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Australian and US voltage requirements for external hard drives

  • Hard Drives
  • Computer
  • External Hard Drive
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
a b G Storage
June 9, 2010 11:45:03 PM


I had a problem the last time I travelled to Australia from the US. I stupidly fried my external hard drive (bought in the US) by plugging it into my friend's Australian-bought computer. I would like to share my music, movies and pictures with people the next time I go travelling but am not sure how to make it happen exactly. Any suggestions??

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a c 464 G Storage
June 10, 2010 4:04:40 AM

This story surprises me a bit because most external drive units connect to a computer via a very standardized system - either USB, eSATA, or Firewire. The country does not matter. Now, that is for the DATA connection. HOWEVER, most external HDD's do not draw power from the computer. They have their own POWER SUPPLY system, like a "wall wart" or maybe something inside the external case. Now THAT could be a problem, because the wall outlets in Australia are 240 VAC, 50 Hz as far as I can tell. So you'd need either an HDD enclosure that can be adjusted to work on 240 VAC and 50 Hz, OR some suitable transformer system to convert their power to 120 VAC, 50 Hz. (You cannot change the frequency without a lot of trouble, and most electronics don't really care much whether it is 50 or 60 Hz.) Look for a way to handle this BEFORE you leave and take the necessary adapter system with your external drive. You might also want to check details of how their wall outlets and cord plugs are configured, and take with you some sort of adapter to allow you to plug in your power adapting system.