I got around a similar problem by using splitter cables, which have 2 x male and 1 x female USB ends. One male has a red band (power), and is plugged into something with USB power, like a 2A phone charger. The other male end (data) is plugged into either a non-powered USB hub, or a Pi USB socket. Then the external drive is plugged into the female socket.
That should relieve some of the power drain on the Pi, although my cable sometimes seem to leak a little power back into the Pi USB socket..
Anyway, I use that to spin up a 3TB drive that otherwise just sits and clicks when plugged directly into the Pi USB3 socket. The splitter cables are only a few dollars each on ebay or Amazon (might be why mine feeds some power back...) But I've been doing it on the Pi 3, 3B+ and 4, with nothing blowing up yet..
It might be a GOOD IDEA to 'Eject' any external drives before you shutdown or reboot - probably doesn't matter about shutdown, but especially before you reboot.
I found that leaving an external drive mounted on reboot sometimes stops reboot from happening,
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