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Small spark while connecting power cord to WD My Book Live External Drive

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

So I just bought a WD My Book Live (NAS) 2TB external hard drive. It's brand new and I had recently moved it from one computer to another. While doing this, I first directly connected the network cable from the computer to the drive (yes this does work), then plugged the power cable to the surge protector, and then finally the other side of the power cable into the WD My Book Live. As soon as the other side of the power cable got within a millimeter of the power insert, I saw a small white spark. I then pulled it away and moved it toward the insert again, but there was no spark. Plugged it in and drive booted fine without problems.

However, I'm a little concerned. My intuition says sparks are BAD. I also have consistently noticed a spark when first just plugging in the power cord (with the other side of the cable not yet connected to anything) into the surge protector.

My questions are --

1) Is this an AC/DC power normalcy that I'm not aware of? Essentially, is this normal?

2) Could the spark have damaged the unit/hard drive?

3) Could the spark damage my motherboard via the network cable connection (I doubt this, but had to ask)?

Thanks!
Edited by gotquestions - 4/14/14 at 10:46pm
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotquestions View Post

EDIT: I noticed a botched the title. Should be "Small spark WHEN connecting power cord to..."

Hey guys,

So I just bought a WD My Book Live (NAS) 2TB external hard drive. It's brand new and I had recently moved it from one computer to another. While doing this, I first directly connected the network cable from the computer to the drive (yes this does work), then plugged the power cable to the surge protector, and then finally the other side of the power cable into the WD My Book Live. As soon as the other side of the power cable got within a millimeter of the power insert, I saw a small white spark. I then pulled it away and moved it toward the insert again, but there was no spark. Plugged it in and drive booted fine without problems.

However, I'm a little concerned. My intuition says sparks are BAD. I also have consistently noticed a spark when first just plugging in the power cord (with the other side of the cable not yet connected to anything) into the surge protector.

My questions are --

1) Is this an AC/DC power normalcy that I'm not aware of? Essentially, is this normal?

2) Could the spark have damaged the unit/hard drive?

3) Could the spark damage my motherboard via the network cable connection (I doubt this, but had to ask)?

Thanks!

1. Power supplies sometimes spark when their plugged in, I haven't had a problem.

2. Yes, if it has enough power behind it.

3. Yes but I doubt it would. Network cables do spark on occasion, it's pretty normal.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
For #1 -- What about the reverse? Is it normal that it's sparking from the external drive power input side too?
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotquestions View Post

For #1 -- What about the reverse? Is it normal that it's sparking from the external drive power input side too?

There could be static built up on the drive that would have grounded when the power cable was plugged in. Could have also been residual power from testing at WD. If the drive is working and bench-marking normally I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotquestions View Post

...then plugged the power cable to the surge protector, and then finally the other side of the power cable into the WD My Book Live. As soon as the other side of the power cable got within a millimeter of the power insert, I saw a small white spark. I then pulled it away and moved it toward the insert again, but there was no spark. Plugged it in and drive booted fine without problems.
I wouldn't worry. If the spark was between the outer barrel of the cable (ground) and the outer barrel of the socket ("insert"?), which is also ground, and it happened when those parts were 1mm apart, then it was static (it takes roughly 3,000 volts to jump 1mm). It's possible a surge was induced by that, but I seriously doubt it did any damage because the spark went to ground.

BTW it's probably theoretically better to plug the power into the drive first and then plug the power supply into the 120VAC, but I do that mostly to avoid bumping the drive.
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