Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ways to connect a USB Hard Drive with a Y-Cable.

This is assuming the drive needs the extra power.

Ideal way: Connect the power cable to the computer (usually the longest one when extended), then the data cable, then connect the last connector to the USB Hard Drive.

The problem with this way of connecting the drive is that if you connect and disconnect the cable from the hard drive the port may wear and it may end up needing a repair or a new drive. This one also draws the most current at the moment of connection (I don't know if it has ever lead to hardware fail, if the drive and computer work as they should I guess there shouldn't be a problem).

If you forget to unplug the cable from the drive before connecting the ports into the computer then you'll automatically connect the drive the second best possible way...

Second best way: Connect the cable to the drive (or just keep it connected all the time), then connect to the computer the power cable, then connect the data cable.

Now if you connect the data cable to the computer first and then the power cable, the drive will attempt to get the power from the data cable first so it's better to give it the power first and the data later (yeah data has some power also).

This should be the best way to connect the cable if you don't want to wear the drive's USB port (or just the hazzle of connecting/disconnecting cables).

Third best way: Connect the cable to the drive (yeah or just keep it connected all the time), then connect the data cable into the computer, then connect the power cable.

Now this is in third place bacause it treats your drive the worst possible way since when you connect the data cable the drive may not work well or at all from the low power of the single USB port, when you connect the power cable to the computer the drive will finally get the energy.

This shouldn't destroy the drive or computer (May lead to data corruption? Hardware problems in both drive and computer?) but this just isn't as ideal as the first or second way.

Fourth way: Connect the cable to the drive, then attempt to connect both cables (Data and Power) at the same time into the computer... now this one is fourth because it's like a random combination of the first, second and third way.

This will lead to a random connection of the drive, unless you are like a computer that always connects the cables at the exact time. In that case it would be just like the Ideal way (first way above) but of course this is all random since we are not as precise as computers.

Any of the above ways shouldn't destroy your device or computer if they work as they should, but I'd say you never know...

Personally I preffer the second way.

I'm speculating about this but I'd be especially careful with some hard drive eclosures since many times you can't tell how the Hard Drive you are using with the enclosure (or the enclosure adapter) will behave.

I have an enclosure that has a Y-Cable but the drive gets enough power from the data cable alone (apparently) in that case if you are sure the drive has enough power just never connect the power cable, since you never know if the extra power will do something bad to the Hard Drive itself or the adapter inside of the eclosure.

I repeat I'm speculating about this "extra power" situation but I'm writing this after having a defective enclosure fail on me after connecting the power cable alone :/

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