Question how much shock and vibration can a turned off USB 2.5" HDD take?

swapjim

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Nov 16, 2015
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I want to buy a 2.5" USB HDD to transfer big chunks of data.

When turned on it'll sit unbothered (no shocks and no vibrations) on a desk. But when turned off it'll get the usual everyday treatment my cell phone has: I won't drop it but it will get transported on foot in a messenger bag or backpack, and sometimes running, which means some shock and vibration.

Is this going to be a problem? Will it damage the drive or shorten its lifespan?
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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What's wrong with an external USB SSD for this application? They aren't super-expensive, as long as you're looking at 1TB or less of space.

I would think that a 2.5" laptop drive would be a bit more inherently shock-proof than a big, heavy, 3.5" desktop drive would, but I don't know that I would resort to regularly tossing one around.

That being said, Adata as well as others, do sell "ruggedized" external portable HDDs, with some sort of military spec. for drop rating, etc., with rubberized padding, etc.

Might look into one of those, if SSDs aren't what you're looking for.

Then again, if external USB SSDs aren't a high-enough capacity from the factory for you, consider making your own with a USB to 2.5" enclosure, or USB to NVMe.

 
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Insert_Nickname

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May 6, 2012
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When turned on it'll sit unbothered (no shocks and no vibrations) on a desk. But when turned off it'll get the usual everyday treatment my cell phone has: I won't drop it but it will get transported on foot in a messenger bag or backpack, and sometimes running, which means some shock and vibration.
Should be okay. It's no more then most laptops endure without issue. For additonal protection you can always wrap it up, or carry it in a padded case. Though we've moved to mostly SSD, since they're completely solid state there are less to go wrong. One thing to watch out for is humidity when going in/out, I've killed a couple of drives over the years on that account.

But, as VL pointed out, an external SSD is a better solution, unless you need more then a TB or have a limited budget. It's also a lot faster at transferring, particularly small'ish, files.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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If my case was the same as the OP's, SSD all the way (multiple form factors and pricing to choose from).
 

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