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External heavy HDD, on and off frequent

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#1 JimmyKarter


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Posted 23 February 2016 - 12:16 AM

I have an external 5 TB hdd that's connected to a power strip which I frequently power on and off.


I never turn the hdd off unless it's removed from the computer. However, my concern is just that this hdd requires external power, aside from a USB connection. Will turning it on and off constantly, regardless of whether it's connected to the laptop make any difference?


I can go check with WD customer support to be absolutely sure, but it requires some time-taking calling etc, and it's not all that worth it.

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#2 1PW


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Posted 23 February 2016 - 09:27 AM

Hello JimmyKarter:
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.

One may wish to take particular notice of attributes 4 and 12 above because they have a relationship to MTBF.
Every time A.C. power is applied to the external HDD is a instance when great stress is placed on mechanical and electronic components. The manufacturing collective must have reasoned that those attributes (and others) would be good to keep track of.
It's easy to understand then why the wise user will strive to keep these, and some other attributes that would relate to lifespan, at a minimum.

Please consider using the above data to re-examine the reward to risk ratio.

Edited by 1PW, 23 February 2016 - 09:39 AM.

All viruses are malware but not all malware are viruses and if the malware doesn't self replicate it just isn't a virus.

#3 Ram4x4


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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:42 PM

Typically, start up for any electronic device presents more stress than if it were left powered on, the question is really whether the useful life span of the device is exceeded before any problems are created by repeated power cycling.


WD claims that their drives are built to handle repeated turning on and off.  I've never seen any actual tests that show data indicating what affect power cycling has on a hard drive's life span.


From personal experience with external drives, both A/C powered and USB only powered ones, the life of the drives don't seem to be noticeably longer or shorter by leaving them powered all the time or turned off and on.  I would say it also depends on frequency of use...how many times per day is it turned on and off, etc.


I mean, a lot of people, me included, power cycle our entire PC almost daily, sometimes several times in a day and short of having issues with a component, the PC lasts for a number of years.

#4 JimmyKarter

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 02:02 AM

Thanks everyone.


But the thing is........ is there any way to be conclusive about what I should be doing with this?


Is there any point contacting WD directly?

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