Keep an Attached Drive Active

I recently received two drives sent via FedEx for a rather large data copy. Maybe I haven’t been looking, but I’ve never seen anything like these drives before, although it wasn’t too difficult to believe they existed. They each hold 6TB and have a 10-key keypad on the drive case where you have to punch in a PIN to unlock the drive. Neat, except that the drives also have a timeout period in which they automatically lock. To unlock each drive, providing there’s been no disk activity, as that’s what starts the timeout counter, is a trip to the data center to enter the PIN again.


A coworker and I quickly arrived at the same idea in order to keep the drives active. I bet you just thought of an idea, too. It’s extremely simplistic, but that’s typically the road on which I travel. In the simple Do-While loop below, we created a file on each of the attached drives. In my example, the loop slept for eight minutes after it created the file. Then it removed the files and slept for another 10 seconds before repeating.

Do {
    New-Item -Path E:\keepalivefile.txt,F:\keepalivefile.txt -ItemType File | Out-Null
    Start-Sleep -Seconds 480 # equal to 8 minutes
    Remove-Item -Path E:\keepalivefile.txt,F:\keepalivefile.txt
    Start-Sleep -Seconds 10
While ($true)

That’s all I’ve got tonight, other than to say, I have no idea what I would’ve done if I didn’t know Windows PowerShell. Seriously, how would I have been able to guarantee the drives wouldn’t lock, besides to manually create the disk activity? Keeping File Explorer open wasn’t enough, I tried. PowerShell to the rescue. Again.

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