I try to make external 2.5 hard drives automatically spin down when idle and connected to android devices. The device I have got in mind is a HDMI TV-Stick with USB connector. I tried a few cases/harddrives and found only one old 3.5 case which will spin down the drive when a .nomedia file is present on the drive to prevent indexing. Are there general differences between external drives which can influence their ability to spin down idle drives? Also I would be grateful for hints to android software which can trigger the spin-down and for explanation which requirements to make this work exist in general (for software, disk and case).

1 Answer 1


It's entirely up to the drive and enclosure. The USB mass storage protocol doesn't have disk-specific instructions, e.g. for spinning up and down drives. The only thing you can do from the Android side is make sure the files aren't in use: e.g. by adding a .nomedia file as you already found.

  • So for what drive/enclosure features do I have to look? What about apps to spin down drives which support this on other platforms? As a side note: I figured that the ultimate way to prevent android from accessing the files is to unmount the drive (for which there are apps e.g.) Just the .nomedia file seemingly won't do.
    – highsciguy
    Aug 21, 2013 at 14:17
  • Which drive enclosures support spinning-down when idle isn't an Android question.
    – Dan Hulme
    Aug 21, 2013 at 14:48
  • I have been pointed here from superuser.com with similar argument. My question is not 'Which drive enclosures support spinning-down when idle?'. It is 'How can I realize disk spin down when idle on android?'. I don't really care if it is answered by 'Use drives which have feature xy' or 'Install app xy/run command xy'. I just want to realize this in an android environment.
    – highsciguy
    Aug 21, 2013 at 15:16
  • That's why I answered that part of the question: you can't do it from Android, you need a drive (enclosure) that has the feature of being able to spin down. As far as I know it's not a "box feature" that'll be advertised on the enclosure: either it does it, or it doesn't.
    – Dan Hulme
    Aug 21, 2013 at 15:54

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