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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Keeping external hard drive plugged in

    Hi,


    I would like to know if it is ok to keep an external hard drive plugged into the computer. I was told that it should be plugged in only when accessisng information from the hard drive or when doing a backup to the drive. I am not sure if that is accurate information.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I don't see any reason why you cannot keep an external drive connected, except maybe...

    1 To save power.
    2 Unavailability of a surge protector pluggin for it.
    3 Desktop or other space issues.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Another reason to disconnect an external drive is security. If it is not connected it cannot be accessed by anyone

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have read several times of PC's having problems at boot when an Ext HD is connected. I have no personal experience with this. On my desktop PC (used infrequently any more) we have a USB 750 Iomega Zip drive that we leave plugged in without problem.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger
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    Thank you everyone for your responses. Have a good one.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    I use two external hard drives in a dual eSata dock with a Dell XPS9000. After much trial and error, I can confirm that it will not boot reliably unless the eSata dock is powered off and the eSata cable is unplugged (physically removing the 2 drives from the dock might also work). Having an SD card in the card reader can also delay or totally prevent the PC from booting.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    One other item worth mentioning is the AC adapter for the external HD (if required). Leaving it plugged in usually implies some limited power usage, resulting in heat dissipation and potentially a reduced life expectancy of the adapter.

  8. #8
    4 Star Lounger
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    I think that I will disconnect the external hard drive when not using it. Thanks for your help.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    I have an external hard drive connected to my PC. It is used for backup purposes, and the backup software accesses it frequently during the day. The drive is always connected, and is always on. I have never had any problems with this setup.

  10. #10
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    I have had no problems with my hard drive plugged in, but I have had the inconveniene of my computer taking a long time to boot. When I disconnected the hard drives, the boot went much faster.

  11. #11
    4 Star Lounger
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    it is fine to keep it plugged in
    you can turn it off if you wont be using it for a long time
    i only turn mine on when i am going to back up files to it
    but always plugged in

    only downside is it uses up a usb connector you may need for somethign else

  12. #12
    4 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    @Medico: I am, in fact unable to boot with mine still plugged in. The memory check by BIOS waits until I unplug the USB connecter to the external drive and then carries on as usual and booting continues.
    (My Setup: 3,70GHz Intel Core i7-4820K CPU; MSI Military Class iii X79A-GD45 Plus Motherboard; Win 8.1 Pro (64 bit); 16GB RAM; SAMSUNG SD840 PRO SSD (6GB/SATA III); Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; GeForceGTX 760 2GB Graphics Card; Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2014 Premium, NIS 2014, etc). (UEFI-booted). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive)

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    This is one of those instances that we hear about. In some cases leaving the Ext drive plugged in works fine, in others it does not. I guess it means each person has to find out on their systems.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    I wonder if Petesmst computer is set up to do start up from a usb drive and when he pulls it out it then boots normally? If so he can change the start up sequence from the bios I believe.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yeah it's possible.
    My laptop has that same issue, except that I want to keep boot to USB active on it in BIOS.
    It's just easier not to have anything attached to it upon start/reboot.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

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