Saturday, December 10, 2011

Disabling hard disk drive advanced power management (configure HDD APM level)

HDD APM explained in brief

The Advanced Power Management feature (APM) present in virtually all modern hard disk drives is aimed to save energy and power consumption by regulating the performance of the hard disk drive. Power consumption is reduced by adjusting spin speeds and disabling internal components when not in use. Aggressive power saving settings allow the hard disk drive to stop its spindle motor and park heads more frequently, which allows saving as much energy as possible, but put stress on mechanics and leads to delays on drive reads caused by waiting the magnetic disks to spin up to the necessary speed. In other words saving energy is achieved by decreasing performance and to a certain extent shortens drive life.

HDD APM and hard disk drive clicking sounds

Many users have reported a problem with hard drive clicking, sometimes described as a repeating tick tick tick type of ticking sound, or a faint beep at random intervals. The click sound is usually caused by the drive parking its head. There are multiple causes for that, including power management and shock detection.The clicking sound occurs only when the drive is idle. Forcing the drive to be busy delays ticking. Launching programs that access the hard drive, such as indexing or defragmenting the drive, helps for a while. Of course there is always a better option. As clicking sounds are related to drive head parking it is possible to completely eliminate them by changing the Advanced Power Management (APM) settings and taking control over operation of hard disk.

The solution: 
You may use the hdparm app to configure or turn off power management of the harddisk drive.

Download hdparm for Windows 7, 8, XP, Vista, 2000

The installation package contains:
- Hdparm executable for 64bit Windows v.6.9
- Automated scripts for changing Advanced Power Management (APM) settings easily via Start Menu shortcuts
- Startup entry for APM configuration on Windows boot

Via the Start Menu shortcuts you are able to:
- configure APM settings of your primary harddisk drive for max battery usage, for fastest hard disk performance or APM disabled.
- to configure APM settings of secondary or third harddisk if such hardware is present on your computer (see More shortcuts link in the Start Menu).

Predefined command script
Start menu shortcuts

See also:

HDPARM - HELP & HOW TO     HDPARM SETUP on Windows 7, 8 and Vista


  1. Best program ever! Tiny script that do wonders for my lenovo g710 laptop! Inside have a 1TB WD disk that went too fast to idle (10sec) and caused spin up/down all the time. That is great for saving power but not for disk drive durability. With this problem is solved and have maximum perfomance at the same time. Disk temp went up for only 2C and it's now at 38C and on heavy usage like defragmenting 42C.

  2. Great information, been looking everywhere for a solution to my "clicking-once-when-not-used-for-5-seconds" hard-drive. Cannot stand the clicking sound from hard-drives since I associate it with hard-drive failure. Thanks!

  3. You're genius! The clicking was loud and disruptive, 3500 unload cycles after less then 190 hours power on time. Now it works like it should from the very beginning.

  4. Thanks, you saved my life.

  5. I'm using this program on win7 and I have 2 questions:

    01. What the bleep is "hdc"? Is "c" the assigned drive letter? I cannot figure out how to enter a device name under windows.
    02. No matter what command I enter at the command prompt, even "hpparm -i hdc" the program ALWAYS responds with "function not implemented".

    1. hdd 1st -> hda
      hdd 2nd -> hdb
      hdd 3rd -> hdc

      letters A,B,C are not for drives A:, B:, C:, but for 1st, 2nd or 3rd physical harddisk drives installed on the PC.

  6. So, is it normal to hear any sounds related to head parking? Mine has it and I'm a bit worried.
    About disabling APM completely. Will it harm my drive? I think it gains temperature while it's head isn't parking.

  7. How to off APM for second disk ??

    1. On the Start menu click to More shotcuts... then will open folder window with scripts for 2nd and 3rd hdd.

  8. Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more.this is work is tremendous. Thank
    hard drive recovery

  9. Thank you very much for making this amazing software!