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Thread: Should I do anything to prevent wear and tear in the winter?

  1. #1
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    Should I do anything to prevent wear and tear in the winter?

    The winter where I live can get well below freezing and I don't know if that will have a negative effect on the hardware inside the PC, spicificly the hard drive. Would it be more suceptible to damage when it is that cold? I suppose a simple, but not entirely convinent thing to do, would be to simply let the system warm itself up. I'm just thinking that you shouldn't operate that kind of hardware when it's that cold.

  2. #2
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    be careful about frost.

    I've seen my hard drive totally covered in frost due to condensation after turning it off with the hard drive hot. at the time, the hardware was crappy and cheap enough that I wasn't very worried about damaging it, so I booted it up anyway, and all the frost melted off without damaging anything... but in general that's not a very good plan.
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  3. #3
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    I've been searching the forums about this and so far I've found the following:

    There are hard drives out there that can operate at temperatures as lo as -40 degress C to 80 degrees C (Hitachi Endurastar line), but they top out at 30 gigs, and those cost over $224.

    Others suggest that there be a tiny heater of some sort installed inside the case that can be turned on while the car is off that will keep the internal temp above freezing and help prevent condensation buildup, but I have yet to find a solid example of such a solution.

    The only other thing I have come up with is people saying that they leave their computers off until the car warms up. One problem though, you need air....

    I think I just thought of a really jacked up solution, but I'll type that in a sec.

    Anyway, they just put a kill switch on the PC to prevent it from auto starting with the car, so that you can start it once the interior of the car is warm, but I would say that this is not sufficient enough unless you let it warm up for more than 15 mins before you leave your drive way (and easily more than that the colder it gets). You would need the air comming out of your heater vents (at least a little bit of it) to blow into the case, or at least at it. I don't know of anyone who has a vent like this installed in their trunk.

    So perhaps a solution (if a simple heater is not to be found anywhere which I find hard to believe), would be to install a large fan on the case (And why not) that will suck warm air from the car's interior into the PC. Once the car is warm enough to drive comfortably, then the PC should be warm enough to operate comfortably as well.

    Thoughts?

  4. #4
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Myself, I went for the Endurastar JK420 as I found them dirt cheap ($60) on ebay. (While back all sold long ago).

    What about placing a container of silica gel in the case? Would that help? I mean if the air is dry, I would think there wouldn't be much to condensate? :dunno:

  5. #5
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    I think I found a great solution!

    There are these heating pads that are intended to be used on fish tanks that contain snakes or lizards. I'm not sure how much heat they put off, but they come in 8-watt, 16-watt and 25-watt moddles. The pads are adhesive on one side as they are inteded to be stuck to the bottome side of the tank. I've yet to look into it more, but such a heating pad could be connected to a switch that could be turned on when you shut your car off, and then shut off when you start your car.

    Thoughts? Recomendations?

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
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    Compenents run better in winter due to the cleaner air.. but anything from -40 to 80 is quite drastic eg. also engine proformance will of changed!

  7. #7
    Unregistered User ODYSSEY's Avatar
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    Do you really need a drive that runs in -40C?

    Do you live here? http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF16/1630.html

    Drives work in the cold fine. Infact if you have a failing drive, freeze it, then hook it up and get you data before the drive gets too warm.
    ODYSSEY

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  8. #8
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    its not the cold that is the prob is condensation on the drives and mobo.
    its a big think to think about when you plan where to put your mobo and drives.

  9. #9
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    I've had my normal desktop hardrive running in my trunk for two years now in Finland. The only problems I've had is when the outside temperature drops below -20C and the car has been parked for the night. In the morning the hard drive won't start up on the first go. But after a couple of restarts it starts up and everything works fine.

    Other than that I haven't noticed any problems.

  10. #10
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    i agree with hapination i also have ran it in vary cold weather "washington state"without a problom exept on really cold mornings i cam up with a little electric window defroster that works on 12vdc mounted to blow warmth onto/around the hdd and run that for about 2 min before i booted up the hdd is just a desktop 20gig and it really normally has never given any issues note if you do use the little electric defroster i would wire it to a lighted switch to remind yourself to turn it back off i did not use a lighted style and left it on and drained my battery ...but i quickly fixed that
    by the way i think i bought that lil heater at wal-mart for like 10-15$ usd in the auto section

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