Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Do you keep your external HD plugged in?

Last response: in Storage
Share
April 25, 2012 2:18:21 AM

I use my external HD for backup. I have 2- a 1TB with a power supply in a metal enclosure - a 80GB mini external in a metal enclosure.

I only plug them in when I need to backup stuff and then I put them in a drawer to stay cool and safe.

I know a lot of people keep them plugged in and even turned on all the time. Don't you worry if the power goes out or anything it could do some damage?

More about : external plugged

a c 353 G Storage
April 25, 2012 2:47:08 AM

Just counted mine, I have 5 external drives (3 1/2" ) sitting on my Desk, all Unplugged, Only power on maybe once a week. I have about half a dozen 2 1/2 inch drives I use more often, And No I do not leave them Plugged in and turned on all the time.

As to leaving the External on all the time, Only two problems (A) if the power is Knocke off when WRITTING to the drive and (B) it gets knocked over. Both of these problems can be minimized. 1) DO NOT leave External HDD so that it can be knocked over. And 2) if the computer is on an UPS the power will be maintained long enough for the compute to shut down - hense no writting to ext HDD when power is cut.
m
0
l
a c 386 G Storage
April 25, 2012 12:23:39 PM

I leave my external drive on all the time because I have it partitioned. One partition is for my backups and one is for my music and I need my music accessable. I keep my backups on several drives for redundancy and all my computer's and peripherals are plugged into a UPS so I don't worry about the power going out.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b G Storage
April 25, 2012 12:30:19 PM

+1 to RetiredChief - when I backed up to single externals, I did the same, even went so far that one of those was put in a firebox kept in my closet.

I now use a drobo for in-house backups/movies and other garbage as well as cloud backup.
Keep'em unplugged if you can.
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
April 25, 2012 12:54:54 PM

While I stated that for all my backup HDDs I power on when need, an power off.
Hawkeye22 indicated he leaves his on and for a good reason, he uses it daily.

There is always the discussusion about leaving computers on 24/7 or powering off vs how long they last ( most computers use an internal HDD. I've not seen data that points to which is best. My wife leaves heres on 24/7 unless she is on vacation, Me I power mine on, normally in the evening since I'm at work, and off when I retire for the night. No diff in longevity.

The biggest strain on a computer, or HDD, is the initial power on. For computers it is that on power up the highest currents occur, called Inruch current. Inruch current can be anywheres from 2x to 4x normal operating current. NOTE: I do measure Inruch current on occasion at work. With a mechanical HDD is is also the time of greast stress as more energy is required - the old saying a body at rest .....

The bottom line I quess is more depentent on how the HDD is used. If not used frequentlyl - power off. If used frequently, leave on.
m
0
l
a c 386 G Storage
April 25, 2012 1:09:47 PM

^+1

Very true! It depends on your usage. My girlfriend puts her computer to sleep when not in use to help save power. My home computer runs 24/7, but that's because I remote desktop into it while at work and sync up my work folders so that I can fish working at home if needed. Yes, I know there are other ways to sync where I could leave my computer off, but I prefer the remote desktop. I do turn my computer off when I go on vacation though.
m
0
l
April 25, 2012 1:11:12 PM

zyzz said:
I use my external HD for backup. I have 2- a 1TB with a power supply in a metal enclosure - a 80GB mini external in a metal enclosure.

I only plug them in when I need to backup stuff and then I put them in a drawer to stay cool and safe.

I know a lot of people keep them plugged in and even turned on all the time. Don't you worry if the power goes out or anything it could do some damage?


I do the same as you, a lot of users though, won’t care (they might not be quite as tech savvy ). Yet bear in mind that storing the backup drive decreases the chances of file system damage or corruption especially on FAT32 file systems , those get corrupt really fast if they got disconnected before safely ejecting , just don’t drop the drive from all that moving around :)  and it will live longer.
m
0
l
April 25, 2012 1:34:48 PM

I use 6 back-up usb HD and only plug them in when i need to back-up files and they get unplugged as soon as im finished backing up the files.....
m
0
l
April 25, 2012 10:37:49 PM

ok good discussion I like it.

What is the difference between a UPS and just a power bar? I have never used a UPS.
m
0
l
a c 102 G Storage
April 25, 2012 11:56:13 PM

zyzz said:
ok good discussion I like it.

What is the difference between a UPS and just a power bar? I have never used a UPS.


I think by power bar you're inferring the Surge Protection part?

UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply. It contains a battery thus preventing your computer from crashing if the power is lost and in some cases can run the computer for over half an hour depending on the UPS and your power requirements.

The APC Back-UPS PRO series are quite good.

Surge Protection:
This is just to prevent sudden spikes in the voltage from your wall connection from damaging your device. It won't do anything if the power is interrupted.

*There is another device which I highly recommend and that is the APC voltage regulator. It's main usage is when voltage exceeds normal AC. We had problems here with our power and a TV and two monitors died before we figured out the cause. Anyway my dad got a Plasma screen for $1800 and I got this for $60.

http://www.apc.com/products/family/?id=67
Apparently everytime the light turns YELLOW the wall power is out of tolerance and could damage some devices like TV's if this device wasn't regulating it. It turns the excess voltage into waste heat.

Summary:
- Surge Protectors (i.e. in power bars) are for sudden voltage spikes with lightening being the worst.
- Voltage Regulators keep the AC in tolerance, especially when the AC is too high continuously (not just a sudden spike)
- UPS is a backup battery, though the higher quality ones like contain some surge protection and voltage regulation as well
m
0
l
a b G Storage
April 25, 2012 11:59:00 PM

I only connect my USB backup drive when I need to and always safely eject the disk when I am done. My data is important to me which is why I have multiple backups and by safely ejecting the drive I am insuring that I have no data corruption, and by only connecting the external drive when required should give it a longer life.
m
0
l
a c 386 G Storage
April 26, 2012 12:03:14 PM

photonboy said:

The APC Back-UPS PRO series are quite good.

*There is another device which I highly recommend and that is the APC voltage regulator. It's main usage is when voltage exceeds normal AC. We had problems here with our power and a TV and two monitors died before we figured out the cause. Anyway my dad got a Plasma screen for $1800 and I got this for $60.


The APC Pro series UPS's already have a built in voltage regulator. That's how the trim and boost functions work in the Pro series. They trim over voltages and boost undervoltages. Once the voltage goes too far out of spec, then the battery kicks in. In lower series UPS's, they kick over to battery immediately since they can't trim or boost.
m
0
l
a c 353 G Storage
April 26, 2012 12:31:49 PM

To add alittle more to Hawkeyes's comments on an UPS.
UPS are like Computer PSUs thay tend to fall in the catagory of Best, good, and poor.
The distintion between these are in the quality of Output.

The best - Normally quite expensive. The one that I bought many years ago cost more than my computer did. The output was always regulated and perfect sinewave. The internal battery was always connected, just that as long as the AC was above 90 VAC the AC both provided the output and trickle charged the Battery. AC failed, no relay as the battery was connected.

The Good. Not a perfect sinwave, but close. Output regulated. May use a switch (relay) to switch between AC or battery power.

The bad. Output waveform is very poor when on battery. This can damage some electronic systems and in some cases is NOT recommended for them such as TVs, cable boxes, and Computers, especially the newer PSU with PFC circuitry. The primary problem is with the Input transformer used to knock the AC input down. Transformers are designed to work with a sinewave input. Incorrect waveform can cause the transformet to over heat and create large spikes in the output side of the transformer. The overheating problem is minimized by the fact that time on battery is limited. However the spikes can cause problems such as overvoltage applied to circuit components and in the case of capacitors, with a spike they act as a short.
m
0
l
April 26, 2012 8:05:22 PM

so basically you have to spend a couple hundred dollars just for a good one?
m
0
l
a c 386 G Storage
April 26, 2012 8:12:26 PM

zyzz said:
so basically you have to spend a couple hundred dollars just for a good one?


Not really. APC in general is good. I have one of these on one of my less demanding systems. If your lights don't dim everytime your refridgerator kicks on, then a UPS without a built in voltage regulator is fine. At least the computer gets put on battery instead of taking a huge spike or lag in power.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
April 26, 2012 8:13:45 PM

my lights don't dim because I don't turn them on :) 

thanks for the link I am going to look now.
m
0
l
a c 102 G Storage
April 27, 2012 12:25:16 AM

Hawkeye22 said:
The APC Pro series UPS's already have a built in voltage regulator. That's how the trim and boost functions work in the Pro series. They trim over voltages and boost undervoltages. Once the voltage goes too far out of spec, then the battery kicks in. In lower series UPS's, they kick over to battery immediately since they can't trim or boost.


Yes.
I would recommend the APC voltage regulator to people with expensive HDTV's or Stereo's where wall power loss isn't a huge deal and UPS devices for computers and the device's surge protection capabilities are likely limited.

I can't speak to the amount of actual protection from spikes from a UPS.

However, quality computer power supplies also regulate the AC voltage quite significantly so the UPS alone should be sufficient for battery + surge protection.
m
0
l
a c 102 G Storage
April 27, 2012 12:27:20 AM

(can't fix my mistakes above. you get the point.. )
m
0
l
!