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Storage Do HDD's need to be level?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by LeMaltor, 16 Feb 2011.

  1. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    I'm having problems with my hard drives, (they are all Samsung F1 and F3's, I either have two F1's and an F3, or two F3's and one F1).

    Anyway a few months ago one of the drives bit the dust, smoke poured out of it and it went to sit in the garden for a bit incase it was on fire inside it, drive now just clicks if I try to use it, so dead drive No 1.

    No 2. Failed yesterday, I dual boot W7 on No 2. and on hdd No 3. is Windows XP.

    HDtune report's No 2. as having bad sectors, this drive now seems lost to the gods too as I cannot format it or do anything with it.

    HDtune tune also reports a Spin Retry Count warning on No 3., a bit of googling shows this drive is probably failing too.

    Now I'm not a HDD killer, I still have a 17(ish) year old WD 640MB drive that works O_O

    However what worries me is how I have my computer tower at the moment, it's not on the ground, in fact it is leaning against the wall behind my monitor, the tower goes length ways along the wall.

    Could this be what's killing the drives, not having them level, or can I have them at any angle I want?

    Now this is a perfect opportunity to get an SSD boot drive, however I do need at least one storage drive. It's not the end of the world if the No 3. drive failed this second I don't have anything to back up, it's just game saves and crap that I loose, stuff like that.

    At 40 pounds a pop the Samsung drives are not expensive, but I would like to know why they keep dieing before I shell out for an SSD + F3, only to have the F3 die again in a few months.

    Temps are not a problem, HDtune reports my working drive at 22 degrees. With a big fan pointed at them in my Coolermaster 690 Advanced 2 case.

    So do they need to be level or not?

    Thanks for the help, love LeM :clap:

    edit: my tower and thus hard drives are probably at a 75 degree angle to the wall, top of tower touches wall, bottom is away from wall leaning against the metal monitor stand.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2011
  2. Landy_Ed

    Landy_Ed Combat Novice

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    not level, necessarily, but definitely stable.
     
  3. sp4nky

    sp4nky BF3: Aardfrith WoT: McGubbins

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    No. Look at laptops for evidence - they work upside down, on a slope, etc. Also consoles - the PS3, 360 and Wii all work lying flat or on their side.
     
  4. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    I've run disks at all kinds of angles when I don't have enough space for a raid array in a case, all worked fine.

    In fact, I had to put a dying disk at a funny angle just to get my pc to recognise it so I could retrieve the datat from it.
     
  5. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    The first one that failed died in a different case, and was screwed in, same position of case and angle. The last 2 drives an mounted on plastic trays like this

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Instagib

    Instagib Minimodder

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    Have you ever picked up a hdd while it's on? They've got some crazy gyroscopic forces going on in them. My physics isn't sufficient to say diffinatively, but i do have a feeling it's not healthy. Based largely on your 3 failing drives. 2 could be coincidental, 3 would suggest something causing them to fail.
    Just out of interest, has the WD 640Gb drive been in the same case?

    EDIT; the laptop reference convinced me otherwise. But, don't laptop drives tend to be 5400rpm 2.5" drives? Less moment of inertia than a spinning 7200rpm 3.5"?
     
  7. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    They get a lot of use as well, they will have been at the angel for months on end, even latops and consoles, they are mostly used at right angles to gravity, this is not the case with my setup.
     
  8. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    yeah moving them whilst they are on is not a good idea, imagine a high tech record player that only works if the needle doesn't touch the surface.
     
  9. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    MB not GB, it's like 17 years old :thumb:

    I have many HDD's over the years, I'm using that as an example that I don't do anything weird to them, like rub them against myself while they are on :lol: because until recently all the drives were in cases that were not at angles, just a case on the level ground. I'm left with 2 explanations, it's the angle, or I've been unlucky, 2 times (with a 3rd apparently dieing) on what many would consider to be awesome reliable HDD's. :worried:

    No, I dont use other HDD's this way just these 3 samsungs, and no the case and HDD's are never moved while on.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2011
  10. Picky88

    Picky88 What's a Dremel?

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    Due to the gyroscopic effect of the spinning discs, I would never want to run a hard drive at anything other than flat or at 90 degrees. At any other angle the disc will try and pull the whole hard drive level, possibly messing up the distance between the disc and the head. Only my opinion though.
     
  11. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    Most high-end laptops use 7200RPM drives, but the gyro effect will be less severe since spinning mass in a 2,5" drive is far less than on 3,5" drives. The platters in 2,5" drives are also slightly more stable because they are made from glass, while most 3,5" drives use metal. The biggest problem with the gyro effect, though is the forces it puts on the motor shaft bearings. The platters won't deflect enough to cause head crash. You can still damage the drive with this, though, but mainly because the motor my have problems with maintaining it's speed.

    What really kills drives is mechanical shock and vibration. For instance, if the computer is standing on a desk that isn't sturdy, all the vibrations inflicted on the desk will affect the drive. The thing is that it's hard to tell what a drive can handle. Some drives can last for years and some can last minutes under the same conditions.
     
  12. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    This.
     
  13. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    It could be vibrations, it's mounted on a metal stand and against the wall, not sure how much these absorb vibrations or whatever, however I don't hear my comp vibrating, it's not impersonating a washing machine. I like my cases quiet, which it is. Not sure how I would tell if that was killing the drives, or how I would fix it short of moving the case, but it is where it is because there is no room for it anywhere else :S
     
  14. Picky88

    Picky88 What's a Dremel?

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    I guess if you wanted to prove a point you could run a hdd benchmark utility with the hdd angled and then with it flat. I would imagine it performs worse when at an angle, even if it is not damaged.
     
  15. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    Ok at an angle ->

    [​IMG]

    level ->

    [​IMG]

    I cannot say these are accurate benchmarks, this isn't a benching system, MSN, IRC and firefox were open whilst conducting the tests if that makes a difference.
     
  16. Picky88

    Picky88 What's a Dremel?

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    Interesting. Try an error scan, I would expect higher read/write errors at an angle.
     
  17. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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  18. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    Got an SSD and new F3, ill rebuild comp and move stuff around so it can be level, thanks for the help though guys :D
     

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