WD_BLACK drive never goes to sleep?

I have two identical WD_BLACK 4 TB drives which I use to store and backup my music collection. Both are used with a laptop running Windows 10.

The older drive (purchased in June 2021 and formatted to NTFS) never completely goes to sleep. When the computer is not using the drive, it stops spinning but the LED remains on (pulsating) and the drive remains slightly warm to the touch. Otherwise it functions perfectly fine.

The newer drive (purchased last month and formatted to exFAT) shuts off completely when not in use.

Will formatting the old drive to exFAT fix this issue? Or is it normal behavior for that generation?

Hi @Arthurrr ,

Have you opened a Support Case? If not opened, for more information, please contact the WD Technical Support team for the best assistance and troubleshooting:

I did, and they told me to ask here. Apparently nobody knows…

Can the file system format (NTFS vs. exFAT) influence whether a hard drive goes to sleep or remains partially active?

Reformatting the older WD_BLACK drive to exFAT is unlikely to resolve the sleep issue, as power management behavior is more related to firmware and hardware differences rather than the file system. The older drive’s behavior of stopping spinning but keeping the LED on is normal for some drives of that generation. You can check for firmware updates on the WD support website and adjust Windows power settings under “Control Panel > Power Options”.

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