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Old 11-16-2006, 10:13 AM   #1
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Is is safe to regularly transport external hard drives?

I have an external USB hard drive, which I would like to take from home to work as well as various other places. I have had a few internal hard drives corrupt data which I think was a result of the computer they were in being transported regularly. I would like to know therefore, if the hard drive in an external hard drive is merely an internal hard drive in a caddy, or if there are certain design changes which have been made to ensure that the mechanical parts of the drive don't damage the internal workings of the drive.

Any thoughts welcome.
Old 11-16-2006, 10:21 AM   #2
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I have taken several USB HDDs apart: inside, they are just normal drives. This is useful, because you can change them for bigger drives now they are cheaper.

In the distant past it was often necessary to "park" the HDD heads by running a utility to do that before moving your drive(s). Modern drives automatically park the heads safely when they are powered down.

That said, HDDs are precision mechanical devices, and you should resist the temptation to treat them roughly!

Old 11-16-2006, 05:37 PM   #3
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Consider that if you've got a laptop, you're already constantly transporting a hard drive back and forth all over town.

I think the answer depends on whether your are referring to a USB drive enclosure (which is pretty much just a empty shell into which you install a regular hard drive) or a self-contained USB drive that isn't intended to be opened up (I've got a LaCie like this) If it's an enclosure, then as tredegar mentioned you can remove/replace the drive as needed.

In any case, treat your equipment with care, and be sure to unplug/power down the USB drive before you start moving it, but otherwise USB drives are intended to be mobile.
Old 11-16-2006, 06:02 PM   #4
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My best advice is just don't drop them. Just like anything else you use you have to be careful with it. I treat my laptop likes it made of glass when I'm caring it around. Your hard drive isn't much different. Of all the components in your computer your hard drive is one of the must susceptible to vibration and shock damage. So just don't drop it!
Old 11-17-2006, 04:22 AM   #5
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Thanks for all your responses. I guess I'll just take care when carting it about!


corrupt, external, transport, usb

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