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Thread: Cold Weather vs Hard Drive

  1. #21
    Maximum Bitrate fluffy2097's Avatar
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    Heaters are bad because you get condensation. Also, if you plan to use your cars heating system, how are you going to stop blowing heat over the drive once it's warmed up enough, but you're still freezing cold?
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  2. #22
    Variable Bitrate Banderon's Avatar
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    Attach a peltier to the HD. Get a thermister, and rig up a circuit that will send only enough power to the peltier to heat it to a set temperature.. just above freezing, for instance. The circuit can disable the peltier after the thermister reads above a certain temp.

    If you attach the peltier facing the other direction.. you can cool the HD (for the Arizonians amongst us). As long as the temperature difference is not that great from room temp, condensation shouldn't be a problem. If anything, you can just insulate the whole thing in styrofoam.. that should also help with shock absorption.

  3. #23
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Easy solution...

    Use a Drive without the Fluid Bearing.
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  4. #24
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Let's not forget that computers run BEST in colder temps (Cryochill case anyone?).

    The hard drive might be a slightly different story, but I can say this: both my 8gb Caviar and 20gb Quantum Fireball have started and ran just perfect in sub-zero weather when I lived north of Flint, MI.

    The only thing that I can imagine causing issues is temperature "flexing" during startup, IE small amounts of heat produced at startup that cause the platters of the drive to ever so slightly warp until they come up to a uniform temp...

  5. #25
    Maximum Bitrate fluffy2097's Avatar
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    Colder is NOT always better. A system works best when within the tempature range it was designed for.

    As the tempature drops, the resistance of components changes.

    Components that require a specific amount of resistance will stop working correctly if the tempature drops to far, causing racing conditions.
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  6. #26
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluffy2097
    Colder is NOT always better. A system works best when within the tempature range it was designed for.

    As the tempature drops, the resistance of components changes.

    Components that require a specific amount of resistance will stop working correctly if the tempature drops to far, causing racing conditions.
    True cold is not always better. Also Mfg Specs are in part to limit warrenty claims and allow to properly plan for the intended use of equipment.

    This is the first fluid bearing drive story I have heard... and the only Cold drive problem.
    TruckinMP3
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  7. #27
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckinMP3
    True cold is not always better. Also Mfg Specs are in part to limit warrenty claims and allow to properly plan for the intended use of equipment.

    This is the first fluid bearing drive story I have heard... and the only Cold drive problem.
    I understand the warranty aspect for mfg specs, but I've never seen a case of computer or program failure due to excessive cold. As a matter of fact, I recall an article a couple years ago about some guys that took an old PII system, and placed the board in a frost-free freezer, so they could overclock the bejeezus out of it. Turns out they were able to get QuakeIII running on it just fine! Is it possible they got away with it because the OC'd system kept it warm enough to be stable?

    Uh oh. Off topic argument. Yeah what he said: first fluid bearing story I've heard of as well!

  8. #28
    Constant Bitrate Vineet Singh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banderon
    Attach a peltier to the HD. Get a thermister, and rig up a circuit that will send only enough power to the peltier to heat it to a set temperature.. just above freezing, for instance. The circuit can disable the peltier after the thermister reads above a certain temp.
    I like this idea. I have a laptop, with laptop drive, shouldn't be a problem for me, but I would do something like this if I had to. Even have peltier square in my room somewhere.

    If your car has autostart, hook it up to the ignition relay (of the autostart unit, not the car's ignition relay, add another fuse/relay of course). Won't be on longer than the car is automatically on, and would turn off as soon as you pressed brake, or the set time it stays on if you never get in the car.

    If you don't, you will have to wait a bit, but hook it to the defrost circuit. All the cars that I have had defrost on, would automatically turn it off after 3-10 minutes. Should be enough time to warm it up. DON'T hook up the peltier to 12v directly, test it with various voltages, and use the one that works.

    Oh, and maybe avoid fluid bearing drives altogether like someone else said

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  9. #29
    FLAC MP3DUB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelica
    Hi All,

    Here is a description of how a fluid drive bearing works and why you are having cold weather problems.
    A normal bearing involve 3 components
    Outside is a cup - Middle steel bearings - Inside is the race

    A Fluid Bearing replaces the steel bearing with a thick fluid. Their are several reasons for doing this:
    1 Less noise (No steel rubbing on steel. Less vibration due to inconsistencies in the bearings)
    2 Less wear (In this case no actual wear occurs on the bearings (Fluid) during use. Wear in this case would be lose of fluid due to seal wear)

    <snip>

    Hope this helps
    Angelica

    I figured that this was the case with the bearings, but didn't want to run my mouth off over something i wasnt sure about, thanks for the added info

    Quote Originally Posted by deadweasel
    Let's not forget that computers run BEST in colder temps (Cryochill case anyone?).

    The hard drive might be a slightly different story, but I can say this: both my 8gb Caviar and 20gb Quantum Fireball have started and ran just perfect in sub-zero weather when I lived north of Flint, MI.

    The only thing that I can imagine causing issues is temperature "flexing" during startup, IE small amounts of heat produced at startup that cause the platters of the drive to ever so slightly warp until they come up to a uniform temp...
    And generally speaking, the processor likes it as cold as it can get, all the supercooling systems out there for your standard pc simply cool the processor die, and insulate the surounding area. And that said, I have had two different mainboards that didn't like sub zero temperatures.
    -Nick

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  10. #30
    Variable Bitrate Mikesz's Avatar
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    I have had 3 hard drives in my car so far.

    old IBM 30gb 5400 RPM never had a problem, ran great for 3 years untill I ran out of space.

    Maxtor 80gb this drive never worked in the cold, it is actually defunct now after trying to get it to boot cold.

    WD 120gb 8meg cache drive(current drive). This drive dosent like the cold much. The system will boot really slow in cold weather, but will still boot. By the time XP is loaded and mediaengine is playing its first song, system speed is about normal.

    I do not reccoment the maxtor drive, its a piece of crap and gave me problems from day one. I bought it dead and got a new one by RMA, which is the one that cold killed.

    sorry I dont have model numbers, but they are in an old post of mine about a similar subject.

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