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Old 05-22-2006, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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?

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Old 05-22-2006, 12:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re:

Hello,

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.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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great, thanks, this was very helpful.
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