Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tool to Keep Hard Drives Awake

Requirements

This application uses .Net 3.5.  .Net 3.5 is included in Windows 7.  Windows Vista and XP users will need to make sure .Net 3.5 is installed to use this application.  An easy way to tell is if you open this program and it immediately errors, you probably don't have it :)

Description

I wrote this tool because the tools I found on the net did not exactly meet my needs.  xSleep works well, but it is stubborn config wise.  I changed it to monitor a different second drive, and whenever I reopen it, it goes back to the previous setting.  The other tool I found only let you add one drive.

This tool let's you add as many drives as you want.  You can have it open to the systray.

The last three external USB hard drives I have purchased all seem to have a power saving mode implemented through firmware.  Power settings changes in Windows 7 did not resolve the issue.  I need to keep these drives from going into power saving mode as it interferes with my Media Center processes.

Installation


Download






Extract the KeepAwake.exe to any location your prefer.

Usage

Open KeepAwake.exe.  Add the drives you want to prevent from going into a power saving mode.  When ready, click the Start button.  Once Start is clicked the application is active and will 'ping' the specified drives at the set interval. 

This application works by writing a text file to the root of the specified drive at the set interval.  After the file is written it is deleted.  The contents of the file is a list of the directories on the drive.

Options  - all options are remembered by the application.
  1. Keep awake interval (how often the drive is 'pinged') - set number in minutes
  2. Start on Open - tells the application to go ahead and start monitoring as soon as it is opened (recommended).
  3. Open to Systray - when the application opens there will not be a visible window.  Just a lightbulb icon in the systray area (down by the clock in the lower right).
  4. Automatically run at logon - checking this box will cause the program to automatically run when the current user logs onto the system.
The intentions of options 2,3, and 4 are so once the app is configured it will automatically run when the system is logged on and will be hidden in the systray.  Verification that the app is actually doing something can be seen in the list box on the right.  The wrote file and deleted file, with timestamps are listed.

Note, deselecting the box for Automatically run at logon will delete the startup shortcut.  If you plan to move the location of the .exe, or remove the .exe all together, and have enabled auto run, please uncheck this box first so you do not have messages at logon about a missing file (the shortcut will still be in startup pointing to something that no longer exists).  If you move the .exe, just uncheck, move, and then re-check the box and a new shortcut will be created pointing to the new location.

Right clicking the systray icon allows to choose 'Exit'. Clicking the systray icon opens the KeepAwake window.  Minimizing KeepAwake moves it to systray.  X'ing out closes the application.

Screenshot

 

Troubleshooting

If you have any issues with the program please post them in the comments section.


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