Do you leave your external drives hooked up and running ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Totally Bored, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Totally Bored macrumors member

    Totally Bored

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    Jun 29, 2015
    #1
    I've got 2 external drives.

    1 Buffalo 1TB 5400 RPM ext drive that I'm using for backup with Time Machine. I quess I'll leave that one hooked up and running ?


    1 MyDigital 480GB SSD ext drive for my videos. Do I leave this one hooked up and running or unplugged and plug it in only when I need to access the Videos ?


    Sorry for the newbie dumb question but I'm a newbie and that's how I'm rolling :)


    Thanks in advance !!!
     
  2. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #2
    I usually don't keep portable drives plugged in long just because I don't know if those fans are meant to be on all the time. Your SSD will be fine though.
     
  3. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    My Seagate 3TB is plugged in the back for my videos and other stuff and that's left 'turned on' and plugged in all the time. However, it's got an auto power down when it's been idle for a while so the fans aren't on all the time. The only downside is that it can make open file dialogs slow if they have to wait for the external drive to wake up.
     
  4. Rab Simpson macrumors regular

    Rab Simpson

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    #4
    My iTunes library is on one of my externals and the other is my Time Machine drive, so they're both on while my iMac is awake.
     
  5. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #5
    Ditto, most modern drives have a sleep or power down mode and thus it's generally safe to leave them plugged in and on at all times. I would only do this with drives that you actually use regularly or semi-regularly. If you have a back up drive that you offload data to monthly then I wouldn't feel the need to have that plugged in and powered on all the time.
     
  6. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #6
    I leave all my external drives hooked up and running 24/7, which includes regular hard drives and SSDs.
     
  7. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    #7
    I have a total of 6 external hard drives hooked to my iMac that I leave connected. One is a portable which is for my hourly Time Machine backups. Another one is a portable that stores media like photos and music. The other 4 are 3.5" hard drives which are configured as 2 RAID1 setups that store all the movies, I own that I have ripped and use for streaming. When the computer sleeps all the external hard drives also spin down and sleep. I have been doing this type of setup for years.
     
  8. Totally Bored thread starter macrumors member

    Totally Bored

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    Jun 29, 2015
    #8
    Thanks everyone !!!


    So its okay to leave them hooked up. The only thing is...



    The Lights stay on the Drives. Is that okay ???
     
  9. Totally Bored thread starter macrumors member

    Totally Bored

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    #9

    Do the lights stay on your drives ?

    Just wondering how everyone rolls with there stuff :)
     
  10. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    #10
    When they are asleep no lights are on.
     
  11. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    #11
    Which drives, spinning or SSD, have lights still on when they are asleep? I would think that if the lights are on the drive is probably not asleep.
     
  12. Totally Bored thread starter macrumors member

    Totally Bored

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    #12

    Interesting.

    This one ( I use for Time Machine ) has the white light on now and I have Time Machine turned off.

    [​IMG]




    and this one has the Blue Light on even when Im not using it.

    [​IMG]



    Could they both not be in sleep mode maybe ?
     
  13. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    #13
    When the drive is in use or not asleep it is normal for the drive light to be on. Try this, click on the Apple icon in the upper left hand corner of the menubar and select to put the computer to sleep. Wait for the computer to go to sleep. Do the drive lights still stay on? You might have to put your ear close to the computer and listen for the fans to stop running before the computer is actually asleep.
     
  14. Totally Bored, Aug 28, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015

    Totally Bored thread starter macrumors member

    Totally Bored

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    Jun 29, 2015
    #14

    Interesting.

    I did what you typed and put my iMac to sleep. The screen went black and then about 20 seconds later both lights on both drives went out.


    I then hit ENTER and the screen came back ON and both lights are on again


    I'm gonna let it go in Standby ( with rainbow like flashing standby screen ) and see if the drives are still lit up.

    I quess there always gonna be on unless it's in sleep mode ???
     
  15. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #15
    If the lights went out then the drives went to sleep.
     
  16. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    #16
    Drives also go to sleep by themselves if they are not in use for a period of time. That is part of the firmware that is in the drive which has its own management software.
     
  17. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #17
    I leave all my externals running 24/7. All go to sleep when not in use. Only one that I turn on/off, I store in a safe. Even my Personal Cloud NAS runs 24/7. Never had any issues with any of them. But I also buy better drives, with the belief that you get what you pay for. So far it has not proven me wrong. Knock on wood!
     
  18. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    In case of WD externals, theirs light starts to blink when Mac goes to sleep. What makes me wonder is that when I touch the HDD, it's lukewarm during the time whereas when it's unplugged, it's cooler.

    I assume the OP's question is from the fact that HDD may fail quicker if the mechanical drive or SSD chips are powered for longer period of times. Isn't that true?
     
  19. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

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    #19
    The external blinks when it goes to sleep, either by itself from being idle or if the attached computer goes to sleep. Are you checking right away or letting them sleep and cool off for a while? Either way, there might be a power supply producing some minimal heat.

    Some people feel that turning devices on and off causes stress to the device while others feel that leaving devices on gives them heat stress. Considering that devices in general work for a long time, as long as you don't overheat them they should be fine for a long time no matter what you do.
     
  20. Liffey macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2010
    #20
    Exactly the same for me.
     

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