I have a small home server for which I want to buy an external drive (SEAGATE BACKUP PLUS HUB 6TB HDD). Without going into details, it is currently the only way to increase the available storage space.

Is it healthy for such device to stay plugged in for a long time? More precisely, the data will not be read and written continuously, but at certain intervals (sometimes up to several dozen minutes, sometimes every few hours). For convenience, however, the drive will need to remain plugged into the server via USB all the time.

2 Answers 2


It should not be a problem. These have the same technology as SATA hard drives, and those are plugged into servers for a long time.

Make sure you provide a steady base though, since bumpage on an active hard drive is a recipe for head slams (AKA your hard drive breaking).

  • Note that there literally are SATA drives inside the casing, hence my rephrasing :)
    – MiG
    Jun 29, 2022 at 7:15
  • With some, there may be, but others probably not
    – Irsu85
    Jun 29, 2022 at 8:45
  • It would be very uncommon, and probably make these products uncompetitively expensive for vendors. IDE is not in use anymore, SCSI might still be used in obscure server setups but not consumer enclosures, and other recent connectors only cater to (once again, expensive) SSDs. SATA really is the standard, "have the same technology as SATA" is unnecessarily vague.
    – MiG
    Jun 29, 2022 at 9:25

peruse the Western Digital website, last I looked they had various models of 3.5" drives... such as red, blue, green, look specifically for the models that are rated for powered on all the time and choose accordingly for read/write performance and frequency. I only mention WD because what I remember their website presented a model layout that was to the point, I'm sure all the other makers (seagate, toshiba, whoever) have similar model lineups. Whether the disk is internal to a computer tower of external which it really isn't, the disk is still in a case. Any external usb connected disk would operate no different, while always plugged in it would actually be off until you tried to read/write from it and take a couple seconds to spin up.

Is it healthy for such device to stay plugged in for a long time?

yes, especially when your operating system power policy spins the HDD down and or powers it off, same goes for SSD's. My old 3tb hdd's, in my tower, one mounted as D: (data) and E: (bkup) my D: disk is always on when the computer's on but 90% of the time the E: disk is powered off by windows because I never access it until I need to copy something from D: to E: to back it up. The same would/should be the case for your external usb disk given how you mentioned non-continuous read/write needs of it.

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