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Best Way to mount a 3.5" HDD

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  • Best Way to mount a 3.5" HDD

    I have a 3.5" SATA HDD and I was wondering what orientation would be best for mounting it. I.E. vertical, horizontal, etc. I was reading another thread that mentioned this and they seemed to be dead locked either way. So those of you running 3.5" drives how is yours mounted? Are you using any sort of shock absorbers?

    Right now I am planning on mounting the hard drive separate from the computer. In my car there is a foam insert that fits into the center of the spare, I am thinking about mounting it there. (I drive a 2007 Chevy aveo sedan)
    Ideas Welcome.

  • #2
    No need for foam. Bolt it directly the to the frame and mount it horizontal. Or vertical. Whichever way fits your install best. HD's are cheap and usually last a couple years in the car. By the time you have to replace it, you'll probably be upgrading to solid state.

    Don't believe anything anyone else purports to say about hard drive mounting orientation or stability unless they provide documented evidence of scientific testing on this subject. Everything else, including my advice, is based on anecdotal, statistically insignificant sample sizes.
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by rybitski View Post
      I have a 3.5" SATA HDD and I was wondering what orientation would be best for mounting it. I.E. vertical, horizontal, etc. I was reading another thread that mentioned this and they seemed to be dead locked either way. So those of you running 3.5" drives how is yours mounted? Are you using any sort of shock absorbers?

      Right now I am planning on mounting the hard drive separate from the computer. In my car there is a foam insert that fits into the center of the spare, I am thinking about mounting it there. (I drive a 2007 Chevy aveo sedan)
      Ideas Welcome.
      Bugbyte has some great advice. But where I differ is the relationship of the drive platters and read/write head. Horizontal mounting tends to allow the head to hit the platters easier in a bouncy, shock-ridden environment. Many have never had trouble though, so do what you think is best. I think cold climates are worse then the shock the drive might encounter. If you plan to stiffen the suspension, then go with some sort of shock-preventing measures. Otherwise just follow Bugbyte's advice!

      EDIT: the sata cable is more important to secure.... they tend to wiggle loose easily. Get one with retainer clips.
      2001 New Beetle Sport 1.8T, 14 PSI
      My Youtube Vids
      Active Member of vwvortex.com and newbeetle.org
      1st Carputer install in May, 1999

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      • #4
        I did some informal testing today with an old 2.5 drive in a usb enclosure because I was curious.

        I believe that when you mount your drive vertically, you may prevent the heads from slapping into the platters, but may also lower the performance of the drive due to the increased read/write errors during shock (as the head bounces around missing its intended tracks, and ECC has to cover for it). Just by shaking the drive up and down, I was able to get read/write speeds up to 50% lower than what they were when the tests were done with the drive stationary. Shaking the drive more violently made the speeds even lower.

        Try it yourself, there is a free drive speed tester called CrystalDiskMark.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nobb View Post
          I did some informal testing today with an old 2.5 drive in a usb enclosure because I was curious.

          I believe that when you mount your drive vertically, you may prevent the heads from slapping into the platters, but may also lower the performance of the drive due to the increased read/write errors during shock (as the head bounces around missing its intended tracks, and ECC has to cover for it). Just by shaking the drive up and down, I was able to get read/write speeds up to 50% lower than what they were when the tests were done with the drive stationary. Shaking the drive more violently made the speeds even lower.

          Try it yourself, there is a free drive speed tester called CrystalDiskMark.
          There is the caveat! But then, how often is your drive going to encounter shock while reading/writing? And wouldn't that tradeoff be better than a dead drive?

          Or you can mount horizontally, with foam or shock preventing mounts.
          2001 New Beetle Sport 1.8T, 14 PSI
          My Youtube Vids
          Active Member of vwvortex.com and newbeetle.org
          1st Carputer install in May, 1999

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          • #6
            EDIT: the sata cable is more important to secure.... they tend to wiggle loose easily. Get one with retainer clips.
            Way ahead of you one should be arriving today.
            For the past month I have had the pc in my car temporarily just sitting in a case in the trunk. The hard drive was mounted horizontally. The only time I had trouble with the drive skipping is when going around a sharp turn and the pc slid from one side to the other. So I think I am going to mount it on shocks horizontally. Because as Bug said :
            By the time you have to replace it, you'll probably be upgrading to solid state.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rybitski View Post
              Way ahead of you one should be arriving today.
              For the past month I have had the pc in my car temporarily just sitting in a case in the trunk. The hard drive was mounted horizontally. The only time I had trouble with the drive skipping is when going around a sharp turn and the pc slid from one side to the other. So I think I am going to mount it on shocks horizontally.
              You'd be better off securing the entire PC so it doesn't slide around when cornering.
              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
              How about the Wiki?



              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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              • #8
                You'd be better off securing the entire PC so it doesn't slide around when cornering.
                All ready have. I have pictures of my install I just haven't posted them yet...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
                  No need for foam. Bolt it directly the to the frame and mount it horizontal. Or vertical. Whichever way fits your install best. HD's are cheap and usually last a couple years in the car. By the time you have to replace it, you'll probably be upgrading to solid state.

                  Don't believe anything anyone else purports to say about hard drive mounting orientation or stability unless they provide documented evidence of scientific testing on this subject. Everything else, including my advice, is based on anecdotal, statistically insignificant sample sizes.
                  Mr Bug is correct. My personal experiance matches this except for the failure rate. My personal observations lead me to think the failure of HDs is rare ore very rare in cars.

                  Do not use foam.
                  TruckinMP3
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                  • #10
                    I mounted my HDD on little rubber pump mounts, to absorb the vibrations... damn it looked cool! (photos in my build link in sig).

                    now it's just bolted into the case vertically so the platters are on the same plane as the cars wheels. the cars gets driven hard on very rough dirt roads regularly. has made no difference whatsoever.

                    just hard mount it. give it some air space to stay cool, thats about it really.
                    2005 Nissan Xtrail
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                    • #11
                      Hope that works for you. Some have reported that mounting it on foam or rubber mountings can actually increase the vibrations and cause read/write errors, slowing the drive down. The theory is that your shock absorbers already prevent massive shock to the drive.

                      Again, remember that everyone is offering anecdotal evidence. Even holding the drive and shaking it is not the same as testing it installed in the car.
                      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                      Want to:
                      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, it was only informal testing. For normal driving on paved roads, I dont think any special precautions are necessary other than securely mounting the drive. Only if you regularly drive offroad or on unpaved roads would I start to consider methods to dampen the vibrations, or get a tougher storage solution.

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                        • #13
                          My install originally had the drive vertical, but when I redid the setup it ended up horizontal. I have not noticed any issues, so I guess in the end it all depends on the quality of the drive. I used a sleeve from a 2.5 HDD USB enclousure and JB welded it to the bottom of the DVD rom drive so its all one unit.





                          PS: no the sleeve isnt JB welded directly to the DVD drive, but welded to a bracket that holds the DVD rom into place on the PC case.
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                          • #14
                            With everyone's help I have concluded from your experiences that it does not really matter. Yesterday I mounted my HDD directly to the chassis and so far have experienced no skips. here is a very advanced illistration to show my mounting orientation:

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rybitski View Post
                              here is a very advanced illistration to show my mounting orientation:
                              wow, that sure is a very advanced illustration

                              j/k, glad you got it figured out. good luck with your carPC
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