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  • Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

    I have a 2003 server sitting on desktop parts. I am wanting to connect a USB hard drive 24/7, for backup purposes.

    My question is, are there any problems with having a USB hard drive attached 24/7? For example, during reboots and day to day activities?

  • #2
    Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

    Only thing i can think of are shares that MAY drop off.

    Other than that the drive should be fine.

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    • #3
      Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

      Are you talking about shares on the USB drive or shares on the DAS of the server?

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      • #4
        Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

        Shares on the USB drive.

        I know one of our 2000 servers had an issue with it hence the reason i mentioned it.

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        • #5
          Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

          Check power management on the USB ports to make sure it doesnt shut down when not in use
          Also make sure you disable any caching so writes go straight to the physical disk
          For reboots, make sure the USB HDD is not first in the BIOS boot order, or the server may hang at the BIOS
          Tom Jones
          MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
          PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
          IT Trainer / Consultant
          Ossian Ltd
          Scotland

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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          • #6
            Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

            I have a 2TB USB HDD that is used for backups that I leave connected to my backup server and powered on 24x7 and have never had any problems with it.

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            • #7
              Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

              Depends on your Backup Software. Backup Exec is a bit stroppy on occasion with USB drives, unless they are configured as removable backup-to-disk devices.
              BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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              Cruachan's Blog

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              • #8
                Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                Just test a full reboot. I had a server that would "red screen" if I left a USB drive plugged in and rebooted.

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                • #9
                  Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                  What type of external USB hard drives should I purchase? Are there any brands / models that are more reliable, or will stand up to 24/7 use? Iím a western digital fan.


                  Shares on the USB drive.
                  Good. I wonít have shares on the USB drive. Itís only attached for backups.



                  Check power management
                  disable any caching
                  BIOS boot order
                  Excellent Points. I wouldnít have thought about those. Thanks.


                  I have a 2TB USB HDD Ö that I leave connected Ö 24x7 and have never had any problems with it.
                  Sounds very re-assuring.


                  Just test a full reboot
                  I was wanting to avoid that. 5 or 10 years ago external drives were very expensive. I took an internal drive, and put it in an external enclosure. I rebooted a server with this attached and it killed everything. AD, DNS, you name the service and it was corrupted. I had to format and start completely over.



                  Thanks for everyone's response. They have been very helpful.

                  Again, are there any brands / models of USB hard drives that are more reliable?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                    Just for your information: backup to USB is a bad thing when it comes to data corruption: if a virus slips through your very up2date and fantastic antivirus software it may infect/corrupt/delete the original files AND the backup files...

                    just something to keep in mind

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                    • #11
                      Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                      Originally posted by pvlier View Post
                      Just for your information: backup to USB is a bad thing when it comes to data corruption: if a virus slips through your very up2date and fantastic antivirus software it may infect/corrupt/delete the original files AND the backup files...

                      just something to keep in mind
                      Well that would be the case whether the drive is USB or internal.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                        Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
                        Well that would be the case whether the drive is USB or internal.
                        correct, we recently had a discussion with a customer who didn't want to change tapes everyday and therefore wanted to replace his tapedrive with a backup-to-usb. He didn't think of fire of virusses and quickly decided not to go there after we discussed these points...

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                        • #13
                          Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                          Originally posted by pvlier View Post
                          correct, we recently had a discussion with a customer who didn't want to change tapes everyday and therefore wanted to replace his tapedrive with a backup-to-usb. He didn't think of fire of virusses and quickly decided not to go there after we discussed these points...
                          To go well , how then do you explain MS removing tape backup support in SBS & Server 2008 and instead relying on backing up to a USB HDD?

                          If you have viruses on your backup (tape, USB, NAS etc ) then you have viruses on your File Server.

                          If this turns into a discussion then we will split this off to its own thread and unhijack multiplexed thread.
                          1 1 was a racehorse.
                          2 2 was 1 2.
                          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                          2 2 1 1 2

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                          • #14
                            Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                            Originally posted by multiplexed View Post
                            I have a 2003 server sitting on desktop parts. I am wanting to connect a USB hard drive 24/7, for backup purposes.

                            My question is, are there any problems with having a USB hard drive attached 24/7? For example, during reboots and day to day activities?
                            No need for a discussion. If you want to know why MS has changed focus ask them. You asked for potential problems when using USB fot backup and I give you 3:

                            1) If there is fire both your HD your server are gone so no backup left. That isn't the case if you take backuptapes home
                            2) If there is a virus it can destroy or corrupt files on both location so there is no backup in case of fileloss because of an virus
                            3) If your server crashes while making the backup the backupdrive could become corrupted (I know, very samll chance but we had that!!) so there is a no backup left

                            That's all I wanted to share. If these potential problems are less important then not having to change tapes then that's a personal descision. If the descision was mine I wouldn't take the risk of dataloss. We always implement 10 backuptapes roulation, so we can go back 2 weeks in case of fire, accidental deletion or virusses that aren't detected the same day.

                            Regards!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Any problems with USB hard drive connected 24/7?

                              Three interesting points but there are other opinions:
                              1) USB HDDs can, of course, be unplugged and taken home, and should be rotated in the same way as tapes
                              2) If you are using proper backup software to write to the drive (so not just copying files) you have no more or less risk of viruses as tapes
                              3) Ditto with tapes

                              IMHO the benefit of drives over tapes is speed, random access and higher (and still growing) capacity. Also, unless very well cared for, tapes do not offer the reliability of drives -- the number of times I have seen an organisation where tapes are regularly inserted and removed from the drive, but the backups are failing....
                              Tom Jones
                              MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                              PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                              IT Trainer / Consultant
                              Ossian Ltd
                              Scotland

                              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                              Comment

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