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External USB / Firewire Drive Caddy - How hot can it get?

Posted on 2006-06-04
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a "Mobile Life" aluminium external drive caddy, which  is a fanless design with heat dissipation from the aluminium plates top & bottom, I have had one drive fail, for no reason, after about 5 months. (it just stopped responding)
Now I have had a second drive fail this time with a lost file record.

Both drives used NTFS.

I am worried that te temperature of the drives maybe too high - is this likely? and how hot can a drive safely run?

Jim
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Question by:yachtfb
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Expert Comment

by:Titanium_Sniper
ID: 16826790
do you monitor the temperature,
everest home allows you to monitor the temperature of the drive
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

in everest clidk on motherboard then sensor

If you want to really find out the max temperature you should read the manual for the drive as it may vary for different drives.
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SaxicolousOne earned 50 total points
ID: 16827862
You may not be able to get a reading from an external drive's temperature sensor--SMART monitoring programs (the temperature is just one of several SMART parameters) may not be able to see external drives.
The temperature of notebook (2.5") drives in external enclosures isn't too much of a concern, since they run so cool anyway. However, 3.5" desktop drives are somewhat at risk in fanless enclosures. Lots of people report problems with drives becomeing unreliable in such enclosures, and overheating is the usual suspect. If you've had two go out, then something is probably consistently wrong--temperature, handling, viruses, dirty power, who knows. I do know I wouldn't run a 3.5" drive in a fanless enclosure continuously, for long periods of time.
As for maximum temperatures, I have seen 55C and 60C stated on specsheets from different manufacturers, but if you can't get a temperature reading from your enclosure, those figures won't do you much good.
Just for fun, there are special drives made to withstand extreme environmental conditions. Here's are some 2.5" units from Hitachi that are good up to 85C!
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/en/menuitem.8188161d74f3d91492480021aac4f0a0/
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 50 total points
ID: 16830773
i would suspect a faulty caddy - probably it does not supply the right voltages.
You can measure them if you can opten the caddy
O r- if still warranty on it, have a warranty replacement
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Expert Comment

by:Okigire
ID: 16862141
It could be a variety of things... defective data cable, noisy power (like nobus mentioned), bad batch of hard drives (probably not in this case), temperature (shouldn't be too bad) or excessive movement.

The bad thing about portable and laptop harddrives is the amount of movement/vibration they encounter.  If you just leave it on the desk, it probably isn't the problem, but not everybody does that!

Like nobus said, if you have warranty, take advantage of it... doesn't hurt!
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Author Comment

by:yachtfb
ID: 16862696
Well - it turned out to be a faulty caddy difficult to say exactly what the fault was, but I became suspicious when it did not work on the firewire side but did for a while on the USB.

Thanks everyone

JIm
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by:nobus
ID: 16863103
so why did you give a C grade?  look at the grading on EE :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi18
http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi55
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by:SaxicolousOne
ID: 16867506
Yeah man, what nobus said. :-(
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by:yachtfb
ID: 16867890
Ok it seems that I have been told off for being mean with the first grade I have ever given - maybe a B s more like it but can I change the grade after the event?
JIm
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16867945
yes you can, just post a Q in the helpsection, asking a mod to reopen the Q, or change the grade.
>>  Ok it seems that I have been told off for being mean   <<  not at all, it happens quite regularly a wrong grade is assigned, but other than in school, it's easily corrected here :-)
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