Should I run my external hard drive 24/7?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by daniel huxtable, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. daniel huxtable macrumors member

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    east chicago, indiana
    #1
    I recently bought the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro 500gb external harddrive and was wondering if it would cause the external to wear out faster if I kept it on 24/7. I'm running Time Machine on it so I was wondering if there is any advantages/disadvantages to running the external all day everyday.
     
  2. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #2
    I think Time Machine is going to have a heck of a time doing anything with the drive is it's turned off.

    I leave my external drives on all the time. There's not much point in using it for backups with TM if you turn the drive off.
     
  3. rolex54 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #3
    just because the drive is powered on does not mean it will loose its life
    the hard drive itself will spin down and not be used until it is needed
    i leave mine plugged in at all times
     
  4. flashy-cat macrumors member

    flashy-cat

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    UK
    #4
    True, but if you don't keep you Mac on 24 hours it makes no difference :)
     
  5. FJ218700 macrumors 68000

    FJ218700

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    #5
    obviously it won't last as many years if it's on constantly, but IMO it's worth the sooner replacement for the piece of mind that TM is backing me up every hour, every day.

    by the way, I've had several externals on for years straight without incidence.
     
  6. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

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    #6
    You have a good point. I was assuming the computer would be on 24/7 since it was not mentioned. Aside from laptops, I don't know many people who turn off their computers between uses.
     
  7. daniel huxtable thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    east chicago, indiana
    #7
    yes i keep my iMac on 24/7. i have it set so the screen turns off within 5 minutes of no action.

    well i have a 2 year warranty on my external and it was only $200 so im just gonna keep it running 24/7. plus i heard turning the external off and on is not very good for it.

    thank you all for your input.
     
  8. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    i Dont see why not... i tunr mine off once in a while,, like evry couple weeks or so or whenever i restart my macbook which is like everytime there is a new update or whenever i have ot take it to class , no point of leaving it on wasting electricity ...
     
  9. daniel huxtable thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    east chicago, indiana
    #9
    also,

    God forbid my iMac crashes...would I be able to reboot my computer using the backups made from Time Machine on a new iMac so all my apps and other files are installed on the new iMac?
     
  10. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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    Seattle, WA
    #10
    I have a Maxtor One Touch 500GB unit as my Time Machine drive. It has no power switch, so it is always meant to be on.
     
  11. FJ218700 macrumors 68000

    FJ218700

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    #11
    if you image your install disc onto the TM drive you can boot directly from it and restore from the TM backup. pretty painless
    .
     
  12. daniel huxtable thread starter macrumors member

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    east chicago, indiana
    #12
    how would i go about doing this? sorry, i'm still pretty new to the whole Mac world.
     
  13. jason999 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #13
    If you haven't already done so I'd inest in an UPS (uninterupted power supply).
    Power surges tend to destoy ext drives and computers but with an UPS there is that added protection. WHen there are storms about I'll turn off all my computer gear.

    Get an UPS that has modem line protection built into it.

    When not in use I have my ext drives turned off because if I get hit by a virus all my ext drives will be safe. I only turn them on to backup.
     
  14. FJ218700 macrumors 68000

    FJ218700

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    #14
    with the install disc in and the TM drive plugged in, go to disc utility. highlight the DVD in thse sidebar and choose "restore". THe DVD is the source, the TM drive (I use a second 10 GB partition on the TM drive) is the destination.

    when the process is done remove the DVD. you shoud be able to go to your startup disc prefs and see now the install disc icon, though the media is not physically in the machine. If you are curious restart from this location. the computer will boot from what it thinks is the install disc.

    Once you boot into the installer, yoou can quit out of the install process, ands from the menu bar there are options on restoiring from a TM backup. Alternatively, you can do a full install friom the disc image, and then at the end restore user accounts and appls etc. from the TM backup. I'd suggest the latter,
     
  15. daniel huxtable thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    east chicago, indiana
    #15
    ok i did the following and it worked like a charm. but wouldnt i be able to boot up from the actual leopard disc and reinstall all my programs and files from time machine instead of making an image on the external? just curious.
     
  16. iFizz macrumors regular

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    Third planet from the star called "Sun"
    #16
    Yes, you can, but this way everything you need to recover is in one place. Do whatever works best for you.
     
  17. daniel huxtable thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    awesome! thank you.
     
  18. FJ218700 macrumors 68000

    FJ218700

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    #18
    yes, but what fun would that be? ;)
     
  19. daniel huxtable thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    #19
    true. thanks a ton for your help.
     
  20. Erwin-Br macrumors 6502a

    Erwin-Br

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    Feb 6, 2008
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #20
    I don't know if this goes for external drives as well, but it is a fact that your internal HD's will last longer if you keep them on (i.e. keeping the computer on). That's because their temperature remains more constant, which avoids expanding and shrinking of metal components and connections inside the drive.

    --Erwin
     

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