Re: Crappy HDDs Killing Computers

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>> Just for interest's sake:
>> Was it mounted somewhere with decent air flow for heat dissipation?

Andy Green:
> No, it was resting on top of a plastic box in a room during this test.
> But on picking up the HDD it only felt quite warm, I could hold it
> easily.

Yes, I'd have said that's fine.  I'd say they've got to get very hot, or
be overcooled, before you get concerned about temperature.  Any drive
that runs cool or luke warm ought to be fine (else it's never going to
survive in the real world).

>> Were anti-static precautions taken during handling?

> No, I have never had a failure of anything I could put down to static,
> and that includes unmounted chips much more sensitive than a HDD IO 
> connector.

This is a hard one to really quantify.  Much static-caused damage is not
instant death to the device.  Later on you just do not equate what was
done before as the cause of something dying at a different time.  And
while it is far less likely that a complete device, rather than a loose
IC, might be damaged by static, it is still a possibility.  It can also
be that static damaged it long before you ever got your hot little hands
on it (manufacturing, transport, shops, etc.).

Other things that kill drives can be:  Vibrations, they should be bolted
firmly in place, and nothing else should vibrate the chassis.  Tortional
stress - you don't want a chassis that twists or squashes a drive.

> Certainly when it was in the case there is zero chance of static
> causing the trouble since the case is earthed metal and the HDD 
> does not come to the outside world.

Yes, I'd say that's a near certainty.  However, there have been cases of
people static-zapping computers (the working, installed, computer; not
individual devices out of the box), simply by working around them.

> Recently I took a design of mine through testing for compliance to 
> various standards, and it survived 16kV air discharges and one
> directly to the case by accident, without special precautions.  In a
> climate like England, static is not a real consideration with modern
> ICs.

Hmm, I don't know I'd be so sure about the climate protecting you.
Sure, I don't expect a built computer sitting in a rack to suffer
problems, but I'd not walk around with a CMOS chip in my fingers
expecting that it'd survive better just because it was in England.  They
just don't have that stiff upper lip.  ;-)

(Currently running FC4, occasionally trying FC5.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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