Cleaning the external drive

Discussion in Software PC & Mac started by Peninha • Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    When we buy an external drive with 1TB we just start putting things inside, but before we know it we just might have a good capacity of it occupied. So, do you just put more and more things inside your drive or do you clean it up from time to time?
     
  2. Servace

    ServaceActive Member

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    I clean it from time to time. I check if I have documents that are irrelevant for me on there.
     
  3. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    I don't have mine for that long and I've never done an exhaustive cleaning, but I've deleted some occasional files, especially movies that occupy quite a few GB and that I know that I will never watch again, they were doing nothing there.
     
  4. akiii123

    akiii123Active Member

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    I think it is quite important to clean the external drive as it can get dirty very fast. I clean it quite well at least every month. It contains some of the most important data and I would never want it to get corrupted so I clean it quite well.
     
  5. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    I just put everything I want until it's filled up and when it does get full it's when I start to delete my unwanted files. External drives nowadays have large capacities so I'm not too worried about filling them up earlier than I expect so I just use it as comfortably as I possibly can because I honestly don't like stressing too much on my devices since they are supposedly made to make my life easier.
     
  6. Squigly

    SquiglyActive Member

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    Just because there is a lot of space, it doesn't mean that you don't have to clean it. Regular cleaning will ensure that the drive can stay functional for a longer period of time, also it helps you with organizing important files and clearing unwanted clutter.
     
  7. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    Exactly, I try to keep it clean and organized from the start to avoid losing a lot of time selecting what's really good later. Actually lately I am not using my external drive that much, I have a new movie feature in my cable box that has been consuming a lot of my time.
     
  8. deathbyprayer

    deathbyprayerActive Member

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    I generally do my cleaning when I'm running out of space. Usually I delete old project files and documents that are pretty much useless. I also delete software installers and other crap that might take up some space but only when I needed to.
     
  9. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    Yeah I imagine that most people do that death that is why that I am planning ahead. I mean, my external drive has 1TB, so I am not waiting for it to get full. For example, I watch a movie and I don't like it, I simply deleted and I get 2-3GB of space free.
     
  10. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974Member

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    Depends on what you mean by "cleaning it up". I am old enough to remember tiny hard drives that needed to be disk fragmented to save space. A terabyte drive (or larger, I have a 3 TB drive) is insanely huge. I have not seen any problems with the external drives I have. I have filled up the single terabyte drives to capacity and never lost the ability to watch videos, play games or access any of the data. This is likely because computers these days are much faster and can handle the mass data they store.
     
  11. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    I don't save to many files on my external hard drive. That would be different if I had movies to store but since I prefer buying DVDs the only files I ever save are documents most of which are under 10 MB.

    Actually, I use up less than 5% of the disk's storage capacity so there's never been a need for me to "clean it."
     
  12. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    Yep, if I wasn't using my external drives with movies my situation would be similar to yours Denis, but in fact I have it loaded with movies and pictures and those occupy a lot of space. My pictures are all there saved as a duplicate, no way I want to lose them.
     
  13. nonsiccus

    nonsiccusActive Member

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    A great application to check on what you have in your drive (and subsequently eliminate) junk is called TreeSize. There is a free and pro version that allows you to view your file structure in an easy to see manner which organizes based on file size. You can quickly zero in on the larger files and delete them if they're no longer necessary.

    That being said, the best way to clear up space if you want to start fresh is to simply reformat the drive from disk management. Warning though, this will remove all data.
     
  14. troutski

    troutskiWell-Known Member

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    You have to clean your external drive from time to time in order to keep it functioning properly. However, you should physically clean it using condensed air and non-abrasive cleaning cloths. Dust can accumulate on these devices and then get inside them, wreaking havoc on the drive itself. It doesn't take that much time to sort through the drive or clean the outside housing, so it's recommended to do this every six months or so.
     
  15. nonsiccus

    nonsiccusActive Member

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    I wouldn't advise using compressed air inside the drive. The hard drive has a small filtered hole on its chassis that allows for very minor airflow. This airflow is necessary for the read heads to "glide" over the platter surface. Blasting compressed air inside can cause several problems - the temperature/pressure difference from the compressed air can cause condensation or cold damage to the platter surface - the air blast could compromise the screen's integrity allowing dust to get in, and any particulate matter that might be in the compressed air (including dust in the little straw) could damage the drive.

    Dusting lightly around the chassis itself is fine, but do not do anything to try and clean the interior of the drive.
     
  16. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys, to be honest I never considered cleaning it physically. I imagine that dust can get in there, but as there is no need for refrigeration (or is there?), I thought that it wouldn't be an issue. Yep, no way I will open my drive!
     
  17. nonsiccus

    nonsiccusActive Member

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    I've read that some people have had luck getting some degree of life back from failed drives by throwing them in the freezer. I think this is akin to an "old wive's tale" since the odds of you making any reasonable data recovery in the time that the drive remains cold would be minimal, not to mention the issues that would be encountered with moisture damage caused by condensation.
     
  18. obliviousme

    obliviousmeActive Member

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    I do clean up my external hard drive from time to time but not physically. I mean, of course i do clean the surface but that's about it physically. I think it's important to have your drive organized and free of junks and clutters. I guess formatting it from time to time is a great help? :p
     
  19. Kamarsun1

    Kamarsun1Member

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    I clean it up from time to time, and I try to buy several 500GB hard drives. I brought a 2TB HD, it was cheap at the time and it dropped one time and broke. I lost all the Data, but I learned a lesson, never but all your eggs in one basket.
     
  20. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    Yes, it must have been a nasty drop to break it and be impossible to recover the data. Mine is 1TB and I have there mostly movies and pictures, from the pictures I do have backup.
     
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