Does an external hard disk, e.g. WD Elements, has to stand upright?

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  1. Posts : 28
    Windows 10
       #1

    Does an external hard disk, e.g. WD Elements, has to stand upright?


    Can one genarally lay down (on one of the 2 biggest expanses) each USB (3 or 2) external hard drive (e.g. WD MyBook, Elements, Seagate Expansion, a SEAGATE Backup Plus HUB (Backup Plus Hub: Best external hard drive with a USB hub | Seagate US) instead of putting it upright like shown on all images?

    And does it matter if it lays upside down?

    It seems as if the cooling comes from / through the bottom (when standing upright) and the feets are not very high and if the drive stands on a soft underlay the openings might get impermeable.
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  2. Posts : 2,078
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    I would contact seagate directly and see what they say.
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  3. Posts : 13,301
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 21H2 19044.1526
       #3

    As long as you have good air flow it shouldn't matter too much. Hard drives can get hot.
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  4. Posts : 56,101
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #4

    It's Fine To Mount Hard Drives On Their Side Or Even Upside-Down - Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat

    Doesn't matter, really. Just use common sense and don't lay things on it or otherwise block external air flow around it. Orientation is not important.
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  5. Posts : 2,228
    Windows 11 Pro 64bit
       #5

    Mine is lay down but is sat on two thin pieces of foam to lift it off the bottom of the table. Average temp is about 40c.
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  6. Posts : 28
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    I would contact seagate directly and see what they say.
    And / or WD, yes. Do you have an e-mail address?

    As long as you have good air flow it shouldn't matter too much.
    Yes, but I would like to avoid even less than too much.

    It's Fine To Mount Hard Drives On Their Side Or Even Upside-Down - Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat
    Thank you for the link. "as long as it’s not tilted" means an oblique position? So does an angle of 5° harm? Or 10°? I do not think so, but may be an angle like 45° is meant.

    Doesn't matter, really. Just use common sense and don't lay things on it or otherwise block external air flow around it. Orientation is not important.
    Yes, I assume in server farms they will be mounted in many ways. But those drives won't be the cheapes hard disk like the above mentioned.
    Generally I would lay down all drives although designed to stand upright (Elements, Expansion, MyBook, etc.) because it is saver.

    Mine is lay down but is sat on two thin pieces of foam to lift it off the bottom of the table.
    That (among other things) is another reason why I want to lay them lay down, standing upright on something like foam make their stand very instable. And beause of avoiding the noise.

    Average temp is about 40c.
    The SEAGATE Backup Plus HUB and MyBook have a temperature of about 48° without stress and when copying, synchronizing up to 58°. I hope, they are designed to withstand such temperatures. My external 5 TB WD Elements runs at about 10° less.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As long as they are not moved during use
    What exactly does that mean. Not to move the drive at all while it is running? To minimize the risk? If one carefully moves the drive nothing will happen, I would think. Or does it cause stress for the drive if it is moved when it is running?
    Last edited by Spoilo; 09 Sep 2019 at 16:01.
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  7. Posts : 56,101
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #7

    Spoilo said:
    What exactly does that mean. Not to move the drive at all while it is running? To minimize the risk? If one carefully moves the drive nothing will happen, I would think. Or does it cause stress for the drive if it is moved when it is running?
    I would imagine that's referring to the heads possibly getting jostled. At 7200rpm, it's like picking up a spinning Gyro.
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  8. Posts : 28
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Yes, that is possible. But bumping against the table / desk with the drive on it would be more dangerous, I assume.
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  9. Posts : 12,474
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro
       #9

    My WD drives, 2 USB and 2 NAS, have ventilation slots on one end so I set them up on the other end to allow warm air upward and out. Their logos are oriented the same way.
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  10. Posts : 56,101
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #10

    Berton said:
    My WD drives, 2 USB and 2 NAS, have ventilation slots on one end so I set them up on the other end to allow warm air upward and out. Their logos are oriented the same way.
    That's handy. Dirt dumb USB externals don't have those niceties.
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