external hardrive - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Computer Hardware > Hardware Repairs and Troubleshooting
Click Here to Login
Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-22-2006, 06:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 21
Question external hardrive

i just bought a maxtor external hardrive. what i dont like about it is that i have to plug it into the wall. for this reason, it never turns off, even when i turn off my computer. will this shorten the life of the hardrive? and is it safe to unplug it every time i turn off the computer?


whisker is offline  
Old 05-22-2006, 11:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
Master Techie
Alvin.C's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,580
Default Re:


Unfortunately external hard drives (3.5" HDD) require an additional power source. Internally they can take advantage of power from the PSU using molex connectors, but externally, USB and Firewire very simply cannot deliver enough power to the drive, hence a power adaptor.

Some external hard drive enclosures (though they tend to be cheap ones from china on eBay) come with, or are compatible with special PCI power brackets, whereby a molex power connector from the PSU plugs into the PCI power bracket on the inside of the PC. A power cord then plugs into the bracket at the back of the PC, while plugs into and powers the external drive. The drive automatically turns of after shutdown because it's powered by the PSU.

Your drive is powered independantly from the system's PSU. So, you're required to turn if off manually. I personally only turn my external drive on when I need it, and turn if off when I don't need it.

Because it's plugged externally using USB or Firewire, the drive is hotswappable, meaning you can unplug the drive and turn if off, even with your PC still on...well, as long as you don't unplug it or turn the drive off when you're still transferring data to / from it - this will damage files.


|Gaming PC| |Dell Latitude E7250| |Macbook Air 13" (Mid 2013)|
|Windows 10 Pro (x64)| |Intel Core i5-6600 @ 3.3 GHz| |MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X| |Noctua NH-D15S CPU Cooler| |Gigabyte GA-Z170MX-GAMING 5 mATX Motherboard| |Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD| |Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-SDRAM| |OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular PSU| |NZXT Vulcan Micro ATX Case|
Alvin.C is offline  
Old 05-22-2006, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
Newb Techie
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 21

great, thanks, this was very helpful.
whisker is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:43 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.