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Tips on looking after your external hard drive

Hi all,

Just bought my first external hard drive today (Seagate 250GB) and would like to know of any tips you may have on how to best look after it.

A few questions that first came to mind include:
* Viruses/spyware etc can no doubt be copied when backing up my internal HD, so a frequent virus scan of my external HD is recommended?
* Do they need to be defragmented like your internal HD?
* How do external HD's handle frequent power ups? Is it best to turn it on/off as little as possible?

Thanks for your help
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spirax
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spirax
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nobusCommented:
>>   * Viruses/spyware etc can no doubt be copied when backing up my internal HD, so a frequent virus scan of my external HD is recommended?    <<  Yes
 >>  * Do they need to be defragmented like your internal HD?  <<  Yes
  >>   * How do external HD's handle frequent power ups? Is it best to turn it on/off as little as possible?  <<  if you cannot turn them off and on, what would be their use ?  Some might say that turning off/on decreases the MTBF, or life span, but nbowadays i have never been able to see a practical difference. so : turn it off / on as you like
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nobusCommented:
...just wanted to add that you malware protection protects ALL your disks, not only the C: drive
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garycaseCommented:
There are two key ratings for hard drives:  MTBF (mean time between failures) -- typically in the several hundred thousand to a million hours or so;  and Power Cycles -- typically 25,000 to 50,000 for modern drives.   If you cycle a drive 10 times a day, it will still take several years before you reach the rated power on/off cycle design limits;  so it's fine to turn it on/off if you want.   It is true, however, that frequent power cycles are generally not a good idea;  so I wouldn't cycle it unnecessarily.   I have several external drives on my systems and I never turn them off (but I also never turn off the computers).
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