking this but I truly do think we're close to the end of having rotating platter disk drives for storage media.
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