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Thread: Micro ATX case for vertical HDs

  1. #1
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    Question Micro ATX case for vertical HDs

    I've read several threads on this site that say mounting the hard drives vertically is a good idea to reduce the potential for damage to the platters and I definitely see why. My question is: does anybody know of a great Micro ATX case that does this (internally)? I've spent a couple days on this and I'm not finding much.

    I'm going to use a Hitachi 7,200 RPM 2.5" 60GB drive ... or two, so 2.5", 3.5" or 5.25" bays will do, though the upper sizes would be nice so I can mount it in a HD cooler. I need at least 1 5.25" bay for a CD-ROM.

    I'm looking to place the case vertically against the side of my trunk ... so no taller that way than 15" or so. Width must be in the 5"+ range to support a full-height PCI card (required for an engineering project I'm working on).

    Aluminum would be great. ATX is even ok if it fits the size limits I have.

    Any ideas? Surely this is a common setup for the non Mini-ITXers here right?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate choyak's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure that the 2.5" laptop HDs are alot less susceptible to shock so mouting horizontally should not be a problem.
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  3. #3
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Near as I can tell the mounting orientation does not matter. Mine (desktop drive) has been mounted horizontal for multiple years and several car crashes without a drive failure of any kind.

    Find a case you like or build one, have fun with the new music options.

    (edited for clarity)
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  4. #4
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    It's good to hear that you two haven't been having problems with the typical flat orientation, so maybe that's an option for me too. Two of the threads I'm referencing are:

    H/D installl: vertical or horizontal mount?
    WARNING! Damage to your hard drives.

    Basically just searching for "hard drive mount" shows that this is an issue for at least several people on the board and it does seem to make sense ... large bump makes read head hit platter and causes damage. The laptop drive I'm getting can take 200 g for 2 ms, but as I'm sure pothole type hits are much longer in duration than that, it's hardly indestructible.

    Anyways, anybody out there with good Micro ATX type cases? Thanks!

  5. #5
    FLA gospeed.racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auto_robotics
    ....Basically just searching for "hard drive mount" shows that this is an issue .......
    First off....Pat yourself on the back! With 2 posts you are searching and discovering answers to topics before anyone can shoot you down with the Seriously, a newbie to look up to

    As far as a case....I have not seen any that specifically mount the drive vertically, but....there are a lot of small cases that could support that. Might look for a book pc style case , as they were meant to be run either upright or as a desktop, they may support that. Otherwise, I would recommend looking for a case with a few hidden bays right together, you should be able to then turn and remount the drive vertically. I think most any case you find that will support the 5.25 bay that you need should be wide enough to turn the drive the way you need it. Good luck with your project!
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  6. #6
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    you can change the orientation of any case, as long as the heatsink does not weigh a ton.
    TruckinMP3
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  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
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    I've had two disks fail in a vertical mounting position. I suspect it is because the motor that is driving the heads has to work constantly to keep the heads in position, fighting against both shocks and gravity.

    Mounting the disk flat like it would be mounted in a laptop I believe is the better way to go. Laptop disk manufactures know that a laptop could be used in a car while operating and are able to design the disk around the types of vibrations that will occur in a car.

    Vibrations in general are not what will kill the disk. The vibrations have to be near the natural frequency of the disk in order for it to really affect it (unless of course you drop the drive from a five story building...)

    Bottom line, chalk up two dead drives that where vertically mounted and zero (so far) for horizontal mounting. Come to think of it, has anyone actually had a disk go bad that was horizontally mounted and could be blamed on the orientation of the mount?

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