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External Hard Drive problem

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When building my new computer, I specifically designed it to house all of my old IDE drives in addition to any new drives I may acquire in the future. The reason for this is that over the past 5 years, my old computer kept running out of space, and after I ran out of room for internal HDD's, I decided to get lazy and get external drives as well.

This, predictably, turned into a cable spaghetti disaster.

So my new case can hold all my old externals; I assumed that they were regular IDE drives internally, and last night when I disasembled them, I found out that I was right.

I also discovered something weird about my 80gb drive. Over the past year, whenever I plugged it in, it would whine really loudly for a few minutes and then quiet down. I simply assumed that the fan inside the case was getting dusty.

After disasembling the enclosure... whoa. There's no fan. Plug in the hard drive... yep, that's what's causing the whine: the drive itself.

So at this point in time, I'm ready to declare the drive retired. It's 80gb, and I have an abundance of free space as it is, and now that I don't want to trust having any data on it anymore, it's practically useless to me.

Now, I still have this Western Digital enclosure. It's kind of crap; there's no fan, first off. There's no off-switch either, which is a sure-fire way to make sure the drive overheats. However, my parents, this weekend, expressed a desire to obtain an external drive for backups, so I'm wondering if I should buy another 80gb drive (or slightly larger, since they're so cheap now) and donate this to them? I'd have to warn them about unplugging it when it's not in use though, which in my mind seems like a hassle, and I hate giving things to people which turn out to be a hassle.

Any suggestions?
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I was under the impression that you've given enough to your parents without getting anything in return.

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Original post by kwijibo
Or hack a hole and install your own on/off switch.

While that may sound like a good idea, it probably wouldn't be. Flipping that switch during HDD activity would be a bad thing, and I can't really think of a reliable way to make sure no accesses are going on when powering down.

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