External Drives

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HDD are always at risk of overheating, with attendant catastrophic failure, if inadequately cooled

  • older 3.5" drives consume up to 10 W
  • contemporary eco/green model drives consume up to 6W
  • low wattage models, such as WD Caviar Red, consume only ~ 4W

Suggested practice is to do one of:

  1. use a packaged external HDD
    • relying on maniufacturer's assessment of cooling requirements
    • but they might not have tested in Canberra summer
  2. put HDD in metal generic cases only (3.5" drives, in particular)
    • contemporary 2.5" drives typically consume <3W and might be OK in plastic cases
  3. if using a plastic case try to find one having a fan
    • will be noisy, but typically is only for occassional backup anyway

HDD have been known to overheat in main boxes as well as in external cases. Good practice is:

  1. pick a drive bay which appears to have good airflow through the front of the case
  2. leave an unoccupied bay above & below HDD
    • failing that, mount the highest wattage HDD via its base, in lieu sides, so that it is in contact with more metal

Specialised NAS & server cases are generally designed for multiple HDD and do not require any special practice

  • other than ensuring unobstructed airflow at front & rear of case.

Rpeters13:25, 24 August 2012 (EST)