Question about Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST380011A 80 GB Hard Drive

2 Answers

Is it safe to keep data cable connected without power cable

I have a spare 80GB IDE Barracude drive connected to my computer as a slave. I only use it for keeping backups. Since keeping it connected at all times uses power as well is becoming prone to virus attacks, I was wondering if it is safe to unplug the power cable while still keeping the data cable connected. I don't really want to unplug the data cable everytime, its easier to just pull the power cable out.

I just want to know whether its safe (for the hard disk) to keep the system running with its data cable connected and the power cable unplugged.

Thank you for any help.

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  • 5 more comments 
  • amit_celebt Sep 26, 2008

    Thank you Palmbeach. That was fast and precise. Exactly what I was looking for. I will remember your advise about shutting down before plugging or unplugging the power cable.



    Thanks again, I really appreciate your help.



    with regards,



    amit_celebt

  • tech1 Aug 18, 2012

    better, answer, im A+ tech, retired. never hot sway IDE pata drives, never run 2 drives of any kind with one unpowered as that overloads the data buss and cause corruption on the good drive, (see it run slow? sure,) The I/O chips connected must have power.

  • tech1 Apr 25, 2013

    this rule depends on the type I/O port, there are many, SSCI/PATA/ESATA, or avanced Esata , but if using PATA and using the same cable for both drives, pulling power to one will cause data corruption, read the manual of you HDD (or cd/dvd rom) to learn why. The I/o chips of many load the buss. with no power, i can prove this with data sheets, of same.

  • tech1 Apr 25, 2013

    hot switching power on devices will blow the chips fast. the exceptions are, SCSI and Esata. hot switch a DC buss is bad practice unless the device was designed for such actions.

  • tech1 Apr 25, 2013

    the sata is native hotswap, (may not the controller when the surge hits it, huh)

  • tech1 Apr 25, 2013

    the chips on most PATA when one hot connects the Molex, cause the chips to avelance and the blow up. I worked in test engineering for 15 years and know this well. on the hot swap drives snubbers are used to stop this instantainous rise times hot swapped.

  • tech1 Apr 25, 2013

    i have esata on my servers, that can be left connected and powered down, (backup) in the old days (pata)we had a special tray and power regultor, that tri-stated the i/o buss and used softpower up and down power drivers, protecting the sensative PATA chips. these are no longer sold. so if using PATA, power down and pull the data cable. if green ?, pull both and power back up.

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Bad advice, !! he has PATA drive.!
only the Esata external is hot swappable. as is the old SCSI HDD.
if it has a molex connector , HDD, power, do not hot swap this connector, as you damage the logic, the logic does not allow instant power ups, (hot wiring) it does not.
when you do that the rise time is near the speed of light and the
chips can latch up , then burn.
PATA. when you power down and pull the power connector, dead.
then leave the data cable (parallel cable ribbon) connected
this loads the buss,in an illegal way, this causes other devices on the buss to fail, Data corruptions, like the DVD, CDRom, or the other
hard drive, (i run 2 drives , since 1981 with first ever pc.) IBM.
i have an Esata external drive 2Tb, AND IS hot swappable. RTM.

first read the data sheet on you HDD, see that page?
at seagate? hot swapping power that old drive is not good.
hot swapping data, will no cause damage like above, but will corrupt data, i see tech in the shop wondering why the windows install disc
hangs, i point the the HDD , there, with no power.....
100 of times, ive shown them....

DVD on same cable is dead power drive.
same with 2 HDD on same cable,

some hard drives float the i/o buss and others do not , with power
removed, the data sheet covers this..
A smart tech assumes no float , unless you like , chasing tail all day.

Posted on Apr 07, 2013

  • 1 more comment 
  • tech1 Apr 07, 2013

    if you run this back up disk on seperate HDD port, MB conn.just never hot wire swap the HDD. do not.never connect anything electronic, while HOT.USB is one exception as is external Esata.

  • tech1 Apr 25, 2013

    the op clearly stated, PATA and it is not hot swappable,

  • tech1 Apr 25, 2013

    last answer to OP PATA , it's safe to you !, but not your data. but do not hot swap any PATA molex do not, i watched a guy install xp 5 times, due to dead PATA drive hanging off the CDrom drive (xp intall cd)

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  • 185 Answers

It is perfectly safe to remove the power cable from a hard drive but leave the data cable connected. Make sure that whenever you want to connect or disconnect the power cable, your computer has been shut down first. You could do it with the computer powered on as well, but this would not be good practice and you may put errors on your drive.

Posted on Sep 26, 2008

  • Palmbeach
    Palmbeach Sep 26, 2008

    No problem, it was my pleasure.

    Best wishes...

  • tech1 Aug 18, 2012

    what does safe mean? do not ever do that, because the I/o chip will load the data bus. , i wont damage the dead drive but will corrupt data on the conencted drive. also never hot swap cables.

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Is this a new hard drive that you are fitting to a desktop PC?
If it is a new - empty- hard drive it will have to be formatted before you can install Windows.
If it is a hard drive that you are fitting as a slave you may be fitting it on the wrong part of the IDE data cable, or if SATA, on the wrong motherboard connector. IDE data cables have many pins and are grey and wide.
On an IDE cable you may have 3 connectors. One which fits the motherboard, and 2 connectors to fit drives. The connector FURTHEST away from the motherboard is the MASTER. The middle connector is for the slave.
On the rear of a hard drive you also have 'jumper connectors'. The location of these connectors sets the drive as either master or slave. On an IDE data cable the master drive must be at the cable end with the jumper connector set to master (or 'cable select'). The slave drive - on the middle connector - must have its jumper connector set to 'slave' (or 'cable select').
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However, it would appear your computer IS recognising the drive. To check, restart your computer and press the delete key as it boots up (or it may be another key ..it tells you on the start up screen which key to press to access the bios settings).
Access the bios settings and look for the disk information. It will tell you if the disk is detected and whether it is a primary master or primary slave. You can always try disconnecting your dvd drive (power off the computer first..) and fitting the hard drive in its place. Restart the computer and go into the bios settings again. Is the drive now recognised as the secondary master? It well may be just incorrect location on the cable/jumper settings/where the cable is connected to the motherboard.
If it is just a single hard drive you have and it is new, Your computer will tell you that it needs formatting before you can install an operating system or software.
If it's a second hand drive you are fitting, your computer will not boot up even if the hard drive already has Windows on it. You will have to reinstall Windows from a dvd.
If it's your existing hard drive which had been previously working ok, remove the data cable and reconnect it. It may be a 'dry joint' causing the problem. If disconnecting and reconnecting the cable on an existing hard drive does not work .. begin to suspect a failing hard drive

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Your description has me confused. I'm not clear on which power and data cables you are using. You described pulling one cable from first hard drive and connecting it to your second drive. Extra power connections should have been in a loose wire bundle somewhere in the computer. (Often they are tucked into an unused drive bay.)

The SR1720NX has 2 SATA controllers and two IDE controllers. Thus it can have 2 SATA and 4 IDE devices. The computer sometimes shipped with a SATA hard drive or an IDE hard drive. In all cases, the hard drives must be connected to the data cable (and to the motherboard) and then the power connection from the power supply has to be connected. So there should be 2 cables plugged into each drive. The optical drive is usually an IDE drive for this model, also a master drive.

The IDE power connection is a large 4-pin Molex connector; the SATA power cables are a smaller 5 pin connector. There is also a small 4 pin connector that powers a floppy drive, if present. IDE data cables are a wide 40-pin ribbon cable (sometimes an 80-pin cable for master/slave). The SATA data cable is a 15 pin cable.

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BTW: you should be alert to the power needs for the computer. The original power supply could be overloaded with the extra drive. You might be better off using an external drive enclosure (USB) or a USB/SATA/IDE dongle that leaves the drive out in the open. Connect these with extreme care following the directions for when to connect the power supply. Some enclosures won't work without reformatting the drive - you do not want one of those.

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