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Effect of peripheral hard drive on overall computing performance

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hello,

Can having a peripheral hard drive attached affect overall computing performance and speed?  The answer is obviously "yes" if/when the peripheral hard drive is currently being accessed. However, suppose it is an older or slower hard drive or it is overly packed (90%+) with data. Is there any way it can affect performance even when not being currently access?

Thanks
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Question by:Steve_Brady
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nobus earned 200 total points
ID: 37718697
you can always keep it healthy, by running chkdsk, and a defragmentation on it, and keeping15% free space.
If it is not used, i don't see how it can affect system performance
Maybe you better explain the problem you have in mind?
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by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 150 total points
ID: 37719484
The only issue I see is when the computer goes to access the drive if you don't have it spun up all the time. I'd think that having an external disk just sitting there would not have an impact, in general on the overall computing experience. It would be no different than having an internal second disk. If you allow it to spin down occasionally you will have to wait unit it spins up to access it, but more problematic is when the OS thinks that it needs to look at the drive. For example, if you open something like Word or some other app that looks at all the available data sources, it will "hang" while the external drive spins up so that it can access it,even when all you want to do is to access the app to get a blank document.

Otherwise, I wouldn't expect any major performance issues.
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 150 total points
ID: 37720239
>Is there any way it can affect performance even when not being currently access?

No - the only slowdown is during access.  The obvious opposite example is how SSDs speed up performance - they only do so if the files on them are accessed regularly.
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by:Steve_Brady
ID: 37785776
Thanks for each of the excellent responses.
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