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Will Leaving A Flash Drive Plugged In Damage It?

Monday, June 25th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals

Bob from FL writes:

I use a flash drive to back up all my data and I leave it plugged in all the time. Does leaving it plugged in all the time wear it out quicker, or should I be plugging it in only when I need to copy something to it?

This is great question, Bob – especially since we’ve all been conditioned from the days of mechanical hard drives that the longer a mechanical device is running, the shorter its remaining lifespan is. The good news is this isn’t true for flash drives, as the wear and tear comes from when data is being written to or read off of the device, not sitting idle.

One reason that it might be a good idea to disconnect the drive is in the event of electrical surge. If a surge is powerful enough to damage the components inside of your computer, it may also damage anything connected to the computer at the time. If your hard drive is fried in a lightning strike and your flash drive goes with it, you may have no backup left.


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7 Responses to “Will Leaving A Flash Drive Plugged In Damage It?”

  1. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Tim,

    What about the booting issue if the the system is switched on with flash drive?

  2. harold westover says:

    Does that hold true for USB connected external hard drives?

  3. This is an epic post, I’ll definitely be sure to add this site to my bookmarks!

  4. Steve says:

    Your antivirus may be scanning your flashdrive each day, causing extra wear.

  5. Don Barton says:

    The LEDs on my Flash Drives frequently blink indicating a read or a write even when I’m not accessing it. I would think that may shorten its life.
    Please comment.

  6. Mark says:

    Your anti-virus scanning you flash drive will not wear it out. These devices can be read forever it is writting to them that wears them out, anti-virus will only do any writting if it finds a virus.

  7. XRumerTest says:

    Hello. And Bye.

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