Actually, in older drives the head does touch the drive. This is why it called a "landing zone". The head comes to a rest and lands on that track. I don't know if this is relevant in newer drives (I doubt it is).
Originally posted by Callahan:
<STRONG>Um. When drives didnt park themselves, you wouldn't scratch the disk when it turned on. You would simply lose any data that was in the buffer when you shut down.The read head does NOT touch the platter.. it just comes very very close. </STRONG>