HDPARM on Windows 10, 7, 8 and Vista

The main difference between Windows XP and later Windows OS versions is the introduction of the User Account Control prompt which acts as a barrier between core OS settings and apps. The user interaction is required to authenticate the app and to allow its access to the OS system settings.

In order to be able to change HDD Advanced Power Management settings the HDPARM app must be executed in elevated mode (with administrative privileges).

This manual shows you how to change hdparm.exe Properties in Windows and grant it the administrative privileges required for normal operation.


Follow these steps:

1. Open Windows Explorer and go to HDPARM installation folder - C:\Program Files\hdparm (32bit Windows) or  C:\Program Files (x86)\hdparm (64bit Windows)
2. Right click on the hdparm.exe
3. Click on Properties to open app settings window:

4. Switch to the Compatibility tab
5. Click on the Change settings for all users button:

6. Tick the checkbox for Run this program in compatibility mode for: and select Windows XP (Service Pack 3) from the drop-down list
7. Grant privilege level by ticking the check box for Run this program as an administrator:

8. Remember to click the OK button on all Properties windows when closing them.

IF SUCCESSFUL an armour icon is displayed over hdparm.exe that indicates the app has administrative privileges.

See also:



  1. Brilliant! Thank you.

  2. For access to your SSD, you'd give this command:

    hdparm -I /dev/sda

    You need to specify /dev/sda, not /dev/hda. See the help (enter "hdparm" alone).

    Yes, hda is drive 0. hd[a,b...] is drive0, 1, etc., according to the letter. Same with sda for SSDs.

    So, if your SSD is drive 0 (it should be, because you want the OS installed on it), then your HHD is designated hdb (drive 1). I use mine as my "wing drive" for the SSD.

  3. One of my HDDs was spinning down very frequently and whenever Windows tries to access it the whole system just stops responding for a few seconds until the drive spins up again. How annoying!

    This program is god send. Disabled drive's internal power management real quick and the problem is gone. All hail the author for this great tool and the blog for making it easy to find.

    For people asking questions about accessing other drives here are drive designations for Windows:
    hda = Disk0
    hdb = Disk1
    hdc = Disk2
    hdd = Disk3
    etc etc. This semantic comes from linux. sda I believe is supposed to be a USB disk but for Windows hdparm counterpart it does not seem to matter.

  4. Same as two comments above. When I run hdparm.exe manually, it works. But when I add it to Task Scheduler (with highest permission) and run the task, then it says hdparm is not recognized. Could you please help? Win 8.1.

  5. I found the answer to my question above! You have to add location with hdparm.exe to Environment Values, then it runs :)

  6. Actually in Linux /dev/hda is used for "IDE" and /dev/sda is "SCSI" (that includes drives attached to AHCI, Firewire/USB, iSCSI) kernel subsystem used to access the drive.
    I made .cmd file with lines like
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\hdparm\"hdparm -B 255 hda
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\hdparm\"hdparm -B 255 hdb
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\hdparm\"hdparm -B 255 hdc
    (all the way to half the alphabet) and it's set to run as admin.

  7. This is actually brilliant.
    When gaming, my HDD went into sleep and when it had to load some texture it would spin up.
    Causing the game to freeze momentarily.

    After using the utility, didn't have the problem anymore! Definitely improved my gaming experience!

  8. Just found hdparm. Installed on Win7. Immediately stopped annoying constant spin-up, spin-down and head clicking on my WDC WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0 HDD. Thank you very much. I was going to junk the drive. Can't thank you enough!