A question about the vulnerability of external hard drives to viruses

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jon_Are, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    I just bought and installed an external hard drive for purposes of backing up my data.

    My question involves its vulnerability to crashes and/or power surges.

    My plan is to leave it connected via the USB cable, but power off the unit in between backups (using the power swith on the unit while leaving it plugged in).

    With the power off, I believe I am safe from viruses and surges (it is plugged into a surge protector). Am I?

    I'm trying to balance vulnerability with convenience.

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Yes, you're safe. Nothing can happen to a drive that is turned off, anymore than it can happen to a PC that is powered off. Mind you if it is attached to an infected PC it can become infected the instant you turn it on. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    You will be safe from viruses while it's powered off, but still somewhat suspectible to power surges, even if the device is plugged into a surge suppressor. Those suppressors handle most common power surges, but they will weaken over time. Also, surge suppressors will not stop direct lightening strikes -- they cannot handle that amount of power surge.
     
  4. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I'm interested in the same question.

    The external unit I have placed an icon on the task bar, for "safely removing the external drive". If you use this icon (just click once, no "do you want" question), it (the icon) disapears on the task bar and the computer won't recognize the external drive. It seems the computer has to be turned off and back on, to recognize the external drive again. Seems a bit of a nuisance

    I wondered whether turning them on and off (the external hard drive) everytime I do a small backup, might be rough on the drive. The fellow at Staples told me no, so I've let it on, but I do still wonder.
     

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