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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger bmeacham's Avatar
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    External HD - leave it on or turn it off?

    I have an external hard disk connected via USB that I use for backups. Is it better to leave it running all the time or turn it on to run my backup and then turn it off?
    Bill Meacham
    bmeacham98 AT yahoo.com

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: External HD - leave it on or turn it off?

    As always, it depends upon what you mean by better !

    DON'T TURN OFF: Server hard disks are left powered up 365/24, and it could be argued that leaving disks on all the time avoids the thermal, mechanical and electrical problems involved with powering down and powering up.

    TURN OFF WHEN NOT IN USE: The only question of 'wear' would be of the disk spindle, and you could argue that powering down reduces this factor. During the power-down period, you would also avoid a small amount of electricity being turned into heat.

    I personally found the overriding consideration was that I had trouble with finding/accessing my external Maxstor OneTouch II unless it was left on all the time.

    In your case I would suspect that the amount of time taken for your backup might be the consideration. If it only takes 30 minutes, it hardly seems worth leaving the disk on permanently. If it takes 8 hours, well...
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: External HD - leave it on or turn it off?

    John's points are valid but I take the lazy approach and leave them on (I have two external USBs). The real reason I do it is simply that I do back up selected files every night during the night and didn't want to have to rememver to turn them on or plug 'em in. Truth is, one could think that if it was an internal drive, we wouldn't be thinking about turning it off, so...

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