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Windows 7: Is It Best to Keep External Backup Hard Drive Powered Off

13 May 2016   #1
Durango

 
Is It Best to Keep External Backup Hard Drive Powered Off

I use a Seagate USB 3.0 external hard drive to do automated system backups on a weekly basis, using both Windows and Acronis. I have always left this drive on all the time, even though I only use it weekly.

I have read where some users power their external hard drives off between backups.

Any recommendations on the best thing to do.......leave it on or turn it off?

Thanks in advance.........


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 May 2016   #2
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

If you can disconnect this drive when backups are not happening, you increase your odds of not having any viri or malware hitting the ext HD. Other than that, disconnecting and powering off ext HD saves some wearNtear on said device.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2016   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

A backup has a purpose and that is to protect the saved data.

I recommend unplugging the external drive and put in a safe place when ever it's not in use. That gives protection from any problems the computer might have.

Examples:
Infections including randsomware.
Power surges
Tinkering mistakes the owner/operator might make.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 May 2016   #4
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
I only connect back up drives when I use them = right or wrong
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2016   #5
Durango

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
If you can disconnect this drive when backups are not happening, you increase your odds of not having any viri or malware hitting the ext HD. Other than that, disconnecting and powering off ext HD saves some wearNtear on said device.
Thanks for your response.

It is easy for me to turn the power off to my hard drive because I can reach the surge protector it is plugged into. Will that suffice as a disconnection, or must I also unplug the USB cord from the back of my computer tower (difficult for me to get to)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2016   #6
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

X HD powered off means no X HD exists within Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2016   #7
Durango

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
A backup has a purpose and that is to protect the saved data.

I recommend unplugging the external drive and put in a safe place when ever it's not in use. That gives protection from any problems the computer might have.

Examples:
Infections including randsomware.
Power surges
Tinkering mistakes the owner/operator might make.
Thanks for the response Layback.

I totally agree with your advice. It so happens that I have a 2nd hard drive that I use for backups, and I do exactly what you said. I do this backup manually about once a month, after which I totally disconnect this drive and store it in another room.

But with my other drive, I wanted to automate my backups on a weekly basis. I was hesitant to disconnect this drive because I was afraid I would forget to turn it back on for the backup. Maybe I should go ahead and disconnect it and see how often I forget to power it back on.

And how did you know that I make tinkering mistakes?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2016   #8
Durango

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
X HD powered off means no X HD exists within Windows
OK, thanks. That I understand. When I turn the HD power off at the surge protector, the HD no longer appears when I click on Computer, so it must no longer be visible within Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2016   #9
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

"But with my other drive, I wanted to automate my backups on a weekly basis. I was hesitant to disconnect this drive because I was afraid I would forget to turn it back on for the backup. Maybe I should go ahead and disconnect it and see how often I forget to power it back on."
There is a geeky solution. If this particular ext HD has its own AC-power, you can install an electronic timer between outlet and HD plug. Set the time to allow approx 15 minutes before scheduled backup is to happen, and double the time you think the backup will take. If this is a usb powered HD, then, you'll need to find a utility that can OFF/ON/OFF/ON said HD on a schedule.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2016   #10
Durango

 

That geeky solution would work. I just thought of another geeky solution using my iPhone. I could ask Siri to remind me to turn on my disk drive every Wed night before I go to bed. At least I think she can be programmed to set repeated alarms.

Thanks again for your responses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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