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Question for the "techies" (computer idiot here)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I apologize in advance if this is a dumb question. I got sick of burning CDs to back up my files, and decided to buy a couple of USB sticks for important stuff. Well, once I saw the prices and sizes of the sticks, and saw those of external HDs, I calculated that it would be cheaper for me to buy an external, "mobile" hard disk to copy files to. So now I have a 40 GB external HD that's smaller than a postcard, but thicker, and have back ups of all my important files on it (actually, I went overboard and copied almost all of what's on my regular HD, after scanning that for viruses, etc.). So, is it okay to leave it plugged into the USB hub, or should I remove it? I'll probably be backing things up weekly. If I get a virus on my HD (C), can it move to the external HD (E) without my copying files to the latter? Will my computer take longer to boot up with the external HD?
post #2 of 5
John says........(imma computer idiot too...but he went to school for this stuff)

" first off, very wise choice getting an external hd. you can leave it plugged in, it will not hurt your computer or effect its startup time. however when a computer is exposed to a virus, that virus can get to anything connected to your computer... so if you are using the external hd for backups only... it is safer to disconnect it after running your backups."

hope this helps....
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Bridget and John!
post #4 of 5
I use thumb drives (aka USB sticks) to carry around data all the time, but for a real backup they are useless. So that was a good move with choosing the HD.

When you boot up, it may take a moment or two for the drive to spin up, which could add a few seconds onto your boot up - but otherwise it won't really make a difference.

If you leave it plugged in, if it is not in use it will just spin down and "sleep". I have my main computer and certain external drives running 24/7 (and not usually spinning down at all). I had one drive that did burn out after 2 year because of this intense use but other wise all the rest were fine. So there is no need to worry about wearing out the drive or damaging it.

As Nebula11 said, you may want to disconnect it for extra security. I'd see this as being the smartest option.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
A ha! Thumb drives! PCs became available after I moved to Germany, so I generally have trouble translating the German expression ("USB Stifte"). I've taken your advice, and have disconnected the external HD. Better safe than sorry. My regular HD already fizzled once after Jamie puked directly on my notebook. That was apparently the first time that Samsung technicians found real grass and saliva inside one of their products.
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