Solved Do old hard drives require more power to spin up?

December 31, 2015 at 07:15:42
Specs: Windows 7, x980
I do a lot of video editing work. My process of archiving my projects include putting all project files on two identical hard drives (internal HDDs using a dock). This way if one fails or there is a fire I have a second version that is safe in a separate location. Ideally I would have the money to invest in a DLT, however, although I backup large amounts of data, it's not cost effective to invest in a DLT.

The problem I started experiencing is that my older hard drives are beginning to have problems spinning up (both sets in a pair and multiple pairs). These drives are a mix of seagate barracudas and WD green drives. The drives are about 4-5 years old and don't get accessed that frequently. I'm using a two bay startech dock.

To troubleshoot, I placed the hard drives in a single dock (cable matters brand) and the hard drives began to work again. The more recent hard drives still work in the two bay dock but as they age, they begin having problems using the two bay dock.

My theory is that these older hard drives are beginning to go bad and requiring additional power to spin up. The single dock unit is providing a better power source for the hard drive.

Does this happen with older drives? Should I be concerned that they are about to crash beyond saving? What would be an alternative archival method, other than DLT (I backup about 4TB every couple of months)

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December 31, 2015 at 11:34:29
"I'm using a two bay startech dock"

How are the drives powered up? Thru a "wall wart" ? Compare the amperage ratings of the single vs double power source. The voltages should be the same but it's generally better to have more amperage, especially for a double dock. The drives will only use what they need so having too much isn't an issue. Inadequate amperage can cause problems.

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December 31, 2015 at 18:11:16
✔ Best Answer
Your theory about old drives is spot on.
Although the latest drives may "live" longer, are more reliable, HHD 4-5 years plus old have a higher risk of failing.

Seagate and WD have disk-tools to check the health of your drives. Check their support websites.
I recommend starting cloning/copying one of the old drives with a new one. Check the drive specs for reliability (usually longer warranty).

My system HHD (Seagate) started to degrade (BSOD, SMART warnings) after 4 years. I was able to clone the drive and preserve most of the files. My brother experienced a failing disk with little warning and lost it in an instance. So be prepared!

WD Red have a good reliability and target NAS systems.
If you have a home network I think you should check out this kind of storage.


message edited by sluc

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January 2, 2016 at 03:52:58
Hi Ellie,

I think using old hdd's for back up is unwise, especially for important work such as yours.

New hdd's are not that expensive..

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

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