On/Off swich

I’m new at this and just received a WD external Drive 4 tb for my pc. When I turn on the computer the drive is on, how can I turn it off if I’m not using it?

Before I begin, I am going to presume you have never used an external drive on your computer, and that your computer is a Windows PC, not an Apple.

A few things can cause this. First, it is either because after you turn off your PC, or put it into hibernate or sleep mode, there is still power to the USB port or the drive itself, and/or power to the drive’s enclosure. I am also going to presume the size of your drive indicates there may be an on/off switch on the enclosure because the drive likely has a power cord that has an external power supply the cord plugs into or is attached to and the power supply is plugged into the wall., but not in all cases. A power supply can also be internal in the enclosure. They are all different.

If the drive is directly plugged into the computer’s USB port (or as USB hub, (that is powered) that, too, can keep the drive powered, even when the computer is off, because some PCs and/or hubs keep power to the USB ports so devices can be charged even when PC is off. Some keep all, some, or none powered.

Some drives have a built-in sleep or idle mode that kicks in after 5-10 minutes of non-use and then wake up when a program accesses them. You know if your drive has this feature if you periodically hear it spin down and get silent sometimes when you are using it. This is a nice feature, but not every one understands it’s operation, so some manufacturers do not activate the sleep mode – they leave it to the user to set it – usually a program (on drive) is supplied that the user needs to install.

If all this sounds confusing about now, it can be if taken in all at once. In a moment , hopefully it will make more sense I believe.

At this point, I do want to pass on an IMPORTANT warning to you, and that is, never turn off or unplug a drive connected to a computer if it is not first “safely removed” from the computer. This is a Windows term referring to an operation in Windows that properly disengages the drive from operation before you physically remove the USB plug AND power from the drive. If not done properly it can cause problems with the drive next time you want to use it. Learn how this is all done properly.

OK, so my advice to you is figure out where the power is coming from to keep the drive alive, so check to see if it is coming from the PC ports; check your PC manual or instruction sheet to see it it says any of the USB ports are alive even with the PC off.

Download a copy of the complete manual for your WD drive model at this link: http://support.wdc.com/index.aspx?lang=en
Look through it to see if your drive has an on/off switch, sleep mode etc. Find the section in manual for proper shut down of your drive. The short instructions with the drive usually do not have enough info in them.

And you thought you asked an easy question! As much as I wrote, I could have left something out or mis-typed, so let me know if you need further help. (And find a local experienced computer friend to help you if necessary.)