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Windows 7: Can a external drive with issues cause a problem the computer itself?

24 Sep 2015   #1
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 
Can a external drive with issues cause a problem the computer itself?

I have a flash drive and external hard drive that I have not used in about 2 years. Everything on them have most likely been moved to other storage but I just want to see if it works after 2 years without use. If there's any issues on it, can it cause a problem on the computer itself too? Is it safe to move any files left if there are any? Is it unlikely it will even work after 2 years anyway?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Sep 2015   #2
CKWD

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hello Computer0304!

It would depend, but usually no.

If the drive has a hardware damage, perhaps something wrong in the circuitry it may cause a short and damage parts of the motherboard. But this only in the case there is hardware damage.

I could advise you to use a new cable and clean the drive's USB slot from dust. It may work, it's not excluded.

Good luck!

CK_WD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2015   #3
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

If either the flash drive or the external hdd have viruses on them then they can certainly be transferred to the computer. It's wise to do a scan with your AV software after plugging in any kind of external drive before using or transferring any of the files.
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25 Sep 2015   #4
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CKWD View Post
Hello Computer0304!

It would depend, but usually no.

If the drive has a hardware damage, perhaps something wrong in the circuitry it may cause a short and damage parts of the motherboard. But this only in the case there is hardware damage.

I could advise you to use a new cable and clean the drive's USB slot from dust. It may work, it's not excluded.

Good luck!

CK_WD
What do you mean by this?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
If either the flash drive or the external hdd have viruses on them then they can certainly be transferred to the computer. It's wise to do a scan with your AV software after plugging in any kind of external drive before using or transferring any of the files.
Ok.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2015   #5
CKWD

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I meant that the drives are old and for a long time not used, one would doubt if they would even work, but there's only one way in finding out. This is what I meant by “it may work, it's not excluded”.

The possible problems have already been laid out, about the case when the drives may have some internal damage, and a virus.

I hope everything is okay with them!

CK_WD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2015   #6
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Thanks. Most of its files are not important anyway since they have been mostly moved.
Edit: Do you think it's too risky to try to use it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2015   #7
CKWD

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

You're welcome!

I can't say for sure, you rather need to clean the dust of very well and carefully, and think whether the external has been hit or dropped or suffered any damage. If not, change the cable and you should be fine, I believe, just make sure you have the AV software working and ready to stop potential viruses, if the external may have some.

And the same goes for the flash drive, but just the AV part. If it has damage it just wouldn't show up.

Cheers and best of luck!

CK_WD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2015   #8
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

How should I clean the dust? Can the dust short circuit the computer? The hard drive has been in a drawer for most of the time so it has not been dropped often.

Also, I have Malwarebytes Premium and AVAST Free running real time protection so I should be safe. I'll still remember to scan my system after copying the files onto my computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2015   #9
CKWD

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I don't believe that dust can short circuit a system. Still, it depends where your drive has been stored for that time, and just use something to gently clean the USB socket of the device and that's it..

Cheers!

CK_WD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2015   #10
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Can I use a cotton swab? You mean inside the plug, right?
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 Can a external drive with issues cause a problem the computer itself?




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