How to Keep My Hard Drive From Going to Sleep


By default, Windows power plans automatically turn off the hard drive after a period of inactivity -- such as 20 minutes -- to save energy. However, there are instances when having your computer’s drive automatically go to sleep can cause a problem, such as interrupting a file download. You can prevent your hard drive from going to sleep by changing the settings in the Advanced Settings section of the Windows Power Options utility.

  • Point your cursor to the lower left corner of the screen, and then right-click the "Start" button.

  • Select "Power Options" from the pop-up menu, and then click "Change Plan Settings" next to the active power plan. The active power plan is in bold.

  • Click "Change Advanced Power Settings" to open the Advanced Settings Power Options window, and then double-click "Hard Disk."

  • Double-click "Turn Off Hard Disk After," and then click on the entry to display a box showing the amount of time that has to lapse before the hard disk automatically turns off. If your computer is a laptop, there will be two entries to choose from. Click "On Battery" to change the time limit when your laptop is running on battery power. Select "Plugged In" to change the time limit when your laptop is connected to an electrical outlet.

  • Delete the time limit in the box -- such as "30" -- and then click "Turn Off Hard Disk After." The time limit changes to "Never."

  • Click the "Apply" button, and then click "OK."

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