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Tom AZ

External HD Question

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I use my computer a lot for business. Typically, it's on continuously for about 15-16 hours a day -- six days a week. Along with that, I also use an external hard drive, which has become an integral part of my "system."

 

My question is this . . . is it OK for my external to be on continuously along with my computer for the same periods of time mentioned above?

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I also Tom AZ use 2 external hard drives, 1 via USB connectivity and the other via fire-wire.

 

Both these drives have their own power supplies and when my main business PC is not operating only 2 days per week (5 days a week the PC is NOT switched off at all) these drives are left connected to the PC and remain powered, with no issues to date.

 

I have been running these 2 external hard drives like this now for almost 2 years. 1 HD is a 500GB (IDE) and the other is 1.0 TB (SATA) both external hard drive units are X-Drives by XSonic enclosures.

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Some externals support spinning-down the platters when left idle for x time. My cheapo 250gb WD does this after 5 mins. Some have adjustable settings for this. Hardware dependent. This can greatly reduce wear. If you have something running that constantly accesses the drives however this really won't matter.

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How do you know your WD has an automatic 5 minute spindown? I have a WD as well . . . just wondering how you found that out.

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I can hear it spin down after a period of inactivity. It seems to be about 5 minutes. I timed it once a long time ago, I forgot the exact time but I think it was around 5. Many WD drives do this. There is a utility you can use that can manually spin it down.

 

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.as...=17&lang=en

 

It says it's the downloads page for the WD Elements but the spindown or stop utility works for everything but "Media Center and the Dual-option Backup drives."

 

I just tested it and it works with mine. Theoretically if you can spin it down with this utility it should support auto spindown.

 

WDs seem to have auto spindown in their firmware. Except for maybe network drives.

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I can hear it spin down after a period of inactivity. It seems to be about 5 minutes.....

 

I have a Maxtor OneTouch that's 500 GB's - it does spin down when I'm not using it. It can be plugged into my laptop, but if I don't access it, I can hear it spin down. It is plugged in power wise at all times.

 

AJ

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There is a utility you can use that can manually spin it down.

 

<a href="http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=304&sid=17&lang=en" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://support.wdc.com/product/download.as...=17&lang=en</a>

I have a WD My Book Essential (1TB), which is incredibly quiet so I can hardly hear it. I suppose it too automatically spins down, but it also seems to have a mind of its own (something must be accessing it from time to time). I even tried this utility. It seems to work for a while, but then the drive becomes "active" again.

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I suppose it too automatically spins down, but it also seems to have a mind of its own (something must be accessing it from time to time).

1TB, I now have hard disk envy!

 

Anyways it's possibly a program on the system from antivirus, system restore, other Windows scheduled tasks, etc. Hard to know really exactly what's doing it.

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1TB, I now have hard disk envy!

 

Anyways it's possibly a program on the system from antivirus, system restore, other Windows scheduled tasks, etc. Hard to know really exactly what's doing it.

You're probably right, Andavari, I'm sure that's exactly what it is.

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Mine's a mybook essential as well.

 

Now that I think about it it's more toward 10 minutes until it spins down.

 

 

If you want it to stay down after inactivity you could use Process Monitor to find whatever's accessing it.

 

 

Use the following filters for example:

 

'Path' 'begins with' 'C:\' 'Exclude' -to filter out system drive activity.

'Path' 'begins with' 'X:\ (whatever drive the external is)' 'Include' -to include externals activity.

 

Then during capturing disable everything but 'file system activity'.

 

Soon enough you should know what's doing it. Maybe it can be disabled.

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