For the people who have laptops, having a desire to have 2 storage units, mostly one SSD for the operating system and a huge HDD for everything else, makes sense if your laptop didn’t have it already. I’m talking about low or mid-budget laptops which just come with one simple 5400 RPM hard disk drive – pretty annoying if you’re trying to get some work done without feeling like your progress is zero.
One of the most popular solutions to make it happen, which a lot of people opt for, is turning the optical drive into an external drive to be used whenever needed (which is, frankly, very rarely today). Then, have an HDD Caddy take up its spot so that it can contain a hard disk, and then in place of the hard disk the user can simply install the SSD of their choice.
The bug I am going to mention may not be too familiar for each user, and in some cases a similar feeling of “annoying Windows 10 bug” is just not knowing how to set up your laptop in Windows 10. No, it’s not shameful if you don’t know, especially not if you just gave up Windows 7, didn’t really have Windows 8, but now you’re using Windows 10 because it’s cool or someone recommended it or you just felt you wanted to have it.
The problem is related to the secondary hard disk drive going to idle on its own, while some people – like myself – would like to never have it idle, because as soon as the secondary hard disk, the one in the caddy unit, is not needed, you turn off the laptop anyway.
Just to make sure you know the correct settings, or at least know that they exist, I will walk you through with explanations! Press the Windows key on your keyboard or touch the start menu button if you’re on a touch screen or click on it with a mouse, and just enter “power” to locate the Power & sleep settings. As you can see on the next screenshot, just after that it will show up. The next thing you need to do is open it.
Normally, you will see something very similar to what appears on the screen as shown below. Meanwhile a beginner or someone who didn’t often use Windows nor its settings would believe that the only possible settings on the power plan are the ones appearing – screen and sleep. Sure enough, while screen and sleep have nothing to do with the secondary hard disk going idle on its own (except the fact that it will be idle if the laptop is in sleep mode, and that is normal behavior if you’re using sleep mode), you can play around with these settings as well to choose what’s right for you.
On the right-hand side there are the additional settings, as illustrated herein:
Just enter that option and let’s see what it brings up next!
Now, while on the laptop used for testing purposes the selected plan was balanced, your selected power plan may be the exact same or even different. It doesn’t matter, because you just need to know that your settings for the active plan (selected plan) are the ones you need. So, we choose “Change plan settings”.
What is a bit annoying and I am not sure if it’s intentional design or just messy design, but this again brings up something you’ve seen in the previous screens…
It’s again the screen and sleep options. So, needless to say, you need to go to “Change advanced power settings”.
Now we are exactly where the magic happens, where the settings are made! On the test laptop, as you see, “Turn off hard disk after” has been disabled whether the laptop is plugged in and charging or using battery power. This is a setting you must have, because selecting “Never” (which should be when you select 0 minutes on the up/down selector) makes your hard disk stay powered on essentially all the time.
While theoretically that setting should alone “be the solution”, some people recommend setting the following parts as well:
This setting is the so-called USB selective suspend setting, which should not interfere with a hard disk inside the laptop, placed in a caddy but can honestly mess things up for external hard disk drives, which could enter sleep mode without the owner even wanting to have it in sleep mode or even without knowing why it went to sleep. So, all in all, selective suspend should be deactivated!
Even like this, the Windows 10 glitch or bug sounds interesting. On the test laptop we had a Kingston SSD of 240 GB and a Seagate 1 TB HDD in a caddy instead of the optical drive. The laptop model we used to test is a Lenovo G50-70 with an Intel Core i7 processor having 8GB of RAM. Many of you may have heard about Total Commander – a simple file management tool for Windows, very famous ever since the old days when computers were physically heavy, when we didn’t necessarily own a laptop easily nor have the privilege of knowing what a laptop was. The interesting thing is this: while accessing the Seagate HDD unit from Total Commander, the lag is huge.
Sorry for the censoring, but privacy is important! However, mostly, this is what Total Commander looks like, for some very familiar appearance, and for others it’s something new. The other tool used was Windows Explorer, which is indeed part of Windows anyway.
The interesting thing is that while accessing with Total Commander the hard disk was mostly inaccessible, it “woke up” quite quickly with Windows Explorer. Is it an error of Windows 10 itself? Is it something that Total Commander didn’t solve? I don’t know for sure, but I hope that you find it useful to know the right settings and then also to try Windows Explorer if you’re in the same situation of Total Commander failing in this little scenario.
By the way, besides this small flaw, Total Commander is an awesome piece of software and I can recommend it positively to everyone – you really should use it!
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