to power off / not power off external hard drive???

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Chuck Jeanneret, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Chuck Jeanneret macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    #1
    Hi all! I am a switcher going on about a month now and getting settled in.

    Question about external hard drives: I've read in posts that people never power off their external HD, and that the constant on/off actually damages the HD. Is this true? Can't remember where I've read it cuz I've been reading so much in these and other forums lately.

    I am running a MBP, and I power off the MBP when I'm not using it. If the answer is that I shouldn't power off my external HD, can I do that even if I power down my MBP?

    Thanks in advance for the answers, and thanks to all you guys in this forum for helping me through my early Mac days (and I suspect my later ones too).
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I personally don't turn my external HDs off. It's hooked up to my MacBook and even when I close it or take it with me my external HD keeps running, though obviously doing nothing. I usually forget about it. Turning it on and off on a frequent basis can potentially be hard on it, but generally not an issue. Maybe more an issue with generic drives.
     
  3. jihad the movie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Smugtown, NY
    #3
    I've wondered the same thing. I had a Western Digital external about four years ago that I would only use when I needed it, and I would turn it off when I didn't need it. The enclosure died after two years of use, but the drive was okay. I have always wondered if turning it on and off was what killed it. I have a Lacie D2 right now, and I have been debating what is the best procedure for it.
     
  4. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #4
    I only turn mine off when I turn my computer of for more than a day, which is maybe once a month, sometimes longer.
     
  5. sbluetruck macrumors regular

    sbluetruck

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin der hey
    #5
    i have a WD MyBook connected to my windows machine and it turns off when the computer turns off and on when it turns on.

    it has all my pictures + backup data. if i don't need my pictures or the drive for that matter, i just leave it off (partly bc windows can get confused sometimes... okay, a lot ;) )

    it's all a matter of preference really.
    if you think about it, you only turn your Mac's drive off when you turn the computer off.
     
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #6
    Most drives spin down after a few minutes of inactivity anyways.
     

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