Portable Hard Drive Durability?

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Yooo

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Hello all!

So recently I was gifted a portable hard drive (yay!), and it's a backup plus Slim. I'm not too familiar with portable hard drives, it's my first one, and I have a few concerns about durability. I currently am living away from home, and don't have a computer, so the only access I have is a computer lab. I've been bringing it back and forth to the computer lab in my backpack, and it's a 15 minute walk.

Is that the best thing for the hard drive to endure? Just thinking about it, the hot sun and the jolts from walking might not be good for it. Or are they built pretty tough and are resistant to that kind of thing? What should I do if I need to bring it back and forth?

Thanks in advance! :smile:
 

LittleJess

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Hello all!

So recently I was gifted a portable hard drive (yay!), and it's a backup plus Slim. I'm not too familiar with portable hard drives, it's my first one, and I have a few concerns about durability. I currently am living away from home, and don't have a computer, so the only access I have is a computer lab. I've been bringing it back and forth to the computer lab in my backpack, and it's a 15 minute walk.

Is that the best thing for the hard drive to endure? Just thinking about it, the hot sun and the jolts from walking might not be good for it. Or are they built pretty tough and are resistant to that kind of thing? What should I do if I need to bring it back and forth?

Thanks in advance! :smile:

Well portable hard drives, are mechanical laptop / desktop hard drives, the plastic enclose tends to be thin, and if you drop it, you'll shatter the platter if it's a laptop drive. (you can tell because there thin, while the desktop ones are massive) there like bricks, that a usb cord plugs into. (a lot you can just rip the plastic cover off it, and plug it straight into a computer) while with others they have a modified motherboard with a usb interface.

The heat shouldn't really effect anything, and as long as it's not plugged in while your walking with it in your pocket something, It'll be fine.

Just don't drop them or apply too much pressure to them. and don't move it while it's still running or plugged in.

Mechanical drives can fail at any time, usually they last years, but make sure to keep regular backups, I've had some hard drives like 6 years, while others failed after 3 months. this includes portable hard drives, as they are the same.

Shaking or moving the drive while it's spinning or powered on, can cause the head to collide with the platter, causing damage to the drive.

The larger portable drives (lets call them brick drives) have little squares that hold the hard drive steady to the enclosure to reduce shock, but the smaller ones I'm not too sure about.
 

Akastus

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There's a not a lot of point designing a drive to be portable if it's not designed to deal with shocks. I used to keep a laptop-type in my glove compartment, connected to my in-car entertainment system, so it was dealing with shock and vibration while active for thousands of hours. Never had any problem with it.
 
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Yooo

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Thank you!!

I'll be sure to keep this in mind, and I'm pretty sure it won't be running while I'm walking. :p But yes, backups are important.
 

Akastus

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Though I would reiterate what DrunkBear said. It's dropping drives that really kills them - bumps, jolts and vibrations don't cause nearly as much structural stress as a sudden stop. You could buy an armoured, padded case, if you're that concerned - something like this.
 

BoundCoder

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Depends greatly on two factors:

- Form factor of the enclosed drive (2.5 vs 3.5 (i.e. laptop vs desktop). As a general rule smaller drives are more robust.
- Spinning disk or solid state. Spinning disk is more fragile as there are physical platters and mechanical components which can become damaged. Generally as has been said you don't want to shock them too much while running, and avoid hard shocks while they are powered off. Solid state disks are far more robust as there are no moving components. As long as you don't physically smash them they'll usually be fine.

As far as portability, highly recommend not leaving the usb/esata/whatever cable plugged in the drive while transporting it. If it gets jostled the wrong way you'll probably break the connector.

EDIT: quick google and looks like you've got a mechanical 2.5 drive, so yeah.. don't move it around too much while it's running and avoid dropping it.
 

LittleJess

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Depends greatly on two factors:

- Form factor of the enclosed drive (2.5 vs 3.5 (i.e. laptop vs desktop). As a general rule smaller drives are more robust.
- Spinning disk or solid state. Spinning disk is more fragile as there are physical platters and mechanical components which can become damaged. Generally as has been said you don't want to shock them too much while running, and avoid hard shocks while they are powered off. Solid state disks are far more robust as there are no moving components. As long as you don't physically smash them they'll usually be fine.

As far as portability, highly recommend not leaving the usb/esata/whatever cable plugged in the drive while transporting it. If it gets jostled the wrong way you'll probably break the connector.

EDIT: quick google and looks like you've got a mechanical 2.5 drive, so yeah.. don't move it around too much while it's running and avoid dropping it.

Don't even drop it, the 2.5 drives, don't even have aluminium platters, they have glass coated (aluminium, or something along those lines) I can't remember the exact specifics, but once I tried to destroy a laptop hard drive, by bending the platter, and before you know it, glass is everywhere, lucky I didn't get any in my eye.
 

kapi

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As long as its reading arm is parked it should be fairly resilient. But don't drop it while it's working.
And try to avoid having any data rely on a single drive.
 
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Get a shock mounted case or SSD if your clumsy and drop things.

SSD's are more expensive, and cost absurbly too much when you get to 1TB

I use SSHD hybrid drives for storage and SSD( for operating system and software)
 

Lestat

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I Just reuse my old hard drive as portable. Yes it both SSD to mechanical hard drives. All I do is pay for the Case for the Drive. Or have a Dual Hard Drives Docking Station If I am at home. Which support both Desktop and Laptop Hard disk or SSD drives.

Oh please note Not all hard drive are Glass. It depends on the make the speed.
 

nray999

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The laptop size (2.5") drives with the rubber covers are pretty tough. Just make sure the drive stops spinning before you pick it up and unplug the cables to protect the connectors. I've had about a dozen external drives of various types and none have failed.
Also consider cloud backup as a safety measure.
 
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