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Thread: USB drive isolation
2014-01-25, 11:55 #16
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- Jan 2012
- Central California
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Westom, Thank you for your input. It was an Antec sp500 power supply but had been in service for several years. It was plugged in to a Belkin UPS, also several years old. I replaced the battery once. She lives in an older home, built circa 1950, without updated wiring. I have not had a recent look at the setup as I live 200 miles away. I assembled three computers using the MSI K9N6SGM mother board. My daughter's, my wife's (no problems yet), and mine that I had to re-cap two years ago. My daughter's machine was running Vista, my wife is running Win7 and I am running Win8.1 with an SSD. I am tempted to upgrade but these are adequate for Spider, Freecell, Facebook and Skype. Thanks again to all.
2014-01-25, 16:15 #17
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- Nov 2011
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Nothing on its power cord (ie UPS) is relevant. Even 1930 two wire AC circuits should not cause hardware damage. In fact, a UPS in battery backup mode is typically some of the 'dirtiest' power a computer will see. Due to other functions that must exist in every supply, even a dirtiest UPS is sufficient power for a computer. Those functions are irrelevant to what would explain that hardware damage.
Another way of causing that damage is to disconnect parts when a computer is off but still connected to AC mains. Reasons why should be obvious.
2014-02-19, 12:16 #18
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- Sep 2002
- Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Component engineers constantly strive to improve the reliability of their components, but cost is always an issue (just compare the price of a commercial grade cap and a military grade one) and so consumer grade equipment does not have the most reliable components. Sorry, it just doesn't.
And we all make many other choices based on cost. There is always something more we could do if we were willing to spend more time and money. In a sense, we are all engineers of our own little worlds. (That's what an engineer spends most of his time doing, trading off function for cost.)
I personally like the idea of using an external USB case with a replaceable drive with its own power supply. If the external drive is taking its power from the host computer, then host power supply problems will affect it directly and could damage the drive. If the external drive is not taking its power from the host computer, then a catastrophic PS failure in the host computer could damage the USB transceivers in the external drive, but then you could move the disk to a new external drive housing and it will probably still work fine. If the external drive PS fails catastrophically it could take out the USB transceivers in your PC, but probably would not damage the data on the internal drives. If your MB has multiple USB controllers on it, you might not even have to replace it, though you might have one or more USB ports that no longer work. And if you were really concerned about protecting the PC you could use an add-on USB controller for your external drive. That way damage from the external drive would probably be limited to the replaceable USB controller.
But these are all just probabilities. Such is life. This proposal only protects from one failure mode which you probably won't see again. The next time it will be something different. Other suggestions have been made which will improve your data security even more. Distributing your backups, for example. Backing up to the "cloud" sounds attractive, but I don't have the network bandwidth to fully backup even my personal PC, much less my other six business computers. I backup only my most important corporate data to an offsite computer. The rest I distribute around to other computers on my LAN. Your situation might be such that you can backup everything to offsite storage. Or you can do local backups to a USB drive and then unplug it. That's too much for my old brain to remember, but it obviously works for some. We're all different. I'm sure you can find something that works for you in all of these postings. It's a great group here in the lounge.
Good luck. I hope the data on your drive is recoverable. It might be, you know. Try it in a different PC (or install it in an external USB housing, just in case...) And there are data recovery services if that doesn't work. I have used one once and they saved my bacon.