Storage forum

General discussion

External HDD maintenance

by fleet111 / July 30, 2009 5:11 AM PDT

Hello. I am trying to maintain my external Hard Drive ( ) as best I can to avoid crashing and losing my data. I learned that when the drive won't be used it's best to eject it from the computer, then power it off, then unplug the power from the hard drive. I was wondering what part is best to unplug? The plug part that goes into the back of the drive? The part that connects to the ac power supply from the wall, or the plug that goes into the wall?

Also does defragging an external hard drive give it a better chance of not crashing?

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No. Defragging is usually when people corrupt such drives.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 30, 2009 5:36 AM PDT

And these devices are not "storage" but a copy of your stuff. If you don't keep spare copies you may be upset when these things fail.

It's not if it will fail, but when.

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Can't speak to defragging externals ...I don't defrg them.
by VAPCMD / July 30, 2009 1:15 PM PDT

Unplugging from AC power . . . good idea. I always unplug mine after use. I'd unplug at wall if convenient. If you unplug at the external HDD and you do it a lot, you risk wearing out the external power connector. I'd rather wear out the power cord than the housing connector.


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Buslink is king
by Phategod1 / August 5, 2009 1:22 PM PDT

funny thing and I dot disagree but my Buslink 250 gig HDD has been plugged in and connected for over 2 years and has not crashed or failed yet.

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Good for you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 5, 2009 9:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Buslink is king

But what to do with all the failures in this forum?

Can you pitch in and help them avoid the usual trauma?

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Maintenance on external hard drive
by thalia78 / August 14, 2009 12:35 AM PDT

Yes, I agree with the plugging and unplugging of an external hard drive because it happen to me. Currently, I have to keep my hard drive plug in my main computer because I worn out the housing connector by plugging and unplugging. This was my second hard drive either failing or going bad within a year. Because of my bad luck with hard drives, I keep backups of everything.

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My 2-cents on the topic
by Willy / August 5, 2009 11:20 PM PDT

I consider ext. HDs an accident waiting to happen. While they can be robust, its just too prone to get some error.

1) Unplug when not in use
2) Refrain from too much handling
3) Not in use, store in safe place
4) Use only as temporary storage, NOT permanent

IMHO, that covers alot of what makes sense.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Just make sure
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 7, 2009 7:55 PM PDT

that the data on your external hard drive is not the only backup you have.

You may never need the other backups, but if that hard drive fails, and they do, then you will find why we also back up to CD or DVD.


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EXT. Hard Drives are not be very reliable
by waytron / August 7, 2009 9:25 PM PDT

In general, External hard drives are not very reliable and should never be use to store your ONLY copy of your data. Yes, you may have one that has lasted a few years but this is the exception and not the rule. Your chances of a failure is greater due to many reasons:
1. Many of them have very poor cooling.
2. Some have inadequate power supplies or poor quality controllers.
3. Being Portable means there is a greater risk of bumping or dropping.
4. Frequent Plugging in and unplugging, turning on and off can lead to power spikes causing premature failures.
5. There is a Greater risk and exposure to Static electricity.

Probably the greatest number of failures comes from not using the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon or ejecting properly before unplugging the drive from your computer and thus corrupting the drive.

In General:
NEVER move or touch the drive while it is running
Do not place the drive where it can fall or tip over.
Always use the "Safely Remove Hardware" Icon before unplugging
Defrag occasionally depending on your usage
Avoid using the same drive on both a MAC and a PC

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Avoid using the drive across many machines.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 7, 2009 9:35 PM PDT
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