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Okay here is my situation, I have a 1tb internal hard drive that is plugged in via USB Dock, and has external power, that I use for weekly backups, but my question is, is it better to leave this hard drive on all the time, or turn it it off manually when it is not being used? What is the best case scenario?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Turn it off, so the data are less likely to be damaged if you accidentally knock it down. By the way, Debra suggestion on don't move is valid, but aging is actually irrelevant. On modern day electronics. They just have a "designed" life, no matter you used it or not. idea: the drying contacts ink, electronic conduct rubber.

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It depends how long it is unused. Both scenarios age the drive. Electronics companies test their products, in part, by "aging" them by turning them on & off repeatedly ... so you might not be doing it any good. On the other hand, keeping it running all the time also, of course, ages it, but it will also be more stable. If you only use it once a week, for perhaps a few hours, then just keep it where it is but turn it off after removing the USB cable from the computer. The worst thing you can do is actually to just take it back and forth, physically, from one place to another, week after week.

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