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external hard drive over heating, so how to keep it cooler ?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jrbuergel, Apr 21, 2010.

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  1. jrbuergel

    jrbuergel Thread Starter

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    With a western digital 500 GB My Book Home edition external hard drive, it seems to become way too warm. When booted to one of my Linux, I used a disk utility which also shows the operating temperature, ( from that SMART drive status) of both my internal and external hard drives, and it was at 85 F for the internal IDE, and 106 degrees F for that WD external drive. The Western Digital web site shows the maximum operating temperature as 95. I use it standing up but will it cool better when placed flat on the side since vents are on the bottom, back, and top ? Or it may have a internal fan which is bad ? I mostly use it connected by eSATA, but some times by USB, and when it was that hot it locked up, and then was not detected by my Windows XP until I let it cool off for some time, then it worked again.
     
  2. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I have 10 externals. Three are older retail 3 1/2" versions without a fan. Seven I built myself using 5.25" enclosures with a 40mm fan.

    Since I started building externals for myself a few years ago, I never use an enclosure without a fan. Build you own and you will come out with a better product.
     
  3. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I'm thinking it's time to get another XHD and copy your data before it's too late.
    Hard to tell if it's the enclosure or the HDD that's getting hot.

    I'd suggest building your own the next time using something like These Enclosures and maybe one of These HDDs
    Notice the 5 year warranty on the HDDs.
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    IMO external drives without some type of cooling are NOT made for continuous duty/use ie you switch it on and backup whatever you want and then switch it OFF. I have an external that sits on my desk and that is how I use it; as a second backup to my internal backup drive. It is an old 80gig WD that is at least 5yrs old and it still works fine however it is never ON for more than a few min at a time.

    As noyb has posted, I would make sure I had a current backup of whatever is on that drive.
     
  5. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    After I made sure I had a good copy to a new External .... (Running the My Book in short periods) ...
    I would disassemble the My Book .. Get the HDD out ...
    And run it in the enclosure, or an adapter .. or install it as a second HDD in my computer .. and test it.

    I have one WD HDD that runs hotter that others ..
    And I've seen pictures of HDDs that have really got hot internally.. In the area of the Platter(s)
    You won't know if it's the HDD or the enclosure, till you test it.
    If the HDD is OK .. Get a new enclosure.

    You can't send it back to WD .. (If it's in warranty) .. You'll loose what's on the HDD.
    That's one problem with getting Pre-Assembled externals.

    It's been my experience that the "Box" is less reliable than the HDD that's in it.
     
  6. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    I have a failing Seagate FreeAgent Pro, this is how I kept it cool to get my data off, before filing an RMA with Seagate

    [​IMG]
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You even have room for your lunch in there :)
     
  8. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    I may have to eat the drive, Seagate is balking at a warranty, the issue is hard to reproduce now and their Sea Tools finds nothing. I don't trust it after what has happened recently.

    .
     
  9. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You know WD has never given me any problem with a RMA.
     
  10. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Seagate has not for me, up until now, this is the first external hard drive I have has issues with (usually build my own), I don't think the hard drive is bad, just a flaky usb controller inside, no test for that.

    .
     
  11. jrbuergel

    jrbuergel Thread Starter

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    Western Digital customer support has said that My Book drive does have a internal cooling fan, but they will not tell me how to open that enclosure, since it will void the 3 year warranty. Does anyone know the trick to open this type unit ? This 500 GB drive I have several partitions on it, a few for storage, and 4 for Linux installs, so can I use a free drive image software to make a full drive image copy to a new hard drive, and thanks.
     
  12. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Use keywords and google to try an locate a guide

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=remove+hard+drive+500gb+my+book

    .
     
  13. jrbuergel

    jrbuergel Thread Starter

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    I did search and find out how to open this external drive to remove the hard drive. My question now is about that SMART drive option to enable it in the BIOS. This is a 2006 Gateway desktop with internal IDE only, and added in PCI SATA controller card so I use it for eSATA. My drive tools show only the internal drive as SMART enabled so I can check the temperature, but it does say either not available or not enabled for the western digital external My Book drive.
     
  14. jrbuergel

    jrbuergel Thread Starter

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    Is this 500 GB My Book home SMART hard drive capable and enabled ? When I do connect it by the eSATA and boot up into my Windows XP to check the current operating temperature with a software utility, it shows that SMART is only enabled for the internal IDE drive, but not for this external SATA drive, so the temperature is shown as about 86 degrees F for the internal, but not available for the My Book. So if it is SMART capable, then how do I enable that, is it in the system BIOS or is it a drive firmware update ? Maybe the SMART ability has failed from over heat.
     
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