Those of you who use an external USB HDD with your Wii U may have noticed that during gameplay the drive goes to sleep when it's not be accessed by the console. While this is good for keeping energy consumption down - something Nintendo has traditionally been quite keen on - it can lead to less-than-desirable performance issues during gameplay.

For example, when a HDD takes a nap, it takes a little time for it to start spinning again - and this can lead to pauses or choppiness in-game as the Wii U waits for the drive to wake up.

Thankfully, there's an option which allows you to disable the "sleep" feature on the HDD and keep it awake whenever the Wii U is switched on. It's hidden quite deeply within the Wii U settings menu, so you'll need to follow these steps (thanks, NeoGAF!) to turn it off:

  1. Turn on your Wii U
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Go to Data Management
  4. Press and hold down on the D-Pad for about half a second
  5. While holding down down on the D-Pad, press and hold the + and - buttons and keep them pressed down until you see a prompt referring to the HDD sleep mode
  6. Select disable - you will be advised that this setting might consume more energy

And you're done! Let us know how you get on with this new feature by posting a comment below.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for bringing this to our attention!