Hard drive on Hard Drive Docking Station overheated!

I had just purchased the USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station. It works well with a quite fast data transfer rate, but after few minutes of reading/writing data, my hard drive gets very hot. Does the one I got have any problem? Anyone else have the similar overheated issue? I’m not using it now because I’m worried if the overheated issue will damage my hard drive.

Please help, thanks!

Hi Wei,

Most PCs and enclosures trap the heat inside the enclosure, then try to move that heat out with fans. With the open bay design of this enclosure, there is good passive airflow around the drive, particularly up and out of the bay – but it’s also easy to touch the drive, notice the temperature, and get worried about the heat generated.

Drives have a recommended temperature limit (check with the maker of your drive) which typically might be around 120 F/ 50 C, which is hot to the touch. So without measuring the temperature, it’s difficult to assume anything.

The docking station powers the drive normally - the docking station itself generates little heat. Because the bus is the main transfer bottleneck bottleneck, we recommend getting lower RPM or “eco” drives, which will also keep heat down so you can swap drives without worrying about temperature.

Hope this background helps to set expectations. If you have it, let us know the make/model of the drive and any temperatures you’ve seen. We’re marking this “not a problem” for now, but if you see temperatures which are beyond drive specs/expectations, we’d definitely jump on that and recommend next steps.

Again, hope that helps. Let us know if we can provide any other info!


The hard drives I have are: 1. Seagate ST3320813AS; 2. Seagate ST3500830AS. Both are 3.5", 7200 rpm.

The temperature of the two hard drives within Docking Station reached to about 135 F/57 C easily after few minutes of writing/reading data then I have to disconnect it as I feel extremely hot when I touch the hard drives, while the room temperature is about 78 F/ 26 C. If I install the hard drives into computer case, their temperature is about 105 F/40 C after minutes of writing/reading data; if put them into a hard drive enclosure, then the temperature reachs to 115 F/46 C as highest. I’m using SpeedFan and Everest to moniter the temperature.

If as you stated, the above temperature is normal with your Docking Station and you think it’s not a problem, I’ll have to return it and find another dock or enclosure.

Hi Wei,

Thanks for posting this additional info! If you’re willing we’d like to dig deeper, we’d like to understand if there are software or firmware changes to the unit you have can help keep the temperature down with these 7200 RPM drives. If we ultimately can’t find a good solution, we totally understand about the return (returns of all our products are no-hassle within 30 days on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/returns/… and we’ll work to help however we can beyond 30 days).

There may be a slight difference between what SMART measures and actual drive case temp, but the manual for your ST3320813AS drive (http://www.seagate.com/staticfiles/su…) says actual drive case temperature should not exceed 69°C (156°F), which is a relatively high temperature.

If you’re willing, can you start with a firmware upgrade of our dock? Here’s the latest: http://plugable.com/2011/02/08/firmwa… and it’s a relatively quick process.

I still expect you’ll see the same temperature ranges (and maybe higher, as the later firmware runs the drive more), but it will be good to have this baseline to know that recent firmware doesn’t help.

We’ll then figure out next steps.

Thanks for engaging on this - it’s very helpful for us, as we either need to have clear answers here for all 7200 RPM drives of any temperature profile, or we need to steer users more clearly to the lower power/5400 RPM drives (which is what we tend to use here).

Thanks again for your patience!