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Old April 17, 2014, 10:32 AM
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Default Laptop Hard Drive Durability

How durable are laptop hard drives?

I have two 480Gb SSDs in my laptop, and I like it because I don't have to worry about crashing a hard drive if the table gets bumped. I can pass the laptop around without worrying about a bump to the case causing a problem.

However, I am old school, have been using computers since the 10Mb days. Even worked with 14" removable platter drives, and have the head from one of those at home. Maybe I am a bit too paranoid about the possibility of damage to modern drives.....

Western Digital has a 2.5" combo drive, 120Gb SSD and 1Tb hard drive, the WD Black2 Combo. It is expensive at this time, but that will change. I have to wonder if this would be a good replacement for one of my SSDs, but would I be trading capacity for fagility?
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Old April 17, 2014, 11:34 AM
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It all depends on the use of the laptop. At my work we ended up putting SSD's into 24 of the current laptops because of HDD failures alone. Although modern HDD's are great, they don't equate to the solidity of a SSD.

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Old April 17, 2014, 12:50 PM
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To answer that: Yes, you will be getting into fragility issues. But its not that bad. Speed and power consumption may be more important issues.

The question is, as Soultribunal said: it depends on what you do with the laptop.

Holding it, handling it is fine. Even the odd bump or two is OK. Modern hard drives are much more rigid than the early 10 MB models <grin>.

We have thousands of laptops in students' hands here at the college, and with all the moving around from classroom to classroom, bumping the laptops, etc.. I estimate we have less than 1% hard drive failure. Some students never even turn their laptop off; they put it in hibernation or sleep mode, move to the next classroom, then fire it back up again. Since the hard drives spin down in sleep mode, they can take quite a beating...

But your mileage may vary.
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Old April 22, 2014, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for the responses!

I think I will stay with SSDs. My issue is that my laptop is often used at tables with other people, and those people can bang around far more than I like.

Given the tolerances in large capacity 2.5" hard drives, it is amazing that they are not far, far more fragile!
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Old April 22, 2014, 09:47 AM
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Some laptops might have a similar feature to IBM/Lenovo's APS "Active protection system":
Active Protection System - ThinkWiki

Basically if it detects a sudden shift in orientation it will park the HDD head to prevent damage.
I've seen dozens of old loaner ThinkPads with 40GB HDDs still working just fine. Some have been dropped off coffee tables and laps with just a scratch as evidence.

Consumer laptops probably won't have this feature but business grade ones (ThinkPad T/W/X, Dell Latitude, HP Elitebook) should have it.
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Old April 22, 2014, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoob View Post
Some laptops might have a similar feature to IBM/Lenovo's APS "Active protection system":
Interesting. My Fujitsu P770 had that as well, and I believe some laptop hard drives have that built in as well.

I don't think the utility for this survived the updated to Windows 8/8.1, but that is Ok, kind of redundant now that the laptop runs only SSDs.
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