Cheap external hdd enclosure question

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Noob, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I recently bought a cheap external enclosure for a 2.5" HDD i had lying around.
    While installing the HDD i noticed that there are no secure mounts for the HDD inside and it causes the HDD to move when you throw the enclosure around. I'm afraid that this will damage the HDD over time so im looking for something which i can place inside to cushion/minimize the HDD movement.

    Will i run the risk of damaging the HDD if i fill it with folded paper inside? If so, i need some recommendations.
     
  2. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    fold some paper or better some thin cardboard. You'll be fine.
     
  3. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I've used duct tape sometimes. Or zip ties. Or crudely bent sheet metal, if I'm being more elegant.
     
  4. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    I used transparent clear All-Purpose Silicone caulk of all things. Gummed it in the enclosure, slid the HDD in that muck, and after it set up overnight it was well entrenched and offered a bump free padding in case I drop it or accidently knock it off the table.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    First, I realize you were exaggerating but don't throw the enclosure around! Even if there is a secure mounting method inside the enclosure, hard drives (even ruggedized notebook drives) are not made to be "thrown around". Even the ruggedized models offer no guarantee they can survive being dropped. They just "hope" they have time to "park" the R/W head over a safe "landing zone" should they sense a free fall.

    When stuffing some sort of padding, you have to be careful about trapping too much heat. So you need to look at something small. Check out using self-sticking soft rubber bumper pads. They come in various sizes and thicknesses.
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Funny story. I accidentally threw a running laptop across a room. It was in a bag, and the strap snagged on something, as I grabbed it and ran. So it became like a trébuchet.

    The HDD did not survive :(

    I wonder how much punishment SSDs can take.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    A lot more than a HD - as long as the connectors are not damaged.
     
  8. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Are you sure? And are all the enclosures made of cheap plastic like a one I recently picked up. Light as a feather.
     
  9. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Indeed, i was exaggerating when i said thrown around. I meant just daily use. I was worried that paper might kill the hdd due to static. Seems like that is what i will fill the HDD with.
     
  10. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Where you will place the paper? At the edges or at the top/bottom od the hdd? A the edges should be fine but at the top/bottom of the hdd the paper should be avoided (it will act as thermal isolator).
    You could also use small pieces of silicone thermal conductive pad.
     
  11. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Whoa! The statement I was replying to was, "I wonder how much punishment SSDs can take."

    So yes, I am sure. A SSD can take a lot more punishment than a HD.

    Now if you wonder how much punishment a SSD "enclosure" can take compared to a HD "enclosure", that's a totally different question and depends entirely on the ruggedness of the enclosure, and not the type drive inside.

    That said, because HDs are much heavier and have much more mass, I think it safe to assume a HD enclosure would suffer more damage if dropped from 3 feet than a similar SSD enclosure.
     
  12. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I was planning to put it on top and bottom of the hdd since there is nothing securing it from moving in those directions. Although there is a gap on both sides, it does not seems to be that much of a problem compared to the vertical movement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018 at 2:53 PM
  13. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Gotcha. I see we're looking at the differences per enclosure/housing vs actual type drive inside.

    Still however, the one (enclosure) can affect the other (drive mechanism inside).:geek:
     
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    As @Bill_Bright said, be careful not to restrict air flow for cooling. HDDs can get quite hot, hot enough for transfer rate to drop, during long data transfers. So you want enclosures with good ventilation. I typically use an old axial fan to pull air through external HDD enclosures during long transfers. Because it goes faster, and is kinder to the HDDs.
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I can only go by what is actually said. I can't read minds and assuming always gets me into trouble.

    Of course! And often does. It is important to note the interface used too. Not all USB interfaces are made equal, though they should be, at least if the same version. And not all USB to SATA converters are made equal either. But none of that really has anything to do with the fact a hard drive or SSD is inside.
     
  16. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Roll 3 pieces of adhesive tape to make 3 small cylinders (the adhesive part at the external part of them). And place them between the three edges of the hdd and the sides of the enclosure.
    Or cut 3 small (thin and long) pieces of sponge and place them at the edges (in order to "hug" the hdd bottom, edge, top).
     
  17. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    For what it's worth... I picked up the Satechi Aluminum HDD/SSD USB-C Enclosure for $35. It's not one of those $10 cheap enclosures you can probably find on Amazon or NewEgg, but I thought it was worth it for housing a fairly pricey SSD. Not too mention it looks pretty slick! And uses two mounting screws.
     
  18. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    You also pretty much also answered my noobie question on -are all SSD's standard enclosure's made of cheap plastic-

    I'm only now going SSD, slowly but surely
     
  19. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Now that i think of it . . . Ill just buy some cheap double sided tape and stick a couple layers together until they sort of cushion/support the hdd on both ends vertically.
     
  20. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    You can certainly do that, but while at the store, check out those bumper pads I mentioned above. I know Walmart, Ace Hardware, and Menards (similar to The Home Depot and Lowes) have several styles, shapes and sizes. They are commonly used to stick to the bottoms of anything you might place on top of fine furniture so you don't scratch the finish. They even have some made of cork that also come in various sizes and thicknesses.

    My worries about folding over layers of tape is the layers sliding about and depositing sticky stuff where you don't want it. I can see this happening due to the heat inside the enclosure.

    These pads are made to be used for such purposes. Double stick tape is not.
     
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