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Hard drives mounted upside down or sideways can decrease drive life?
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Hard drives mounted upside down or sideways can decrease drive life?

I was just wondering whether mounting drives upside down or sideways make drives more susceptible to damage or decrease it's lifespan?

I had a drive fail on me once which I was pretty sure was due to me mounting it upside down. Whenever I mounted it upside down, it would make a grinding noise and when I positioned it upright, it would go away.
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
They're mechanical so I'm sure how they're oriented would affect performance.
Old 4th September 2011
  #3
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by puppee View Post
Whenever I mounted it upside down, it would make a grinding noise and when I positioned it upright, it would go away.
Grinding noises are seldom a good thing in mechanical devices.
Old 4th September 2011
  #4
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valis's Avatar
Make & Model?

With a properly functioning spindle bearing it shouldn't matter if it's on its side or flat during spinup, and once up to speed centripedal force should certainly mean it doesn't matter. A grinding noise would make me avoid the drive entirely, it's possible the spindle bearing is dirty or suffered damage during a shock, or the heads are not floating properly. Upside down may possibly be an issue just because there are other components that lie along the path of the heads (small circuits/wiring) and certain portions of the inner magnet that lie along the spindle bearing may shift.

Fwiw I've had drives mounted sideways/vertically for up to 10 years without issue, never tried upside down.
Old 4th September 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppee View Post
I was just wondering whether mounting drives upside down or sideways make drives more susceptible to damage or decrease it's lifespan?

I had a drive fail on me once which I was pretty sure was due to me mounting it upside down. Whenever I mounted it upside down, it would make a grinding noise and when I positioned it upright, it would go away.
it depends on the way the bearings were designed

some matter, some dont.

mount them the wrong way and the bearings wear out sooner
or perhaps other problems

i suspect most modern devices can be mounted any direction
but RTFM to be sure of a given unit
Old 4th September 2011
  #6
It doesn't matter, only diagonal suspension might affect It.
Old 4th September 2011
  #7
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razorboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
Grinding noises are seldom a good thing in mechanical devices.
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I decided to add another internal hard drive on my G4 Dual 1.0ghz Mirror Doors and noticed the drive had to be mounted upside down. The other drive in there was mounted vertically. I thought what was so difficult for Apple to mount it right way up instead of upside down?
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Iv'e read that it's not bad to mount it upside down, but its when you change orientation once it has been in one position for long periods that is where damage occurs.

Now I am having second thoughts about mounting it upside down, since I have been using this drive for a year normal side up!
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
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AwwDeOhh's Avatar
 

Shouldn't matter.
mechanical drives DO, however, depend on a cushin of air. (notice there's usually a tiny filtered 'pin-hole' on one or both sides of a drive case). The air acts as sort of an air-bearing. If you either cover/block the hole(s) or are using your computer on top of a mountian (less atmospheric pressure), then yes.. it will probably not last very long. Other than that, there's external cases that hold the drive(s) vertically..
Old 5th September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
It doesn't matter, only diagonal suspension might affect It.
tell it to my mechanical engineering professor
Old 5th September 2011
  #12
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
I always mount my external drives the correct way and horizontally. Better to be on the safe side.
Old 5th September 2011
  #13
almost all aftermarket external drive cases are designed to be mounted on their side. I can't believe that they would do this if it was going to cause problems! I have drives in cases like these that have been running for many years.
Old 5th September 2011
  #14
restpause
Guest
My gateway PC had the main drive mounted sideways from the factory. I don't think it should be a problem. But upside down i think would be a problem. Kinda like trying to play a vinyl record upside down. heh
Old 5th September 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
Grinding noises are seldom a good thing in mechanical devices.
This quite unhinged bassist I know is sticking with his Pentium 4 cause the grinding noise it makes[!]lets him know its working! and he doesnt like New/Silent computers!
Old 5th September 2011
  #16
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filipv's Avatar
A healthy hard-disk should not change the noise it's making by changing the orientation!

My day job involves caring about large storage arrays. Guess what: disks are sometimes positioned horizontaly, sometimes (same model/type of disks!) on their side. It doesn't matter:
Old 6th September 2011
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

I am going to have to agree with some info I have found on the internet where leaving a drive mounted on one position for a long time leaves wear on an area on the mechanical parts of a drive. I think this would be true for any mechanical device where you use it on one position all the time then all of a sudden change position. The mechanical wear and all, would be more inclined to the previous position.

I have decided to mount it horizontally inside my G4 as it originally was when installed on an external case. I just do not want to take the risk on valuable data on whether it does or doesnt cause damage. I do not really like the idea of mounting it sideways either unless the drive is to be permanently in that position.
Old 6th September 2011
  #18
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npulsipher's Avatar
I've gone through two drives in a year before of vertically mounted drives. I find it hard to believe that's just a coincidence.
Old 6th September 2011
  #19
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valis's Avatar
I've had 3 Seagate ES.2's running mounted vertically since Feb 2008, my 2006 iMac (core duo) has had the same drive since it was new (also vertically mounted), there's a 2001 era Xeon here with 15k rpm SCSI drives in it that have been in use since I built the machine in 2001 that are mounted vertically, and there's an AMD K6-2 in the closet running a stripped down version of Ubuntu that has a vertically mounted drive. There are several 'normally' mounted drives in various machines here too, and I notice no difference between the two normally.

Vibration on the other hand, if not properly dampened, may cause excessive performance and wear issues with any drive.
Old 6th September 2011
  #20
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drBill's Avatar
All 4 drives including boot drive are mounted upside down in the Mac Pro's. I think it will be OK......
Old 6th September 2011
  #21
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valis's Avatar
That's right forgot about that, my mac pro has 3 upside down drives too!
Old 6th September 2011
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Per seagate

http://www.seagate.com/staticfiles/s...100109947A.pdf

"You can mount the drive in any orientation"

This was an issue with the old Winchester drives many, many years ago, but I haven't seen an issue in long time.

And as the pics above show, it is common to mount drives vertically or horizontal in a JBOD, and it is not an issue.
Old 6th September 2011
  #23
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Arksun's Avatar
Agreed if you can hear a significant noise change from the drive when changing its position to horizontal or vertical when you've just got it, thats not a good sign :/

Since 2009 I've been using 2 Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB drives. Both have been mounted upside down in their own 5" bay sealed enclosures (designed to reduce noise further).

So far no problems at all, not a single hickup.
Old 7th September 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

How many people here who have mounted their drives upside down for a couple of years, decided to change the orientation and still found no issues with their drive?

I think that is the real question in regards to my situation. I have had this drive mounted flat for 3-4 years and I have decided to move it to my G4 which has un upside down mounting position. So I still think, 3-4 years would have left enough wear on the mechnical parts of the drive, that mounting it any other orientation would actually shorten its lifespan.
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