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What temperature do hard drives fail?

External Hard Drive Temperature Range [Full Guide in 2023]

External hard drives can suffer from overheating issues if used in an environment outside the recommended temperature range. While most drives come with proper insulation, which helps in most cases, extreme temperatures can still be challenging.

This guide provides information on the ideal external hard drive temperature range and tips to monitor external hard drive temperature.

What Is the External Hard Drive Temperature Range

The normal external hard drive temperature range is 0 to 60 degrees Celsius (32 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Different temperatures have different degrees of influence on the drive:

  • The optimal temperature for an external hard drive is between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius.
  • Any temperature lower than 40 degrees can cause the hard drive to become sluggish and less reliable.
  • Temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius can cause the hard drive to overheat and potentially fail.

In different temperature environments, the hard drive needs to be positioned correctly to allow it to cool or fix the external hard drive heating up:

  • In higher ambient environments, you need to ensure that fans that cool the hard drive work properly. And the hard drive should be located in a location with plenty of space for air to circulate. It should not be too close to other components.
  • In colder environments, you should ensure that the hard drive is not exposed to cold temperatures for too long is vital. And the hard drive should not be in a location where condensation may form.
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Checking the hard drive’s temperature regularly is essential to ensure optimal performance. It also helps to detect any irregularities in the drive’s temperature, indicating a potential problem that needs to be addressed. Let’s look at how to check external hard drive temperature with a professional tool.

How to Check External Hard Drive Temperature

Disk Health in EaseUS Partition Master is a feature that enables users to monitor the temperature of their external hard drives. It displays the temperature of both internal and external disks, allowing users to keep track of their hard drive health and detect any potential issues.

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With this feature, users can quickly identify when the temperature of their hard drive is reaching an unhealthy level and take the necessary steps to protect their data. In addition, this feature can warn users when their hard drive is experiencing high usage, allowing them to take preventive measures to avoid data loss or corruption.

It also provides an easy-to-use interface, allowing users to quickly and easily check hard drive temperature:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master and click the blue arrow to activate the «Disk Health» feature under the «Discovery» section.

click the bule arrow

Step 2. Select the target disk and click the «Refresh» button. Then, you can see the health condition of your disk.

choose the target disk

EaseUS Partition Master is a free disk partitioning software for Windows to check hard drive temperature. It is designed to help you optimize the performance of your hard drive by allowing you to manage your disk partitions easily. It provides a wide range of features:

  • Check hard drive health
  • Run disk surface test to detect bad sectors
  • Speed up hard drive by partitioning it
  • Test hard drive speed
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With EaseUS Partition Master, users can protect their data from disk failure and improve disk performance.

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An external hard drive’s temperature range is a critical factor in maintaining the reliability and longevity of the device. Most external hard drives have a recommended operating temperature range of 41°F (5°C) to 95°F (35°C) and should be kept in a cool, dry place to avoid overheating. High temperatures can cause the hard drive to fail, so it is essential to ensure the temperature range is not exceeded.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and powerful Windows temperature monitor tool, EaseUS Partition Master is the right choice. It is a reliable and secure software that provides the most comprehensive features to make partition operations easier and faster. So why wait? Download EaseUS Partition Master now and get the most out of your partitions!

FAQs About External Hard Drive Temperature Range

It is essential to know some of the most important FAQs around External Hard Drive Temperature Range. Here is the list:

1. Can heat ruin an external hard drive?

Yes, heat can damage an external hard drive. Excessive heat can damage the mechanical components of the drive, as well as the electronic components. Heat can also cause the drive’s platters to expand, leading to data loss. Therefore, storing external hard drives in a cool, dry place is best.

2. How do I cool my external hard drive?

The best way to cool down an external hard drive is to shut down the PC and let it be in that state for some time. If you don’t have Windows installed on the drive, you can safely eject the drive and keep it disconnected for some time.

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3. What temperature is bad for a hard drive?

A hard drive’s optimal temperature range is between 32-140°F (0-60°C). Temperatures outside this range can drastically reduce the lifespan and performance of a hard drive. Also, below freezing can cause condensation on the drive, causing corrosion and malfunction. Temperatures above 140°F can cause overheating, damaging the drive’s internal components.

Hard Drive Temperatures: Be Afraid

I recently had a noisy fan failure in my ASUS Vento 3600 case. The particular fan that failed was the 80mm fan in the front panel, which is responsible for circulating air by the hard drives in the front of the case. I disconnected it while I considered my options. There’s not a lot of airflow by the hard drives in this case. I’ve actually had a hard drive failure in this system, which I strongly suspect was due to leaving the front fan disconnected.

The two hard drives are mounted with rubber grommets to reduce conducted vibration noise, a standard feature of many new PC cases.


Avoiding direct metal-to-metal contact will always help quiet drives— they are, after all, giant hunks of metal spinning at 7,200 or 10,000 RPM. But the lack of metal-to-metal contact also means the drives don’t benefit from the significant auxiliary cooling effects of metal contact.

Of course, hard drives don’t generate nearly as much heat as your CPU and video card do. They only consume around 10 or 12 watts under load, and around 7 watts at idle. But unlike your CPU, they’re generating a lot of mechanical movement, which means friction— and heat disproportionate to the power input. They still need some airflow to stay at a reasonable temperature.

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I often read about users obsessing over their CPU or GPU temperatures, while ignoring their hard drive temperatures entirely. That’s a shame, because the hard drive is the most temperature sensitive device inside your computer. Most manufacturers rate CPUs up to 70C, and GPUs commonly rate to 90C and beyond.

Manufacturers measure off quite a modest range of operating temperatures for hard drives, from +5 to +55C as a rule, and occasionally to +60C. This operating range is much lower than processors, video cards, or chipsets. Moreover, hard drive reliability depends heavily on their operating temperatures. According to our research, increasing HDD temperature by 5C has the same effect on reliability as switching from 10% to 100% HDD workload. Each one-degree drop of HDD temperature is equivalent to a 10% increase of HDD service life.

Hard drives are only rated to 55C in most cases. Although there’s still a lot of ongoing discussion on what exactly a «safe» temperature is for a hard drive, the general consensus is that high temperatures are much more risky for the hard drive than any other component inside your computer.

When your CPU, video card, or motherboard fails, you buy a new one and replace it. Big deal. Life goes on. But when your hard drive fails, unless you have a rigorous backup regime, you just lost all your data. Failure of a hard drive tends to have catastrophic consequences for your data. That’s why I’m always very careful with hard drive temperatures. When I disconnected the failing fan, I used the excellent DTemp hard-drive temperature monitoring utility to keep an eye on the temperatures.

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Sure enough, with the front fan disconnected, both drives inched up to 46C in 15 minutes. And that was at idle. I can only imagine what the temperatures would look like after internal temperatures increased under load. I’ve already had one drive failure in this case with sustained temperatures around the same level. Some kind of replacement airflow is essential. I used foam tape to mount an 80mm fan on the front of the drives, blowing across the drives and back towards the case. As I write this, they’re down to 33C — a whopping 13 degree drop.

Hard drive temperature is arguably the most important temperature to monitor in your computer. If you regularly see temperatures of 45C or higher on your drive, consider improving airflow in your case. If you don’t, you’ve substantially increased your risk of hard drive failure or data loss.

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