External drive enclosure reliability - Storage

This is a discussion on External drive enclosure reliability - Storage ; I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure would be best if it had active cooling built-in (i.e. a fan). However, I've recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure so badly that ...

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Thread: External drive enclosure reliability

  1. External drive enclosure reliability

    I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure
    would be best if it had active cooling built-in (i.e. a fan). However,
    I've recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure so
    badly that Spinrite couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure about the
    value of active cooling anymore. I have seen an aluminum portable
    enclosure with a lot of good features (USB2.0 & e-SATA) for a really
    cheap price, but from what I see of it, it doesn't seem to have any fans
    in it. Should I worry about it, or is aluminum a good enough conductor
    of heat by itself?

    Yousuf Khan

  2. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    Yousuf Khan wrote:

    > I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure would be best if it had active cooling built-in
    > (i.e. a fan). However, I've recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure so badly that Spinrite
    > couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure about the value of active cooling anymore.


    The technical term for that is 'pathetically inadequate sample'

    > I have seen an aluminum portable enclosure with a lot of good features (USB2.0 & e-SATA) for a really cheap price, but
    > from what I see of it, it doesn't seem to have any fans in it. Should I worry about it, or is aluminum a good enough
    > conductor of heat by itself?


    Nope, some drives do get stinking hot in aluminium enclosures,
    particularly the enclosures that dont have a good conductive
    heat path from the drive to the enclosure.

    Then again, some enclosures with fans dont move much air over the drive either.

    At least with eSATA you can monitor the drive SMART temperature.



  3. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    Rod Speed wrote in news:675jemF2nb39rU1@mid.individual.net
    > Yousuf Khan wrote:
    >
    > > I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure
    > > would be best if it had active cooling built-in (i.e. a fan). However, I've
    > > recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure so badly
    > > that Spinrite couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure about the value of
    > > active cooling anymore.

    >
    > The technical term for that is 'pathetically inadequate sample'
    >
    > > I have seen an aluminum portable enclosure with a lot of good features
    > > (USB2.0 & e-SATA) for a really cheap price, but from what I see of it, it
    > > doesn't seem to have any fans in it. Should I worry about it, or is
    > > aluminum a good enough conductor of heat by itself?

    >
    > Nope, some drives do get stinking hot in aluminium enclosures,
    > particularly the enclosures


    > that dont have a good conductive heat path from the drive to the enclosure.


    Which is most all of them if they don't use heat conductive sheeting
    between the drive sides and the mounting rails (and the mounting rails
    and the rest of the enclosure if not an integral part of the shell).
    Worse even for those that use the bottom mounting holes of the drive.
    Also, blackened aluminum radiates heat better to the environment than
    blank anodized aluminum.

    >
    > Then again, some enclosures with fans dont move much air over the drive
    > either.


    > At least with eSATA you can monitor the drive SMART temperature.


    Provided they don't use an eSATA conversion chip with a limited vocabulary.



  4. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    Previously Yousuf Khan wrote:
    > I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure
    > would be best if it had active cooling built-in (i.e. a fan). However,
    > I've recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure so
    > badly that Spinrite couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure about the
    > value of active cooling anymore. I have seen an aluminum portable
    > enclosure with a lot of good features (USB2.0 & e-SATA) for a really
    > cheap price, but from what I see of it, it doesn't seem to have any fans
    > in it. Should I worry about it, or is aluminum a good enough conductor
    > of heat by itself?


    Depends. You need to measure it. I have had good and bad experiences,
    including one Maxtor that did heat up to 72C (and then failed) when
    idle (!) in an aluminium enclosure.

    A good idea is to go for a low power drive (e.g. Samsung).
    (I cannot recommend WDs GP series, because while they
    are low-poer, they are incompatible with at least one
    current SATA/USB enclosure chipset, see my recent review
    here)

    As to the failure despite cooling: Cooling eleminates one
    problem, but drives can fail from several ones. Cooling a
    drive well will have no impact on the other sources of failure.
    Cooling it badly will just add one problem that can kill a
    drive by itself.

    Arno

  5. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    On Apr 22, 3:46 am, "Rod Speed" wrote:
    > Yousuf Khan wrote:
    > > I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure would be best if it had active cooling built-in
    > > (i.e. a fan). However, I've recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure so badly that Spinrite
    > > couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure about the value of active cooling anymore.

    >
    > The technical term for that is 'pathetically inadequate sample'


    Maybe, but it makes you wonder, considering the enclosure was from a
    well-known brand (Everex), and the drive was only six-months old.

    Spinrite 6.0 went through it and found hundreds of unreadable, only
    partially recoverable, sectors just in the first few megabytes,
    partition table was completely trashed along with just about
    everything else.

    > Then again, some enclosures with fans dont move much air over the drive either.


    That's what I figure happened to this guy whose drive got trashed.

    > At least with eSATA you can monitor the drive SMART temperature.


    That is a good point.

    Yousuf Khan

  6. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    Folkert Rienstra wrote
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Yousuf Khan wrote:


    >>> I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure
    >>> would be best if it had active cooling built-in (i.e. a fan). However,
    >>> I've recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure
    >>> so badly that Spinrite couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure
    >>> about the value of active cooling anymore.


    >> The technical term for that is 'pathetically inadequate sample'


    >>> I have seen an aluminum portable enclosure with a lot of good
    >>> features (USB2.0 & e-SATA) for a really cheap price, but from what
    >>> I see of it, it doesn't seem to have any fans in it. Should I worry
    >>> about it, or is aluminum a good enough conductor of heat by itself?


    >> Nope, some drives do get stinking hot in aluminium enclosures, particularly the
    >> enclosures that dont have a good conductive heat path from the drive to the enclosure.


    > Which is most all of them if they don't use heat conductive sheeting
    > between the drive sides and the mounting rails (and the mounting
    > rails and the rest of the enclosure if not an integral part of the shell).
    > Worse even for those that use the bottom mounting holes of the drive.


    > Also, blackened aluminum radiates heat better to
    > the environment than blank anodized aluminum.


    The main way they lose heat is by convection from the outside, not radiation.

    >> Then again, some enclosures with fans dont move much air over the drive either.


    >> At least with eSATA you can monitor the drive SMART temperature.


    > Provided they don't use an eSATA conversion chip with a limited vocabulary.





  7. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    bbbl67 wrote
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Yousuf Khan wrote:


    >>> I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure
    >>> would be best if it had active cooling built-in (i.e. a fan). However,
    >>> I've recently seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure
    >>> so badly that Spinrite couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure
    >>> about the value of active cooling anymore.


    >> The technical term for that is 'pathetically inadequate sample'


    > Maybe,


    No maybe about it.

    > but it makes you wonder, considering the enclosure was from a
    > well-known brand (Everex), and the drive was only six-months old.


    You dont know how the drive would have gone used internally.

    > Spinrite 6.0 went through it and found hundreds of unreadable,
    > only partially recoverable, sectors just in the first few megabytes,


    Thats not unusual with a drive that got stinking hot.

    > partition table was completely trashed along with just about everything else.


    Not surprising with that many errors in the first few MB.

    >> Then again, some enclosures with fans dont move much air over the drive either.


    > That's what I figure happened to this guy whose drive got trashed.


    Yeah, plenty of them just have a fan that doesnt do much at all.

    >> At least with eSATA you can monitor the drive SMART temperature.


    > That is a good point.


    > Yousuf Khan




  8. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    Folkert Rienstra wrote:
    >> At least with eSATA you can monitor the drive SMART temperature.

    >
    > Provided they don't use an eSATA conversion chip with a limited vocabulary.


    Isn't eSATA just simply SATA with a different connector?

    Yousuf Khan

  9. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    "Yousuf Khan" wrote:
    > Isn't eSATA just simply SATA with a different connector?
    >
    > Yousuf Khan


    eSATA specs include a connector that accommodates
    a shielding connection to ground, a shielded cable, and
    wider windows on the transceiver levels due to the longer
    cable length allowed (up to 2 meters). Here's a white paper
    by Silicon Image:
    https://www.sata-io.org/documents/Ex...WP%2011-09.pdf

    *TimDaniels*



  10. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    "Yousuf Khan" wrote:
    >I tend to think that it would be best that an external drive enclosure would be
    >best if it had active cooling built-in (i.e. a fan). However, I've recently
    >seen a drive fail inside an actively-cooled enclosure so badly that Spinrite
    >couldn't even recover it. So I'm not sure about the value of active cooling
    >anymore. I have seen an aluminum portable enclosure with a lot of good features
    >(USB2.0 & e-SATA) for a really cheap price, but from what I see of it, it
    >doesn't seem to have any fans in it. Should I worry about it, or is aluminum a
    >good enough conductor of heat by itself?
    >
    > Yousuf Khan


    Here's an external eSATA enclosure with a cooling fan mounted
    against the base of the hard drive:
    http://kingwin.com/product_pages/jt35ebk.asp
    I have such a cooling fan configuration in the tray of my Kingwin
    removable hard drive and it keeps the hard drive case very cool
    (i.e. lower than body temperature). The body of the enclosure is
    aluminum, and TigerDirect sells the sister model that also has USB
    for $35:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...563&CatId=2780

    *TimDaniels*



  11. Re: External drive enclosure reliability

    Timothy Daniels wrote in news:480ecf30$0$30164$4c368faf@roadrunner.com
    > "Yousuf Khan" wrote:
    > > Isn't eSATA just simply SATA with a different connector?
    > >
    > > Yousuf Khan

    >
    > eSATA specs include a connector that accommodates
    > a shielding connection to ground, a shielded cable,


    > and wider windows on the transceiver levels due to the longer
    > cable length allowed (up to 2 meters).


    And if that part (eSATA-to-SATA) is done by a chip that is also
    doing the USB to SATA conversion like this one:
    http://www.oxsemi.com/products/storage/OXU921DS.html
    then you don't know what may have been left out.

    > Here's a white paper
    > by Silicon Image:
    > https://www.sata-io.org/documents/Ex...WP%2011-09.pdf
    >
    > *TimDaniels*


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