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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:22 am 
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I just bought a Western Digital 640GB external harddrive, and even though it's probably one of the simplest devices one can get, I have a question.
My laptop, speakers (2 x set of 2), and harddrive are connected to one socket, which I usually turn off to save power. I was wondering: does the external harddrive need electricity all day, or can you just cut it off? The last would be my guess, but I don't know much about computer hardware, so before I store all my photos on the harddrive, I'd like some of you guys to help me out.

Thanks in advance, I appreciate it! :)

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:57 am 
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The drive will only need power when you actually want to save or access information to/from it. Otherwise if the drive is not mounted on your desktop (or being accessed by a system indexing process for faster searching) you should be able to power it down.

Some of the Western Digital portable drives can get their power from the USB or Firewire connection so as soon as you disconnect them they have no power. http://www.westerndigital.com/en/produc ... .asp?cat=9

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:04 am 
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Mine is only plugged in to transfer pics, to both power and the laptop.
I figure if it doesn't need to be connected to and chance of a power surge/lightning or anything else why should it.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:15 am 
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Don't forget to use the "Safely Remove Hardware" to shut the USB HDD down before you disconnect it or switch it off. That flushes any unwritten data to the disk. The only problem is that sometimes Windows complains that it can't complete the operation because something else is using the device. Doh! :evil:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:31 am 
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Hah!!!

I get that msg all the time with it Bob,glad it isn't just me. :lol:

kpr <<< always uses "Safely Remove" on everything...

Also Bjorn...a surge bar/protector is a great addition to your wall plug.
Gives you more plugins plus protection :wink:

My old laptop had it built in the pwr wire,new one doesn't :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:16 pm 
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+1 for KPR, a surge protector is definitely a great investment, even though our urban power lines are underground.

A harddrive does not need power when you are not using it, but definitely remember to safely remove/unmount it before you cut the power. I won't go into the details but operating systems are sometimes still writing to the disk if you don't unmount it first.

Also, don't move the harddrive when it's spinning, this can cause a head crash with disastrous results ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:01 pm 
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Thanks for all your replies guys! I don't plan to disconnect it anytime soon, but I'll make sure to disconnect safely!

- Bjorn -

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