Does starting up a WD Elements daily several times drop the longevity way down?

I have one WD Elements 16 TB drive. It’s filled ONLY with video that I steam daily via USB to my TV

The drive may start and stop 2-3 times a day where I plug it in, then eject it

Someone told me this will drop the lifespan way down vs always having it running but I’m not sure how I can manage that

Hi @1rishmike,

Please be informed that Western Digital drives are tested and certified for windows and Mac Operating system.

Have you opened a Support Case? If not opened, for more information, please contact the WD Technical Support team for the best assistance and troubleshooting:

lol my external 8TB drive (encrypted with veracrypt) is 24/7 connected to my computer and is waking up all the time, 15-30 times every day. the drive will go to sleep mode after 30 minutes, if there isn’t any activity. in sleep mode it is almost same like when drive is completely off.

i have 4 WD drives and have used all of them in the same way

1x WD 10EADS-00M2B0 1TB => Power On Count: 715 count | Power On Hours: 50867 hours (2009-2023)
2x WD My Book 20EURX 2TB => Power On Count: 21957 count | Power On Hours: 20852 hours (2016-2023)
1x WD My Book 80EDAZ 8TB => Power On Count: 4603 count | Power On Hours: 9455 hours (2021-2023)

all drives still work fine, no problems. i was always very careful, never dropped a external drive, there is no damage. you can relax, as long as you have backups and you do treat them well, you don’t need to worry about. some drives do live forever and a WD drive is a quality product, this is my experience


So, I have a 20 TB drive I ONLY use for streaming video.

Right now I use a USB stick to transfer video from it to run on my TV via USB. So I should forget this and just stream right from the drive to the TV, not worrying about running the HD 3-4 hours daily?

Thanks for you post

depends on… if you don’t feel bad performance then i would continue using the usb stick. theoretically it should be fine if the drive is constantly running for 3-4 hours but only if there is no overheat, everything above 50°C is not good and shouldn’t run for hours except you have a active cooler for your drive for example usb fans. if you copy 100 GB from this drive to another drive, then you will clearly hear that, so if your drive is working same hard when you streaming video then i wouldn’t use the drive. it will be fine if the drive is quiet (the fan noise is ok you always hear this when the drive is running) and temperature won’t get above 50°C. also, you should avoid any physical damage.

of cause you don’t want to check temps with CrystalDiskInfo every time you stream. put your hand on the drive (where the air is coming out) when CrystalDiskInfo shows high temps like 50°C - 56°C. just do it a few times and then you won’t need to check with tools anymore, because you can simply use the hand to check if the temps are ok or not.

temperature is one of the biggest factors impacting hard disk longevity. helium filled WD drives have cooler temps than drives without helium (but this doesn’t mean that they have a longer life)