Vertically oriented external hard drive: pluses and minuses?

What are the pluses and minuses of orienting an external hard drive vertically (rather than the standard horizontal configuration)?

None. Just don’t start rotating it when it’s in use.

Zero. All the fancy Lian-Li cases use vertical HD mounting and you don’t see their owners complaining.

If I use a new hard drive in the vertical position, can I later install it in a computer case horizontally without detriment?

I can’t think of a situation that would make that impossible (unless concrete or superglue is involved). So yes, you can.

Theoretically, mounting the harddrive horizontall would be the best way to keep it as cool as possible (warm air goes up, the top of the disc is the biggest surface). When your harddrives are under heavy load, good cooling is something you really need, as heat is a killer for harddrives.

So if you mount your drive vertically, I think that cooling becomes more important than if the drive is mounted horizontally…

When harddisks spin up , the platters create an continous airflow which makes sure that the comb (all the heads) do not accidentaly touch the platters.

If the harddisk is in resting position or cut off from power , the last bit of power (usually in a capacitor) makes sure that the comb is set to a part of the platters where it doesn’t hurt the disk to actually be touched by the heads. This is called parking.

Back in the old days (1980’s) you used to have little programs like PARK.COM to manual park the disks , but nowadays they are autoparking.

If you place your disks the normal way (sticker up , electronics bottom) then the gravitational forces and airflow are working at optimum performance. If you place it upside down , it’s not. This will reflect itself in lfespan. Mind you that it can take years before wrongly mounted disks start to malfunction.

The latest disks are made of some glass polymer and the combs are of such a strong alloy that it does not matter anymore which position you give your harddisks , as longs as it’s a normal angle (0 , 90 , 180 or 360 degrees).

>which makes sure that the comb

man, I still learn something everyday :bigsmile:

>as long as it’s a normal angle (0 , 90 , 180 or 360 degrees)

…hehe, “normal”?! Why isn’t 45 or 270 degrees ‘normal’? 45 is a great angle for gunners, not so good for mortars :wink:

Originally posted by FutureProof
>…hehe, “normal”?! Why isn’t 45 or 270 degrees ‘normal’? 45 is a great angle for gunners, not so good for mortars :wink:

If you plan to shoot harddisks at the enemy i’m sure you could use the appropriate angle :bigsmile: Would make excellent projectiles , the harddisk materials are pretty strong alloys. Too bad they can’t handle that much heat. I think you’d be shooting a blob of metal , what used to be an harddisk , once it’s outside the mortar :slight_smile:

Thing is that the components are constant in motion and if you use a 45 or 270 degree angle, eventually gravity combined with the other forces (remember heat ?) will bend the material. Mind you that this can take years to happen , but for reliability it’s not advisable :slight_smile:

I’d still recommend 0 degrees (viewing from the connector , sticker up , electronics down) or 90 degrees (viewing from the connector , sticker left , electronics right).

For instance , the documentation of a Hitachi UltraStar 73LZX states :

  1. Using the appropriate brackets or rails, mount the
    drive with any of its six surfaces facing down.
    Retrieve any loose screws or parts from within the
    computer.

The comb :

>eventually gravity combined with the other forces

yeah, gravity sucks and I forgot about Coriolis

An ideal position would be label up(horizontal), but some cases do not have enough space to this properly. So there is some vertical mounts. Some servers have them laying on the side in a bracket.

If you shot harddrives at the enemy they would probably melt and then stick to whatever target they where being launched at.
Kinda like napalm. That would be mean. A burning, melting hard drive stuck…Ouch

A vertically placed external harddisk can easily be push over and slam flat onto the table, when the disk is operating! I have one such accident and the disk spindle becomes unstable (I can feel strong vibration when it rotates, and hear vibration noise of the case. Luckily data read/write is still OK. I copy all data away immediately and did not loss data in this case. Since then I putting all such external harddisk flat on floor to avoid physical damage.

[QUOTE=jamesliu;2285541]A vertically placed external harddisk can easily be push over and slam flat onto the table, when the disk is operating![/QUOTE] Very good point! :iagree:

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