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External Hard Disk 24 x 7 Is It Safe?

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vinay

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I am using my laptop for downloading the movies, at times i have space problem with the laptop, especially the files of 20gb and above, is it safe to keep my external hard disk connected to the laptop for 24 x 7?.

Please guide me in detail as i do not want to risk my disk of 500 & 250gb and to top it all, there will be already so many movies in the hard disk.

Vinay.
 
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unleash_me

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Atleast in my experience, its safe. Just make sure your important files are backedup.

I have my personal laptop connected more or less permanently to a WD My Book Essential Edition and a passport elite almost 24/7. Also carry around a passport essential in my bag everyday and abused it the to the core (read occational dropping, coke, mayonnaise etc.) Still working strong! Once WD comes out with a sharespace version with eSATA, USB, Firewire and networking, am gonna get it for sure. The point being, these things are pretty reliable in my experience so far.

Cheers.
 

vinay

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I am very grateful to you with the vital information you have given me, thank you very much. :yahoo:

I will now consider to use my external hard disk extensively. :yahoo:

I will be more happy if some more members can throw more light on this matter.

Vinay.
 

spirovious

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As mentioned earlier,you can safely do that with proper imp backup.

WD runs with 5v, speed less than 7200 ,so friction & heat generated will be low.
 

iaudio

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As mentioned earlier,you can safely do that with proper imp backup.

WD runs with 5v, speed less than 7200 ,so friction & heat generated will be low.

I am using a Wd passport 250gb portable hdd connected to my laptop all the time. No issues.
 

Kapz

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My comp with 2X500gb stays on 24x7. I had an external Lacie (used seagate hdd) 160gb attached to it. It died all of a sudden. It had stopped spinning so I was not able to retrieve any data. Lesson learned, take backup of everything that is important to you. Now my backup strategy includes separate 500gb externals for photos and music and a single 1TB external for movies apart from backup taken on internal HDD :eek:hyeah:.

Apart from these, only other backup medium is online. But with pathetic bandwidth availability, uploading large files will make the task too tedious. :rolleyes:
 

moserw

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Depends...
what about the electricity bills if the PC is ON for 24x7?

If you are running your PC 24 x 7 it means you are getting (or d/l) something of value right? I believe the electricity bill would be a very small price to pay in that regard.
 

teky

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I've got 2 Seagate External hard drives and both get used for downloads and run mostly but certainly not 24/7. The hard disc has got moving parts and is bound to fail at some point. I would recommend you to back-up your download onto another external drive or DVD's.
 

moserw

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Depends...
I've got 2 Seagate External hard drives and both get used for downloads and run mostly but certainly not 24/7. The hard disc has got moving parts and is bound to fail at some point. I would recommend you to back-up your download onto another external drive or DVD's.

Mine do run 24 x 7 and failed media is something that will eventually happen. I have double backups for the same reason.
 

suprateep

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as per most HDD manufacturing companies - most HDD have a shelf life of 2-5 years when switched on 24/7 (this basically comes from guidelines for server HDDs when undergo rigorous schedules and workloads).

So for normal usage and consumer segment HDDSwe should be looking at 2-3 years at least unless something goes wrong - keep a backup of important data handy.

BTW my 40 GB seagate in my download rig is still going strong for over 4 years - for the last 1 year it has been on 24x7.
 

Srinivas29

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My western digital's adapter got fried. This was a hard disk i bought in the US. I am now unable to find the compatible adapter even in SP road Bangalore. My Hard disk was on 24X7.
 

teky

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as per most HDD manufacturing companies - most HDD have a shelf life of 2-5 years when switched on 24/7 (this basically comes from guidelines for server HDDs when undergo rigorous schedules and workloads).

So for normal usage and consumer segment HDDSwe should be looking at 2-3 years at least unless something goes wrong - keep a backup of important data handy.

BTW my 40 GB seagate in my download rig is still going strong for over 4 years - for the last 1 year it has been on 24x7.

My laptop hard drive has been used extensively for past 3 years, I've got about 1.5 TB of content which has been processed by my laptop. Now I can cite the drive failing - BSOD, slow start-up etc.

A suggestion might to use the internal HDD of your PC to download and then transfer it on to the external HDD. Internal drives are bound to be cheaper. Just my 2c
 

akcoolrider

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As a thumb rule it is safe. Finding odds with electronics is always tricky.

Even if the odds are 1 in a million, as far as you are concerned, it is 50/50, may happen, may not happen. Thats as good as it gets. Safe shelf life of a always-on HD is 2 years.

Importance of data backup has already been covered by others.

I'd be interested to know the need for such a thing to understand the cost/benefits. Plugging in is different from 'always on'. Will your laptop be on standby often?

Anything with moving parts is bound to fail some day and in general more likely than solid state devices. So the clock is already ticking once you power on any electronic equipment.

Having said that, tech futuregazers predict that, as $/byte trends down and internet speed increases, the limiting resource will just be time.

2-3 years from now, is the data you have currently going to be irreplaceable ( business data, personal stuff)? or look back 2 years and see how you critical your data is to you.

Another cheaper option would be burning DVDs and putting them in a vacuum sealed bag. Many DYI sites have the how-to.
 

vinay

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Movies Download Via Wifi Router

I am having 3 laptops on which i download movies via external hard disks, generally each lap top runs for about 8 hours, so movies are being downloaded 24 x 7.

I have had the opportunity to make my things very simple and easy now.

I bought a new external hard disk which is connected to my wifi router, so in which ever lap top i download the movies, it all goes to this new disk.

I now do not have to use the 3 external hard disks and the movies get stored in one disk instead of 3 disks.


V.
 

Jay5150

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I have been using 3 drives viz. a 3 yr old Maxtor Basics 500GB, 1 yr old Iomega Select 1 TB and 6month old Free Agent Go-Flex 500 GB always on and always connected to my desktop which is on at least 8- 10 hrs/day (night download) and almost all day on weekends. There doesn't seem to be any problem...yet! (fingers crossed!) But as the others have said, they could fail at any time and you would need to backup important stuff and must have movies etc. I actually bought these drives as backups for a backbreaking collection of CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. Now they are almost full! The problem is over many years it all builds up. I still remember starting my collection by spanning multiple floppies! (gives you an idea how old I am!)
Then the question arises of taking backups of backups ad infinity ad nauseam!
 

prankey

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24x7 is NOT going to determine the life of the HDD. Infact, drives mostly fail during start or stop! The head needs to be parked during a shutdown and picked from there during startup. So you may actually increase the life MANY FOLDS by keeping it on. I used to keep my PC on 24x7 about 15 years back for several years! Never had ANY failures including the drive. Major risk while keeping it on is the ball bearing which may get worn out before the drive fails (however it will start making sound before eventually getting jammed probably after 5 to 10 years!).

Gist - if you prefer keeping it on 24x7, just do it without fearing toasting it which may or may not happen depending on other parameters. My first external drive failed while in the shelf and crashed during startup operation (was working fine last time I used it, without any bad clusters or issues!). So they may fail anytime and best is to keep backup and use at will.
 

deba

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Internal Hard Drive in Laptops / Desktops can work 24/7 so can the external drives as they are same with a USB or other interface.
What I think is to keep the hard drive in a well ventilated place,keep it in a flat place and do not jerk it while it is working.
It may keep your hard drive free from all trouble.I have a 8 Channel Video Survillance System working with a Seagate 500GB Drive for last 3 years and the hard drive is working fine without any problem. In a Survillance System the drive is always writing data without any stop.
So I think these drives are quiet rugged.
 

Anil Sehrawat

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I have just bought a 1TB WD external hard disk and connect it to my WD media player for watching movies(and that i do quite a lot) atleast 5-6 hours daily my WD is on, not having any problem and hope for the same in furure.
 

vinay

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Anil - Deba - Prankey - Jay5150

In my mini theatre there is no ventilation when i am watching a movie or listening to music via media player & external hard disk, which is being used at least 6 hours a day, so far there is no problem with these gadgets, though my other hard disk's and lap top's are in the living room and have the opportunity to enjoy a lot of ventilation.

Further i also had the external hard disk connected to my 3 laptops for about 8 hours a day and so far there is no problem. However now it is much more dynamic, i use only one external hard disk which is centralized to my 3 lap top's via wifi router, so now this disk is on 24 x 7, being utilized to it's ultimate peak.

In my case if the external hard disk fails, the damage is likely to be minimum because about 60% of the movies i delete once i have watched, if i still loose some of the movies because of disk failure, it will be very much fine as i can always download them again. In other words for me to take a back up is not going to help but add a lot of frustration and increase the infrastructural in terms of more hard disk etc.

V.
 
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