Reliability of portable vs. desktop drives?

Hi all,

If I were to use a portable drive rather than a desktop drive – are they just as reliable?

eg, assuming either the portable or desktop would just be sitting on the table – and that it would remain attached to a powered-on PC for 24/7.

I’d rather get the portable, but only if it’s just as reliable as a “desktop” drive would be (including plopping a bare SATA drive into an enclosure).

It would be great to save a little space, and to eliminate the wall-wart – but not if that means more reliability concerns…


desktop drives > portable drives

when desktop drives fail - they fail of natural causes ex heads, controllers, bad sectors ect.

when portable drives fail - it could be all of the things mentioned above + usb controller failure, and if controller is equipped with on-the-fly encryption… then dont even get me started on this.

I begin to see more failed passports and MyBooks coming in for recovery than anything else including laptop drives and any other brands of portable devices combined. Yes, the do outsell probably every other product in the same category, but we haven’t seen these highs of failure rates since seagate 7200.11 BSY signal issue was around couple of years ago.

I’m confused by that – it seems you started off by saying portable drives fail more frequently, but then you seem to say you think there’s a problem with both Passport *and* MyBook.

And, fwiw, I’m trying to compare something like a Passport or Element to a desktop USB external (eg, with a 3.5" SATA drive). And, for my purposes, the portable drive wouldn’t be moved – but it would be left on all the time.


as long as the drive does not come with hardware encryption, they are not any different. I would never buy passport drive unless I need to use it as parts donor for a customers case.

Meaning Elements is beetter than Passport?

I’m also thinking about getting a Scorpio Blue + some enclosure – would that be better?

btw, I see that WD sells 1.5TB and 2TB portable drives – but I can only seem to find up to 1TB 2.5" bare drives – am I missing something?

just get scorpio and universal USB enclosure.

Yeah, I’m now leaning toward getting a 1TB Scorpio Blue (WD10JPVT) and a StarTech SAT2510U2 (I only need USB2) – does that seem like a good combo for 24/7 use?

And am I correct that WD only sells the 1.5TB or 2TB drives bundled into their enclosures?

The main reason why I might get an Elements or Passport instead is that they seem to be avaialable in 1.5TB and 2TB – whereas Scorpio Blue seems to max out at 1TB – is that correct?