External drive: Turn off, or leave on all the time?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kevin1182, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. kevin1182 macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2005
    Hey Everyone,

    I use an external drive mainly for backup purposes, and I was wondering if anyone knew if the lifespan of the drives would be longer if they were left on all the time or turned off in between use? I use it almost every night, so basically I could either leave it on all the time, or turn it off say at midnight, before turning it back on the next day around 8 pm. The case has a very good fan if that makes a difference.

    I hope I am not the only one to think about this! At first I assumed I should turn them off, but after thinking about it more I wondered if there was more "wear and tear" by turning them on and off every day.

    Any thoughts are much appreciated,

  2. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
    I do both. I have 2 on my PC at home now and one is on and one is off. The one off has my music on it, the one on I use to backup my documents. I also have 2 for my Dish receiver and I leave them off unless I am using them.

    I just ordered the Guardian MAXimus for my iMac and I plan on leaving it on since it will be for my Time Machine as well as video files I will be working with. (I may also order a Drobo when they come out with a firewire version.)
  3. amik macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    My big external backup (1TB raid 1) for photos is always off (and unplugged) when not in use. God forbid it get knocked over or bumped, I'd rather have it cold than sitting there spinning. My smaller externals run more often, but a potential loss on one of those wouldn't devastate me like the loss of my photos would. I'm probably a bit paranoid but I've had a couple bad experiences.

Share This Page