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storage of external drive when off / not being used


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#1 teiresias

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 05:02 PM

Hi! I recently got an external hard drive (a Western Digital 'My Book' 1TB) and was wondering whether I need to worry about temperature and ventilation even while it's not running. To be more specific, is it alright to leave the drive sitting in a hot room if it's turned off and not attached, or should I aim to store it somewhere cooler when it's not running? It has been very hot lately, and sometimes when the air conditioning is not on (my parents have the say of whether it's on or not) HDD Health has popped up warnings that my internal drive has exceeded extreme critical levels for the temperature (I think it was like close to 60 C). This makes me turn off the computer to cool it down, but then I started wondering about whether the external drive will be adversely affected by the heat even when unattached and powered off. So, are there any 'ideal conditions', i.e. cool and good ventilation, for external drives when off, or can I just put it wherever I want when it's off and not worry about temperature?

Thanks for your help! It's much nicer to worry about simpler things like this than the malware and internal-drive-failing issues I've had in the past. :thumbsup:

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 05:17 PM

Cool, and dry is best. You Ideally don't want to exceed 90F.
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#3 teiresias

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:17 PM

Ah, okay; thanks.

Does this '90F' relate at all to internal drives as well? My internal drive is usually around 90F when I turn the computer on, and can go all the way up to 120F depending on how long it's been running and what the temperature is. Is that bad?

#4 SpaceShipOne

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:05 PM

My hard drive has been around 90-93 most of the time (as measured by Everest Ultimate) and I have not had any problems. Even when its at 120, when I don't have my laptop plugged in the wall, it still seems to work fine. I don't think its too much of a problem as long as it does not remain that hot for any extended period of time. I don't know what effect the heat has on the HD, but it could cause the bearing to fail prematurely (metal expands when it gets hot).
"Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding."
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#5 teiresias

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:33 PM

Okay, thanks; I was just curious because I have a history of internal hard drive failure (a brand new secondary one failed after a year, and the original internal drive is now failing as well - but because I can backup on the external I'm not too worried about it) and I didn't know whether poor ventilation and high temperatures would cause the drive to fail 'prematurely'. I used to leave the computer running for several days, but I didn't have HDDHealth or DiskCheckup installed then so I don't know what the average temperature would have been then. I do know that my hard drive measures in the upper 20s (lower 80s F) or lower 30s C (lower 90s F) when I turn it on depending on how long it was off beforehand, but once it's running for an hour or two it spikes all the way up into the mid to high 40s C (110-120 F) and continues in that range until I shut it off, usually at the very minimum perhaps six or eight hours later, but most of the time longer than that (run scans/stuff overnight and then hop back on it the next morning, etc.). So most of the time my computer is on the drive's in the 110-120 F range.




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