External backup drive - leave running?

  Pineman100 18:21 20 Feb 2010

My wife and I used to share an external USB hard drive for backups, but it became too small for us both to use effectively. So I've just bought myself a new 1TB mains-driven external USB drive.

It's connected and working fine, but the drive has no on/off switch. It detects when the computer starts up and starts itself at the same time. Likewise, it stops when the computer is switched off.

After a few minutes of not being used, I can hear it stop spinning, although it remains on, but every time I open Windows Explorer it spins up again (understandably).

I'm not sure whether it's good for this drive to be running all the time. I image my computer with Acronis once a week, but otherwise the drive is just idle. Will it be harmed or subject to un-necessary wear by running when it's not needed?

  rdave13 18:37 20 Feb 2010

I have two external hard drives but in enclosures. Both used for backups. I only power them up when I need to use them on the assumption that they'll last longer.

  Pineman100 18:41 20 Feb 2010

Well, that was my feeling, too, rdave13.

I presume I wouldn't do any harm if I inserted an inline switch in the drive's power cable?

  rdave13 18:49 20 Feb 2010

Not sure if it's required. If you use the 'safely remove' icon then power off at the mains. That would also save the power addapter?

  VoG II 18:58 20 Feb 2010

I've had a Freecom external USB drive for probably about 5 years. There is no on/off switch so it stays on all the time but is inactive when not being accessed. I've had no problem with this set-up.

  Pineman100 19:09 20 Feb 2010

That's reassuring - thank you.

rdave13 - if the mains wall socket was easily accessible, I'd probably have done that without bothering to start this thread. But it's buried behind my desk and needs a much younger man to scramble underneath to access it!

In view of VoG™'s advice, I shall stop worrying!

Many thanks to you both.

  VoG II 19:14 20 Feb 2010

"But it's buried behind my desk and needs a much younger man to scramble underneath to access it!"

Similar here - basically I need to call Pickfords if I need to access the back of my PC, plugs, cables and so on :o)

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