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Can You Plug In A Hard Drive When The Computer Is On?

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Standard hard drive of a computer

Hard drives are one of the easily accessible devices that you can use to store data for use at different points in time. They are highly valuable and to a large extent, contribute to your productivity.

The portable feature of a hard drive makes it convenient for use on different computers with no carriers but then, does this mean that you can plug in a hard drive even when the computer is turned on? 

You Can Plug It While It’s On?

You can plug a hard drive into your computer even while it is turned on. Although it is generally advised for safety reasons to turn off your computer or any electronic device at all before adding another device to improve its functionality, you can skip all these unnecessary protocols if your hard drive is hot-swappable. 

Most modern hard drives have advanced features that support on-the-run connectivity with computers without disrupting anything at all, but this feature can work on the condition that you enable the hot-plugging option in the BIOS. 

To successfully do this, Ensure that the motherboard ports of the computer that you want to plug the drive into are configured and enabled to support hot-plugging, i.e they should be hot-swappable. If you’re not sure whether your motherboard ports are hot-swappable, you can check for the needed information on the manufacturer’s website to know how it can be enabled.

Internal Hard Drives

If you had an internal hard drive in mind when you asked the question “can I plug in a hard drive when a computer is turned on?”  I’ll tell you straight up, it is not advisable because of the risk of damage to the motherboard and the hard disk itself.

What about removing it ?

The accepted culture with regards to removing hard drives from computers is to first enable the safe to remove the hardware button that pops up on your screen but you can also bypass it by directly removing it. However, please ensure that no other program on your computer is using it so that you don’t lose your files. 

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Favour Etim

Years of hard work, research, and internship in technologically and computer-related fields have helped Etim Favour to produce informative and engaging writings on computers and technology-related products. When Favour is not writing, you’ll find her answering questions to help gamers and office workers to build the best battlestation/workstation.

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