Rotating Orientation of Hard Drives

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by EvilAlchemist, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    I am getting ready to change my case my Six Drive Raid 5 system is in.
    They have been running great the last 1.5 years but the case just do not have the airflow I need. Currently I am using a Nocro Case with six veridical hot-swap bays.

    The new case will have them mounted horizontally and have more room to expand the array.

    I remember reading that someone on here did this a few weeks ago and the drives stopped working after the change.

    Is this an issue I should worry about?
     
  2. jay2472000

    jay2472000 Gawd

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    I did some research on this myself quite a while back and came up with ... "Drive orientation doesnt matter"

    Now with that said, it proved true for me up until I rebuilt my server and placed a drive from the horizontal position to a vertical one ( not just vertical, but the connections came up, IE the drive connectors were on the topmost surface of the drives edge) and one of my Seagate 1.5 Tb starting making a horrendous noise. I decided just for kicks to lay the drive flat, and the noise went away. So .......now Im not so sure. Maybe the research meant if it starts off vertical and stays that way, and being as mine started horizontal and I moved it to vertical ??? Maybe the drive is/was dying anyway, and I just happened to notice it at that point ???? Tough call.

    EDIT : Notice I said I layed a drive flat, you should NEVER move a spinning/powered on drive . Just thought Id throw that out there for people also.
     
  3. epimetheus

    epimetheus Gawd

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    I have never had any trouble changing the orientation of hard drives. I can swap them around all day and I've never had one go bad on me for that reason. Even moving them while they are running, while probably not the best idea, shouldn't hurt anything as long as you don't bump it while it's writing.
     
  4. lizardking009

    lizardking009 Gawd

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    Orientation has never caused me problems. I pull old drives and use them upside down on my desk while copying data. No problems there. I have moved many, many drives from a horizontal config to a vertical. No problems.

    As jay2472000 said, never move a spinning drive. I even go so far as to unlock a hotswap sled, gently pull the drive out enough that it powers down, then actually give it 30 seconds to spin down completely before I remove it.
     
  5. p3n

    p3n Gawd

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    Why would moving a drive matter? What do you think laptops do? Learn to spell laid...
     
  6. Unknown-One

    Unknown-One [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Laptop drives are built with a higher tolerance for shock, and their smaller size also lends to a reduction in the total number of moving parts, and less rotating mass. This leads to less gyroscopic resistance being placed on the platters and drive motor when you change the drive's orientation while it's spinning. Laptop drives also feature things like fall detection and automatic head parking to make them safer for mobile use.
     
  7. jay2472000

    jay2472000 Gawd

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    Doh, spelling troll got me there. As far as why it matters, research "hard drive head crash"

    While it appears your spelling apprehension exceeds mine, you general knowledge of how a hard dive works doesnt . Please keep the posts relevant and lets not let this turn into a "who can google the spelling of werds bettrs contest"


    As I said, I always was told and read that it indeed didnt matter. But in my own firsthand experience it seemed to. I have done no research, and as previously said, it may have been just coincidental timing. I am inclined to believe it was timing, but thought I would share what happened.
     
  8. GeorgeHR

    GeorgeHR Gawd

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    There are very few ways to damage a hard drive. Moving one while it is running is not one of them.

    One needs a lot of force to damage a running hard drive - like dropping it. Not so much the dropping as the sudden stop.

    I am comfortable carrying our computers from room to room running off a UPS that someone else is carrying.

    I will even take an external drive and move it around and change orientation while I am backing up data.

    These are not fragile devices.
     
  9. cbutters

    cbutters Limp Gawd

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    It is possible (but not likely) that your hdd is broken in such a way that the orientation might matter.... for instance, the moving part of the HDD that runs over the discs has a tension mechanism that is faulty and when horizontal it doesn't cause an issue, but then when it is vertical, things go out of whack and it throws some errors. But if you had these issues your HDD was already broken..... so in a normal functioning hard drive orientation should not matter at all, but there could be the small but unlikely chance that your hdd was broken in such a way that it didn't matter when it was horizontal but now going vertical it is experiencing issues. but the fact that it is now vertical didn't cause the issue.
     
  10. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    Thanks for the the responses. I feel a lot better about the swap over now.
    I liked the setup of my old NORCO DS-600S Case, but the airflow is just horrible.
    The 2x rear 60mm fans just don't move enough air to pull the heat from the CPU & Perc 5/i Card.

    Looking at using the NORCO RPC-470 or the RPC-450 case since it has more fans and can hold the drives.
    Unless someone can recommend to me a better option?
     
  11. jiminator

    jiminator Capt Obvious

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    a buddy of mine has killed 2 laptop drives in two years. When asked he said that yeah, he does move the laptop from room to room. now true that they are more shock resistant but you are talking about a miniscule gap preventing a head crash. any jolt will never help a drive run better and can potentially harm it, so why risk it?
     
  12. gtg465x

    gtg465x 2[H]4U

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    I've been moving my current laptop and bumping it around while running almost daily for several years. Never had a problem. Laptops are designed to, you know, be used on the move...