Do you leave your external drive on?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bama175, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. bama175 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    I just purchased my second Mac (new Mac mini) and bought a WD 1TB external hard drive to go with it. I have it constantly plugged in to my mac mini on my desk, and will rarely ever move it.

    My question is, should I leave my external hard drive on all day long, or should I turn it off unless I'm backing something up? I have time machine set to back up every few hours, and was wondering what everyone else does? I believe that when my mini goes to sleep, the external hard drive does to, as I hear the disk start up on the external hard drive when I wake the mini. Will it harm the hard drive?

  2. kylera macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    I have a Seagate FreeAgent 1TB which I bought at least two years ago, and what I notice when it's hooked up to OS X is that the drive automatically powers down when it has been idle for some time. If I access my drive for music or whatnot, it automatically powers back up. This is despite the fact that I've almost never unplugged it from my Mac or the power socket. So I think you shouldn't worry too much about power consumption or hard drive life TOO much.
  3. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    I have a a 1.5TB LaCie and a Seagate attached to a mini. They have been on 24/7 for a long time (maybe 2 years), except for power outages. When not in use, they go to sleep, and wake up as required (logins, iTunes, backups, etc.).
    I think you will be fine if you leave them on all the time. However, I do not remember if the power-saving feature was on by default or I had to turn it on. You may want to check that.
  4. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    I have three external FW800 drives (one 2T and 2 1T) that hope my movie collection. The drives all power down when not in use. An important tip, you may want to turn off spotlight indexing (System Preferences->Spotlight->Privacy), otherwise, they will be powered up periodically to be indexed.
  5. bama175 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010

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