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USB 3.0-powered external enclosure - harmful to motherboard?

(21 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by nharp0386
  • Latest reply from nharp0386
  • Topic Viewed 1158 times

nharp0386
Posts: 145

I'm getting a USB 3.0 external enclosure for my SATA HDD, and was planning on getting one that was powered by USB instead of requiring an AC adapter. However, I recently read that having a drive powered by USB is not a good idea, as it can blow out the motherboard. Is this true? Are there any specs I should be concerned with when purchasing a USB-powered external enclosure? Should I avoid purchasing one that doesn't use an AC adapter? Should I just make sure to get a USB 3.0 Y-cable for a USB-powered one?

Thanks!

Posted 1 year ago
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vistamike
Posts: 10945

Not heard of external drives 'blowing' the motherboard.

USB 3 external drives now are driven 5v and don't have or need a secondary / external power supply
But I do use the cable you refer to above, handles voltage and data without effort

I think you safe to go

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

It all depends on the power consumption of the drive. Too high (more than 500mA) and it can blow the USB port circuitry. May need to branch (power only) to 2 ports.

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

So if I get a Y-cable, my motherboard and its USB port circuitry (and everything else) will definitely safe regardless of other factors (like the drive's power consumption as Lighthouse mentioned)?

Speaking of USB 3.0 Y-cables, is one of the USB ends actually a 2.0? If not, will I notice any difference in performance (or will it be any more or less dangerous) if I plug one end into a 2.0 port?

EDIT: Reported my own post on accident... o_O

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

They consumption is marked on the drive. Check that first. Then post back.

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

I don't have access to the drive at the moment, but was hoping to get the enclosure and cable today. Is there a maximum power consumption that a USB-powered enclosure can handle, even with a Y-cable? I'll check the consumption when I can.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

My last post still stands.
And please stop hitting the Report button.
Post the make and model of the drive, I will have a look.

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

Sorry... it keeps happening when I'm trying to click "EDIT" while zoomed out on my iPhone.

Like I said, I don't have the drive right now, but it's whatever Dell gave me as a replacement for my XPS M1710 a few years ago when the factory-installed one died. I'm pretty sure it's 120 GB. That's all I know.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Well, I can't advise more without that info.

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

Okay. I'll report back with further info once I have it. Thank you!

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

No probs :)

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

@Lighthouse: Bumping this since I finally know the make/model of the drive.

It is a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 - the 160 GB model.

I'll also add that I will be unable to use a USB 3.0 Y-cable while having it and my USB 3.0 HDD both connected (I need to copy data between them). Would having this Momentus 7200.4 drive in an external enclosure or docking station that's powered by a standard USB 3.0 cable (not a Y-cable, so no "branching") rather than an AC adapter be at all harmful to my PC's motherboard (possibly blowing the USB circuitry like you said)?

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

The max for USB port, is 900mA. That drive is 1 A. So it will need to be self powered. A Y connector would also work.

Edit. Are the ports on the computer USB2 or 3 ?

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

The ports I would be using are USB 3.0.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

So my previous post is correct. If they were USB2, that would require a different answer.

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

So if I use a USB 3.0 external enclosure or docking station with that drive (and a standard USB 3.0 cable, not a Y-cable), I would in fact need one with an AC adapter to avoid potential damage to the USB port circuitry?

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Yes.

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
Posts: 145

Okay. I would assume that the same answer would apply to using a simple SATA to USB 3.0 cable; that would be inadvisable, correct?

Also, wouldn't I need the drive to be self-powered (or a Y-connector used) in the case of USB 2.0 as well? According to Wikipedia, USB 2.0 has a max current of 500 mA.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Even with USB 2, and Y cable, you would be running at the very limit. So not advisable.

Posted 1 year ago
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vistamike
Posts: 10945

Is what I use;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTe.....omputers_1

Posted 1 year ago
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