Question Does external HDD need to be enclosed ?

Feb 2, 2021
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I have a few old sata drives 3.5 and 2.5 and I want to make them external hard drives by buying usb enclosures. Can I not cover the enclosure? If heat kills won't be it good to
leave the harddisks out without the top enclosure?
 
Practically all USB enclosures are, well, enclosed. The shell is typically open on one side and you slide the inside completely out. You can't do something like expose one side unless you're handy with a dremel tool.

Regarding heat, 2.5" drives don't generate enough heat for it to be a problem. 3.5" drives do get toasty if they're doing something extended, but you can get enclosures that have active cooling in them. Otherwise a lot of them are made of metal and there's plenty of contact between the drive and the enclosure that the enclosure acts as a heat spreader.

You could also get a USB hard drive dock if you're not going to use the drives all that often.
 
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lvt

Commendable
Apr 19, 2021
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I have several homemade HDD stands like this that run on external 12V adapters, each HDD has it own cooling fan.

So yes you can use the HDD without enclosure, it's even recommended as modern HDD use the its case to cool the controller.

If you want an enclosure, make sure the enclosure has a cooling fan.

 
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Eximo

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I have a vertical hard drive dock I use occasionally. I just store the drives on a shelf when not in use.

Dust infiltration should be minimal, drives have little air filters on their ports (unless they are sealed drives, in which case, they are sealed)

Static is more of a concern with the exposed PCB on most drives. But enclosures should all cover that up pretty well from being touched.

My rule of thumb is always to touch your hands to whatever surface is touching the component to be picked up, then, while holding the device, touch the next surface it will be in contact with with your hand again before letting the device touch. Should equalize large potentials and avoid shocking components directly. Can't say I've lost anything to date to static. Most of my component failures were during the days of capacitor plague.
 
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Are these drives to be used as backup drives that you unplug when not in use?
Or, are will they be used as permanently connected to the pc?

Regardless, I do not think heat will be an issue.
Out in the open air, they will not heat up like they might inside of a case where temperatures will be higher.

Permanently connected drives should probably be installed in some sort of an enclosure to protect them from damage. Not a bad idea for backup drives also.
 
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I want to make them external hard drives by buying usb enclosures. Can I not cover the enclosure? If heat kills won't be it good to
leave the harddisks out without the top enclosure?
i've been using external drive docks for years and still keep a couple 3TB drives docked in one.

it is a vertical dock with the drives exposed that allows space around the drives for dust to infiltrate.

i just cut up a cylindrical 100 disc DVD container cover to fit over it and remove it when the drives will be in use for any extended amount of time.
 
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