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I am looking to purchase a external hard drive and from what I read the biggest drawback to the drive is it doesn't have the best cooling.

My question is how much should I worry about the drive heating up and the heat hurting the lifespan of the drive?

Note: I plan to use it as mainly a backup drive not a full time drive.

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If the drive vendor is selling the packaged drive, they're aware of any heat effects on the lifetime of the drive, and are unlikely to produce a poor combo that would produce too many warranty claims. And I've had three separate drives totaling maybe 15 years of use, with no drive problems. –  Daniel R Hicks Nov 4 '12 at 22:27
    
@DanielRHicks - Thanks for the input –  Lynda Nov 4 '12 at 22:46

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As Daniel said in his comment, the manufacturer (Seagate) has probably made a reasonable tradeoff in the design of the enclosure, and it should be pretty reliable.

Having said that, heat does negatively impact the life-span of hard drives so make sure that you've got the drive in a well ventilated area so it doesn't get hotter than necessary.

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One more thing to consider about external hard drives is to not subject them to a lot of vibration and shock. This also reduces life.

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