External hard disk drives continue to increase in popularity, especially since the introduction of USB 3 which allows considerably faster data transfer speeds than the previous USB protocol. The introduction of personal cloud external drives has also helped the popularity, with many connected via network cables over the now standard gigabit network. Other interfaces used include eSATA and Thunderbolt on Apple Mac’s.
The portable nature of external drives and the tendency for tight packaging can lead to problems due to overheating. The portable nature of an external hard disk drive means they may be vulnerable to suffering impacts, such as being dropped. Many also require an external power supply, which can have unfortunate consequences if you plug the wrong power supply into the connector which supplies a different voltage. Other common issues seen with external drives include user errors, such as deleting the volume, reinitialising the drive, disconnecting while in operation or reformatting.
Should your external hard disk drive fail, it is important that you take no risks which could result in further damage and cause an unnecessary loss of data. In this situation you should ensure the drive is powered down before it is disconnected from the computer. If the drive is disconnected while the drive is operational, not only is it possible for data to be lost that hadn’t been committed to disk, but it is possible in some cases for it to cause the read/write to impact with the platters leading to a seizure of the drive.
There are many manufacturers of external hard disk drive enclosures, some listed below:
- Western Digital
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