thenextguy wrote in post #12780725
Why do external drives fail more frequently (at least that's what it sounds like people are saying)?
I agree that fundamentally external drives and internal drives fail about the same rate. The externals might encounter some issues if carried about in a carryon bag, for example, simply due to mechanical stresses which exceed the shock rating of the drive.
In 30 years of computing I have had two internal harddrives fail in desktop machines, one internal harddrive fail in a laptop, and one external USB unit fail -- only because the INTERFACE ELECTONICS within the WB MyBook USB enclosure failed; but not the harddrive itself, which ran fine when I pulled it out and put it into a docking unit! As thedge said, often the drive itself is fine, it is the supporting electronics in the enclosure at fault.
All harddrive vendors seem to have lemons in their lineup history, and virtually no harddrive manufacturer is immune. And many external harddrives are made simply by 'integrators' who buy the harddrives from one of about a half dozen manufacturers (Samsung, Hitachi, Seagate, Maxtor, etc.)
Redundant data in multiple drives in multiple locations is the safest way to go. Use of RAID 1 enclosures which automatically mirror data on both drives is a metholodology which is better than single drive, but it does not protect your data in a floor of fire destroying your building.
drive drop dead and it took me a week of steady work to recover my stuff
With Windows 7, you can create and have a full System Image stored on an external harddrive, then if your internal harddrive fails, you can simply Restore the System Image into the replacement harddrive and be up and running as if nothing happened in the matter of hours! I know, it has save my bacon twice. Once when a 4 mo old PC hard its harddrive fail (got a warranty replacement), more recently when the directory/files somehow got scrambled to the point that the computer could not even boot up fully. After running full diagnostics, I simply restored the System Image and all was fixed (in less time than it took to run the full harddrive diagnostic check), all my application programs, all the user preferences, etc. The data files written to another harddrive since the last system image was stored (you can have multiple System Images available) quickly restored things fully.