Questions regarding USB External HDD

By xf1fty1ne
Jul 24, 2007
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  1. I just purchased another 60 gb external hard drive. I've never really gave it much thought, but sometimes when i plug my usb hard drive in my laptop, it will give me a message saying there isn't enough power.

    So i just turn of the notebook, plug my drive in, then boot up. All is good.

    The question i have is does it matter if you plug in your usb external drives while the computer is running, or should you always make sure that your pc is power is off before you connect it.

    Also, how long would be too long to leave your usb drive plugged in and running. I can't help but think that when i haven't used it in about a week or so and it's still plugged in running that it's creating wear and tear that isn't necessary.

    Thanks, Kyle.
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    well if you have windows 2000 or later then you can plug things in the usb while the pc is on and use the safely remove hardware thing before you take it out again

    personally i always turn my external drive off when i'm finished with it, partially because it whines like mad and partly because it gets very hot :D it used to be an internal drive and without cooling it got to about 65C :eek:

    it would be a good idea to unplug it and switch it off when you're finished with it though, really
  3. Peerob

    Peerob Newcomer, in training Posts: 68

    I wonder if the power supply in your laptop is strong enough to power an extra drive? Sometimes with a weak PSU in a desk top and a number of HDDs you an come up against similar problems.

    Also I agree switch off when you can!
  4. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    that's a good point actually, i don't know how many watts laptop psu's are usually but it could just be that :) i know barely anything about laptops :D haha

    give me a desktop with windows on and i'm away ;) just don't mention the internals of laptops
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,342   +296

    search this site for USB Power; the sum of the power for all usb devices
    attached can not exceed 500ma. An external HD with a motor drive will easily
    exceed this. Your Ext USB disk should have come with its own power adaptor.
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