Running sample libraries entirely off external HD

Hi, might sound like a silly question but is it issue free to run sample library completely off of an external hard drive? Would it cause any slow downs in loading up samples?
I guess you would just have the external HD permanently connected - is that an issue?

Thank you!

It’s not a silly question at all! In fact I use it myself sometimes with some libraries that I seldom use, mostly Kontakt. But you need a fast bus like USB 3.0(1) or eSATA and preferably a fast 7200rpm drive or better SSD. USB 2.0 wont hack it because it’s too slow and the latency is too high. It takes ages to load a fairly large library. I mostly use eSATA and it works fine for me. Don’t think I would like to do this for all my libraries though, especially with larger projects? Anyway, just give it a try and see if it works for you?

Great, thanks :slight_smile:
Is there any harm in keeping the external hard drive connected permanently?

Does anyone run their external/portable hard drive permanently connected to the machine?

I suspect modern hard drives can handle this?

If you are going fo run a 7200rpm rust drive, and it is going to work for hours on end.
I would definitely go for something in a metal enclosed case, preferably with a fan.
I have had several WD usb3 drives that melted.

On MAC(OSX) you could also consider running a USB hub + a bunch of usb-thumb-drives in a RAID-0 stripe
refer to youtube posts like :

  • as mention on MAC(osx) I consider this a valid option (I would not recommend on windows)
  • also as it will be a read only (ie read sample libraries), RAID-0 will give best performance (however no redundancy, if one thumb drive fails), but review youtube for different options for redundancy

get a good quality hub
and good quality usb thumb drives

Like peakae said, don’t use an ‘average’ external drive for this because most of them run too hot when used on longer sessions and this will seriously shorten the drive’s lifespan. If you really want to then buy a drive with aluminum case but much better; buy a docking station. Either USB 3.0/3.1 or eSATA and use OEM drives. It’s cheaper and drives don’t need extra cooling because they’re not covered. I use a eSATA docking and mostly use a 1TB SSD but also sometimes a Seagate 3GB 7200rpm drive. If I check with a S.M.A.R.T tool, even after hours of operation, the disk never exceeds 35 C. Not everyone will have an eSATA connection on their computer but something like this (USB 3.0/3.1) will do just fine. It’s really fast enough. In this one you can use 2 drives at the same time but most models are with just a single slot. But units with 4 or more slots are also available. This is just an example and there are cheaper and more expensive models and with different connections. Just to give you an impression:

Hmmm so I guess the LaCie rugged SSD that I just ordered is not a good option (because of the rubber edges)?

SSD drives with covers are OK because they hardly generate heath. Just be careful with conventional SATA drives in cases.

Of course, no moving parts :slight_smile: