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Thread: HDD's - turn them off ?

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    HDD's - turn them off ?

    Hiya tech heads

    I have a couple of external HDD's that I use for backups. Not online, only when my laptop is "docked"

    Should I turn them off when idle ?
    Darren
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    It's all about the Light!
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    I think yes. Save the power and bearings.
    Especially if they are idle overnight.
    If a disk is going to be active more than 18 hours a day leave it on.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    I'd say leave off and unplugged unless in use.

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    seems totally reasonable to me, I had this nagging idea that the powering up/down is when most heads crash. Might be complete bollocks.

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    harddrives being hard drives want to be spinning. this is what they were built for this is what they were put on this planet for and they get very sad if they are not doing this. they will get more wear stopping and starting then if they are spinning. but the thing is hard drives being hard drives will fail what ever you do with them. make sure you dont store them in a cupboard as a back up they need to spin.

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    Have to agree with Google. All the tech support geeks at work have told me most stress occurs to the HDD in start-up. Best to leave them run in terms of hardware reliability. Although our work policy is to shut down - mainly from a security (stop external access) / safety (electrical fire) perspective.

    Either way, remember there are only two types of HDD.........

    .....one that has crashed and one that is about to!

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    OK, maybe I should run my externals more than I do at present.....but they seem to get quite hot if they are on for an hour or more.

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    I thought I'd throw my 2 cents into this...

    Most external HDD's and attached enclosures use a USB interface. These drives never spin down unless the enclosure's chipset and firmware supports this feature (only seen on high end units).

    By never spinning down, these HDD's tend to wear faster and are more prone to failure as they are always on (and spinning). I'd recommend turning these units off if not being used for prolonged periods of time, say a couple of days.

    Please note that there are enclosures which do put the drive to sleep after periods of inactivity just like your desktop if so configured. These are usually Firewire, NAS or ESATA connected enclosures and not only work faster but are more reliable to boot.

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    Ausphotography Regular gcflora's Avatar
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    I must be weird. I have a SATA power cable and data cable hanging out of the back of my computer and I plug my "external" HDDs into that, LOL. Can't stand USB... too slow

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    yes, save the planet.

    if you arent using them then there is no sense in drawing power... also no chance of accidental virus infection in a drive that is not there.

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    Ausphotography Regular gcflora's Avatar
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    Here is my superbly built custom "external" drive enclosure heheh (without drives in it atm)

    IMG_2971.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcflora View Post
    I must be weird. I have a SATA power cable and data cable hanging out of the back of my computer and I plug my "external" HDDs into that, LOL. Can't stand USB... too slow
    e-sata here too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcflora View Post
    I must be weird. I have a SATA power cable and data cable hanging out of the back of my computer and I plug my "external" HDDs into that, LOL. Can't stand USB... too slow
    No, not weird at all An option for you may be to use hot swap drive bays instead.

    Kiwi : I agree with Kym's points on this one.
    Matt.

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    Alot of newer USB enclosures have a 'sleep' feature that will put them into a standby state when the PC is shutdown or they lose connectivity via the USB cable. This should write any cached data and park the heads.

    In saying that, out of the....thousands....of hard drives I've had under my 'care', I've luckily only lost 7. 4 were in various external USB enclosures and all died when powered down incorrectly. 3 were in a RAID array in a box that copped a lightning strike on its unprotected supply mains, part of the power supply went through one of the HDD's .

    If you shut them down, do it the right way, you may have a simple hard wired on/off switch? Make sure you 'stop the device' so the computers so all caches are flushed and the drive is no longer being written to.

    I tend to agree with what elgoogoogle has said, Hard Drives like to spin, it tends to be when they come to a screeching halt that things go wrong. My externals run on a UPS along with the main PC, nothing says head crash faster than a power outtage or unplugging the wrong powercable

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    I have one external drive connected to my mac for LR backups only. It is always off until I need to dump new images into LR, when LR then prompts me to turn it on. After session end, I turn it off again. It is never on unless being written to.
    Hi Im Darren

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    yeah turn them off, otherwise just a waste of energy

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    YES !!
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    I'm with Oldfart regarding unplugging. I had a call to a customer who had lost a PC to a power surge Nothing recoverable on the internal HDD's.

    They had a backup on a USB HDD which was always connected, problem was that the power surge outed that as well.
    Phil

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    IMHO. It's external because it's 1) portable and 2) has it's own power source (for the 3.5" sized units anways). If you leave it on all the time, wouldn't it just be better to have more hard drives installed into your computer if it was a desktop (Laptop is different of course)?

    So my logic goes... if it's external, turn it off when not in use and turn it on as required.

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    Re: HDD's - turn them off ?

    I'm talking about a external powered hdd

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