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Using an external HDD like ab internal HDD?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mercoledi, Dec 14, 2011.

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  1. Mercoledi

    Mercoledi Thread Starter

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    Hello!

    About a year ago I started using an external HDD (Seagate FA GoFlex Desk 1 TB) to store all my files, i.e. documents, videos, music, etc. So whenever I'm listening to music or watching videos, which I'm doing practically all the time, the external HDD is in use. I'm basically using it just like I would use an internal HDD. The only stuff I still save permanently on my internal 500 GB HDD are the OSes (Win 7 and Kubuntu 11.10 dual-boot) and installed software.

    Now my question is how bad this actually is for an external HDD in terms of (drastically?) reducing its lifespan? I'm asking because I keep reading that external HDDs aren't really suited for this and are primarily designed for plugging it in once a week or so and doing backups.
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    The hard drives are 100% identical inside a USB enclosure to an internal drive, same drives you can buy off the shelf in fact. The difference is that they are enclosed in box and that can raise the temperatures the drives run at, and higher temps can kill the drive. Also they are more prone to physical damage from being bumped or knocked over.

    Also, since it appears the drive is your only storage medium, I hope you are backing up any critical data to a secondary source.
     
  3. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Welcome to the TSG Forum.

    There is some concern that Off the Shelf Externals do not Cool very well ...
    And you do not know the quality of the HDD installed.
    And some I've seen do not have a way to turn them off when not in use.

    For this reason, I like to build my own externals by getting a good enclosure with a good cooling fan ..
    Then installing a good HDD with a 5 year Warranty.
    Like one of these Enclosures … And one of These HDDs.

    Now’s not the time to buy a HDD, The prices have gone thru the roof due to the flood in Thailand.
     
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Another advantage to building your own external ..
    You can physically get to the HDD for trouble shooting .. (Replace/Test the enclosure if needed).

    And since you can get to the HDD to swap it with the internal HDDs ..
    You can also have a functional Backup HDD with a Bootable Operating System and Data.
    (It’s my opinion that having an external to store only backup Data is a waste of good space)

    Something like this configuration …
     

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  5. Mercoledi

    Mercoledi Thread Starter

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    That's my opinion as well. Not only because my external drive has twice the capacity of the internal one, but mostly because I keep using both Windows and Linux. And having my files on an external drive allows both OSes to access those files without having to access the partition of the other OS.

    As for building my own external HDD, that's something I'm very reluctant to do. I'm a complete and utter hardware noob, so to speak, and really know next to nothing about it. Add to that considerable clumsiness when it comes to assembling things, I rather stick to off-the-shelf products.

    And as for my external HDD overheating, I don't think that's an issue. It's standing upright between a small desk speaker and a shelf with about an inch of space on each side, so there should be more than enough "natural ventilation". Even after hours of streaming videos or music, the casing is still pretty cool to the touch everywhere.
     
  6. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    The drive case would most likely feel cool even if the drive were very hot. The drive is suspended in the interior and has little contact with the external case.

    Nevertheless, be sure all the files on the external are backed up if you expect to keep them.
     
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