ArMak wrote: Also if the drive is not active after a certain amount of time, art least from my experience, the unit will go to stand by mode and not spin at that moment.
i have 3x 1TB WD Elements SE HDD’s ( the "SE"s are portable usb powered drives) …
None of them spin down and go into idle mode (the back LED is always “flashing”) … and i have never experienced any delay when trying to access the drive after a long period of “inactivity”
i also have “3” 3TB Elements HDD’s (these are mains powered) and yes … they do spin down and go idle (after a long period, if i click on the drive it takes a few seconds for it to spin up)
same goes for my 3TB My Book HDD.
If the OP is worried about “Lifespan” of the HDD … then only connect it when you want to use it, or explore the “Power Options” on your Surface Tablet, mainly the one’s about putting HDD’s to Sleep.
Or more importantly, buy another 1TB WD HDD (they are cheap enough) and use it as a “Backup” drive of your data … and keep it safely stored away. (my backup hdd’s are in a safe)