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).


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 '13 at 14:17
  • Which drive enclosures support spinning-down when idle isn't an Android question. – Dan Hulme Aug 21 '13 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 '13 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 '13 at 15:54

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