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USB cable with power switch for external HDD

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:45 am
by chika7ilo
I was wondering if i made this good, i have external WD 1TB ( http://support.wdc.com/product/download ... 10&lang=en ) and it does not have any power switch to turn it off and on.
So i made a usb cable with a power switch so that i don't have to unplug it all the time.
Image
Can i just turn the power of and on without using the safely remove hardware, and can this all damage the HDD when using the power switch.

Re: USB cable with power switch for external HDD

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:42 pm
by Major_A
Very cool. I've never Safely Removed anything from a USB port and never had an issue. I believe this fear of breaking something stems back to Windows 98/ME and how it handled USB devices. Either I was told or read somewhere that after XP this was a suggestion more than a requirement.

The only time I did have an issue with not safely removing a flash drive was when the file was "done" but it wasn't and I would've known that if I went to remove the drive via Safely Remove.

Re: USB cable with power switch for external HDD

Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:46 am
by chika7ilo
Thanks for the answer.

Re: USB cable with power switch for external HDD

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:11 am
by vicaphit
My advice would be to watch the HDD activity LED on the drive (If there is one) and make sure it isn't writing or reading data before powering off.

My USB stick has an LED flashing light when it is reading/writing and I never unplug it while that is flashing.

Re: USB cable with power switch for external HDD

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:03 am
by Sporg
I've seen where not using the "safely remove" feature has had bad consequences twice over the years. Both times were on XP machines. Neither of these instances were on a rig of mine and doing a system restore fixed whatever ended up being goofy. I'm trying to remember the symptoms, but it's been a while. Anyway, it's a quick click that I would do if you are powering off the drive. That ensures that it isn't in the middle of doing something. Just my two Kinah...

Re: USB cable with power switch for external HDD

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:42 pm
by Wootzors20
The one caution I've heard consistently regarding powering down a USB external hdd or other storage device is that if it's powered down while actively writing to the device, data corruption can occur. Probably not likely, but a risk nonetheless if you cut the power mid-write. I think "safely removing" the device in software simply ensures that the OS can't write to the device. Just a thought.

-W

Re: USB cable with power switch for external HDD

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:57 am
by Darkstar
chika7ilo wrote:I was wondering if i made this good, i have external WD 1TB ( http://support.wdc.com/product/download ... 10&lang=en ) and it does not have any power switch to turn it off and on.
So i made a usb cable with a power switch so that i don't have to unplug it all the time.
Image
Can i just turn the power of and on without using the safely remove hardware, and can this all damage the HDD when using the power switch.

when you use the safely remove hardware with that specific WD unit, the HD powers down and then the unit powers down. The led light will turn off meaning the unit is off, no need to unplug it.

:drinkers: