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I made a bad decision a year ago and bought a "green" terabyte drive that was an anemic 5400 RPM. After getting tired of waiting ages for things to load, I decided to image the drive to a terabyte 7200 RPM drive.

To do this, I connected the new drive as an e-SATA drive in an enclosure, then used Clonezilla to sector copy the old drive to the new drive. The e-SATA interface in this case, is through an adapter, and directly to a SATA port on my motherboard.

I then changed my boot order to boot from the external drive. Everything works great.

However, I'm wondering if there's any downside to continuing to use the drive in the external enclosure. It's not that I'm afraid of cracking the case and putting it inside (as I built this thing from scratch, anyway)-- it's just that I'm lazy, and everything is working fine.

The enclosure is a high-end enclosure with a built in fan, and HD temperatures never seem to be a problem in the case.

So, should I keep it this way, or should I get off my lazy butt and install it in the case?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

A drive in an enclosure will be more susceptible to environmental factors than one inside the case. These include:

  • Dust (duh)
  • Physical shock
  • Spillage

The shock or movement is what I would be most concerned about. Does anyone else ever come in to your work area? Do they know how your setup works? Is it inconceivable that they would move something (like your enclosure) while your PC is chugging away?

You also run the risk of having the drive unplugged while it is in use, which could be pretty bad.

If there's no reason NOT to install it in the case besides motivation, get motivated!

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Dust actually is more controllable outside the case, and the location of the drive takes away from the spillage. The thoughts about the physical shock and disconnection are the most worrisome. Good insight. – Robaticus Sep 16 '10 at 12:47
@robaticus - I guess the dust depends on your physical setup. In my office, my case is in a corner with a closed back so dust is less of an issue than on a desktop. – JNK Sep 16 '10 at 12:50

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