Should external drives be left on?

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matrim

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Dec 28, 2004
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I have an external hard drive i leave on constantly. 75% of the time I use it, the other 25% I could probably turn it off. Is this necessary? If I turn it on and off, will it go out faster or will leaving it on make it go faster?
 
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How often do you use it? Turning it off and on multiple times a day puts a little extra wear and tear on it, but leaving it on all the time consumes power...

To summarize, it depends on how you use it.
That's a hard question to answer--if you use it once a week to do back ups, then go ahead and shut it down when you're not using.

Speed of the drive depends on how you keep it clean and defragged.
 

MysticEyes

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Mar 30, 2002
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Those are questions that no one can really answer. Many will offer various reasons for and against each option. My only concern would be heat build up. You want a decent external case that keeps the drive as cool as possible as heat can cause drives to fail prematurely. Newer internal faster drives can also run hot if stacked directly on top of each other (separate them) and are not in the airflow patterns of your case (mount them low in front of the front air input vent).
 
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Jul 27, 2005
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yea i have a lil 500gb external that i leave on all the time, i use it for total backup. it never works (moves data) until i put a few things on or copy a couple things i need temporarily. i try to make it work as very little as i can.
 

JohnWill

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I have a stack of USB drives for backup, and I turn them off when they're not in use. I also have some network attached storage drives that are on 24/7. The NAS drives all power down the disk when they're not active, so overheating isn't an issue with them.
 
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