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external hard drive.. constant runing..alright?

by mazuki_love / October 2, 2007 10:58 AM PDT

it is alright to run the external hard drive constantly for a long period of time?
because the drive gets kinda warm after a while... so i'm a bit worried...

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Depends on how well made.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 2, 2007 12:20 PM PDT

Most are fine, but a few will show issues fast. At least you know about backup and won't lose anything when it fails.

(about when it fails... all hard disks fail.)


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by mazuki_love / October 2, 2007 1:03 PM PDT

mine is a LaCie... does it have a good reputation on it?

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Pretty good. Not perfect (none are.)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 3, 2007 12:17 AM PDT
In reply to: umm

But I see you didn't flinch or reply about my backup comment so you'll be fine when it fails.


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Might check your virtual memory set up.
by Dango517 / October 5, 2007 1:40 PM PDT

It could be running virtual memory on the external drive. Do you have enough RAM?

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by mazuki_love / October 5, 2007 3:27 PM PDT

i just bought it a week ago.. so i think there should be enough RAM...
i'm just wondering if i run it for a long time.. will it cause damage or decrease the external HD's lifespan?

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If your running Vista
by Dango517 / October 5, 2007 4:30 PM PDT
In reply to: ...

2GB of RAM is recommended. Most newer computers currently are equipped with this amount of RAM but still some are not. I bought mine last December before this became the standard and had to do a quick upgrade. If you have insufficient RAM the OS will rely more heavily on virtual memory and this is located on the Hard Drive(s). In your case possibly on the external hard drive.

To check to see what your virtual memory settings are take this path: start>control panel>system>advanced system settings>advanced>performance>advanced>change, here you need to look for the drive letter for the external drive. If a number is listed next to the external drives, drive letter then virtual memory is running within the external drive.

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to answer your question ....
by golfdime / October 5, 2007 10:55 PM PDT
In reply to: ...

i wouldn't recommend leaving your hd running all the time. your hd is the most critical part that has moving parts in it and will degrade quicker if you keep it on. in either case, BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP!!!

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about external hdd
by vitasx / October 5, 2007 6:54 PM PDT

i have thre years old PC amd barton 3200+ ,512mb of ddr two year ago i upgraded hdd's maxtor maxline 250gb sata and external cibox which houses seagate 300gb ide PC runs 24x7 and bouth hdd's are in good condition and about virtual memory by defult it is spcified in operating system hdd

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The virtual memory can be ajusted.
by Dango517 / October 5, 2007 7:02 PM PDT
In reply to: about external hdd

Defaults can be changed.

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Moving Parts Wear Faster
by Mike LaPlante / October 6, 2007 12:41 AM PDT

When you ask if it is okay to keep your LaCie's running, I'm assuming you mean NOT putting them to sleep when they're not in use. If a HD is constantly spinning, at some point it will start to wear. The heat generated is really not an issue. To keep your drive from failing due to wear, put it to sleep if possible. Your OS should have some kind of option for doing this in it's energy saving settings.

Having said all that, a HD can fail at any given time for any number of reasons, but you might as well try whatever you can to prevent it from happening due to wear.

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Constant running external hard drive
by Wadda / October 6, 2007 9:36 AM PDT

How to I hibernate my external hard drives? If I shut mine off I have to disconnect and reconnect each time I want to use it. Please advise.

Thank you,


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Simple solution?
by Bob6529 / October 6, 2007 12:48 AM PDT

Unless doing so creates an objectionable performance problem, I can see no justification for running any hard drive when not needed. Therefore, my control panel's power settings are set to stop all hard drives after the computer is idle for five minutes. Before doing so, my internal drive was making occasional threatening sounds that disappeared after doing so. I realize it inevitably will fail sooner or later, but the change seems to have shifted that event more to the later.

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Stopping Hard Drives when not in use
by anna3333 / February 11, 2008 6:47 AM PST
In reply to: Simple solution?

I don't want to stop my primary drive as long as I'm sitting at the machine, but I would very much like to stop my backup drive (internal). Is there a way I can do that???

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No worries
by Frende / October 6, 2007 3:39 AM PDT

It should not be a problem.... most disks will hibernate after a while.
Just make shure not to cover the ventilation grills. Leave it standing in an upright position. My WD has never been discontected nor turned of, this is it's 3rd year.

Be good

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I only use it when I need it...
by b8375629 / October 6, 2007 7:03 AM PDT

I use a pair of external Seagate mini drives when I ready to do backups. Once I'm finished, I turn them off. I don't leave them running all the time when they're not being used. I think it's a waste of resources and will lessen the lifespan of them.

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Interesting....I run my system 24 x 7 x 365. Externals
by VAPCMD / October 6, 2007 11:38 AM PDT

however I turn off after use. If they're not plugged in, they're less subject to spikes, heat or falling over after someone trips over the cable.


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Does always-on *increase* external drive life?
by john55440 / October 6, 2007 12:41 PM PDT

It seems to me that computer hardware is most likely to die at turn-on, after it has been turned off. At least that is how it has worked for me.

Always-on spares the hardware the "trauma" of the turn-off/turn-on cycle.

At least that's my theory. Happy

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To be safe, here's what I do...
by b8375629 / October 6, 2007 1:59 PM PDT

I should also point out that my Seagate mini drives are about two years old and are USB powered. After I transfer the backup files to the external drive, I disconnect it though the "Safely Remove Hardware" utility in Windows that appears down in the service tray. I don't just yank it out of it's USB slot - bad idea.

With my old 120GB Maxtor with it's own power supply, I do the same thing again using the "Safely Remove Hardware" utility in Windows. THEN I turn off the power on the Maxtor.

If one properly mounts and dismounts the drives through Windows, then you shouldn't have any problem. Been doing it this way for years and have never had any loss of data.

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external hard drive.. constant runing..alright?
by N.P.Tiwari / October 8, 2007 2:49 AM PDT

If the hard drive is running on indepndent/seperate power pack,it may not be safe to run for along time.But if it' running on the cpu's power pack,it's as goo as internal.

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i assume you mean usb-powered... but
by froasier / January 7, 2008 4:10 PM PST

that's partially not true (by partially I mean unless you turn your computer off during the times in question--I assume he was talking about when he's using the computer but not using the external drive), because the computer handles internal drives and USB devices differently in terms of power management.

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