My main worry about leaving an external drive on all the time is that in my experience, a major cause of damage to hard drives is a power cut or surge. If both internal/external drives are switched on, both might be destroyed. What do you think?
You’re right. Surges happen and they can destroy drives. But personally, I leave my external drives plugged in all the time.
There are a few things to be aware of before doing that.
Leo, I’ve got a USB flash drive with a full persistent bootable installation of Linux on it. Can this flash drive become infected if I plug into a Windows machine with a virus on it? Say at an internet café or a public library?
The answer is yes, no, and maybe. It’s complex, but it’s a good question to ask because the devil is in the details.
I just installed Ubuntu on my 16 GB flash drive. I occasionally use it to edit documents or use the terminal to SSH to my server online, edit server files, and download online files to put on my server. Is my Ubuntu installation something that would cause my drive to wear out fast? There’s hardly any write activity during boot and shutdown. How long should I expect my drive to last?
Unfortunately, there’s no really clear answer to that question. To be honest, I don’t how much Ubuntu is writing to the installed drive, though my guess is probably not a lot. As long as you’re not memory constrained on the machine that you’re using it on, there’s a good chance that it’s mostly reading. When you become memory constrained, Ubuntu may fire up a paging file, which could cause a lot of write activity. But my guess is that Ubuntu itself isn’t doing a whole lot of writing.
I am a bit concerned about the flash drive, but it actually makes sense. Let me explain.