Windows 8 Supports Zero-Power Optical Disk Drives

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 4, 2011
Windows, Windows 8, Windows tips

Microsoft's intention to optimize the upcoming Windows 8 operating system for mobile devices like netbooks or tablets has the consequence that the Redmond company has to optimize the operating system's power consumption. Laptop users with optical disk drives may benefit from the operating system's support of a feature called Zero-Power Optical Disk Drive (Zero Power ODD) which basically can reduce the power consumption of optical drives to zero in the operating system to save energy when the drives are not in use.

Zero-Power Optical Disc Drive is part of the SATA 6GB/s specification (to be precise SATA revision 3.1). To support the new power saving feature of the latest SATA revision, the computer system and operating system need to support it. If your computer does not support Sata 6GB/s connections you cannot make use of the power saving feature.

Zero-Power ODD is enabled by default in the Windows 8 operating system. Windows 8 will recognize compatible drives automatically and use the feature to save power. This basically means that the optical drive does not need power at all if it is idle.

While unlikely you may encounter situations where the new feature acts up, or where you under no circumstances want to save power using that feature.

Windows 8 comes with an option to disable Zero-Power ODD. In the developer preview edition you need to change the value of a Registry key for that.

Open the Windows Registry editor first. You need to bring up the run box with the shortcut Windows-r, type in regedit and hit enter. This displays a prompt for elevation which you need to accept.

Navigate to the Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrom\parameters\ and locate the parameter ZeroPowerODDenabled on the right side. It is likely that you only see the parameter if your computer supports the feature.

Double-click the value and change it to 0. You then need to restart your computer before the changes become active. You can at any time enable the feature again by repeating the steps. The only difference is that you need to set the value to 1 instead of 0 to enable it. (via)


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  1. Mystique said on October 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    indeed if users are after power efficiency they are best building it up from a hardware level and attain a decent power supply with a good rating 80+ gold or the soon to be released platinum and later on titanium.

    Take my word for it, what will occur is the following:

    1. Each time you attempt to initiate your drive by opening your drive it will take a few short moments to power up and come out a sleep mode (idle power saving mode) and cause you to wait for an additional amount of time.

    2. If you leave a disc in the drive for an extended amount of time and then attempt to access it there will almost certainly be an additional load up time as the drive will have to wake from sleep mode.

    Before I realised that my secondary hdd had idle power saving options enabled by windows I had issues with my drive being initiated fast enough to achieve a quick enough response from my tv tuner to record a telecast, once I disabled this windows feature everything worked fine and I was able to hit the record but and get a swift response.

    Indeed kktkkr you are correct.

  2. kktkkr said on October 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I agree that enabling it by default is almost useless. Laptops with optical disk drives? How many people use those nowadays? The netbooks and tablets they are optimizing for don’t have them.

    (Presumably it’s still possible to save slivers of energy for a desktop, but that should be an option best left for corporate settings where power saving makes a larger difference.)

  3. Mystique said on October 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’d honestly disable this feature as I am sure it will result in slower load times, as well as I imagine that it will also result in a slow down in tray opening times, whilst some people may feel its acceptable I feel it isn’t and in all honestly enabling it as default on a desktop system is a truly stupid idea much to the same the HDD power saving option tucked deep within the advanced power settings.
    The issues I faced with (the above HDD power saving option) it enabled was immediately obvious and frustrating.

    Just another idiotic idea which causes desktop users to jump through hoops to get the performance they desire.

    Microsft really needs to get ahold of themselves and recognise the different profiling for desktop, laptop and Tablet pc’s and not just try create some magic do it all profile and bugger the rest but if they were to go a certain way in terms of profiling then they should be leaning towards the desktop market of which it has more of a following on, by that logic I mean that the desktop should be setup for performance desktop pcs by default as and anyone with a laptop or tablet will have to tweak it themselves but lets face it when you by a laptop or tablet the OS is 9 times out of 10 pre-installed therefore the vendor will do the necessary power saving, efficiency, etc tweaks for them.

    Does anyone else agree with me or am I just being stupid here?

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