Am I working my poor little drive too hard?
December 17, 2007 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Am I running my completely enclosed HD into the ground?

I love my Lacie rugged. I've had it for about a year, it's nicely portable, and it has worked without a hitch so far. I run my Itunes off it, as well as portable firefox. However, given that the enclosure is well...completely enclosed (no fans, no holes), and it doesn't have SMART, so I have no idea what temperature it is. Sometimes I worry that it was just meant for storage and not to run things off I dooming the poor thing?
posted by melissam to Technology (4 answers total)
Usually in these kind of drives the metal case is in direct contact with the drive inside, so the whole thing should be a roughly constant temperature. You can see if it's too hot by touching the metal parts.

Unless it's somehow insulated, in which case there is no way to know. AFAIK, SMART does not work over USB/firewire.
posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on December 17, 2007

It's probably just a stock HD in an enclosure, it should be fine.
posted by delmoi at 1:34 PM on December 17, 2007

Most reputable hard drive manufacturers will give power draw & dissipation figures for a drive at idle and at full load. Some enclosure manufacturers, usually the fancier ones, will also give you thermal dissipation figures for their unit (and also then the final operating temperature at maximum dissipation), under certain operating parameters.

For a home-mated drive + enclosure, one can then ballpark as to whether or not the enclosure and the drive will or will not run too hot. Lacie, since they're selling you an external enclosure + matched drive as a single piece of electronics, takes on that responsibility.

My experience is that their drives *do* run very very hot (particularly their Bigger Disk Extremes), and although mine haven't given out on me, there are plenty of anecdotal reports that Lacie externals fail sooner than expected overall.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 1:58 PM on December 17, 2007

As for whether running iTunes + Firefox off of it -- you're really not putting anywhere near full load on the drive, and if you're not using it for much else, it'll run at idle, thus cool within its temperature range, most of the time. (Lacie drives also have aggressive spin-down settings, which also lowers the temperature).
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 2:01 PM on December 17, 2007

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