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Can an external hard drive be stored in the attic?

by padremo / May 1, 2010 7:57 PM PDT

Hi. I've just backed up my data to an external hard drive with the intention of keeping the drive in a friend's attic - is it OK to to this as I'm wondering whether the humidy and heat (and cold in the winter) will render the drive useless?

I think hard drives are sealed units but was wondering if it's still OK to store them in attics?


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Heat is bad.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 1, 2010 9:54 PM PDT

Humidity + heat is worse but given you can put said drive in a zip lock bad with desiccant you can control that. Ok, with humidity under control the heat is likely to be 140F or not much more. The hardware will do fine there. Maybe the data will erase a little faster (remember the Earth's magnetic field?0 but should be fine is my answer. The doom sayers will say no way.

Hard drives are NOT SEALED UNITS. I'd be duplicating web content if I explain why.

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heat is bad
by padremo / May 2, 2010 1:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Heat is bad.

thanks for that - It didn't occur to me to use a desiccant.

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Used in the past
by Willy / May 3, 2010 1:49 AM PDT

If you can find one, get your hands on a re-usable hard case. If you had a cordless drill, many are sold in re-usable cases. That's the item or similar I'm referring to, though cases are sold online by various vendors, new or used. Just a rigid case that can be used. If none found, then re-use the "anti-static" bag the HD came in or similar. Place in bag and then store in plain cardboard box that has been padded or cushioned. usually, that suffices in most cases. As for discandent, locate these at typical gun shops that offer in various containers or packets. There too, you may find a case, converted for your use. I have re-used padded zipped cases/bags as well for such needs. Army surplus shops offer empty "ammo boxes" of various sizes to include larger shipping cases as well, check online. Why, do i mention this, you can store various items in such cases and these are more durable, carryable, stackable, atmospheric vents and relatively cheap. good luck

tada -----Willy Happy

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Store Hardrive in attic
by jrap30 / May 14, 2010 10:15 AM PDT

Agree should be ok...but more important..why?? No room in house/apartment.....becasue you may forget about it or they may forget about it or better gets lost up there as your friend and his family starts to store more and more junk. I lose items in my attic all the time.

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Avoid temperature and humidity extremes if you can
by Dango517 / May 14, 2010 2:07 PM PDT

A closet in the house would be better. I keep my stuff in ziplocks in the basement. I think heat does more damage to stored parts then humidity but I do try and keep the humidity on these parts as low as possible while in the basement.

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by mwooge / May 15, 2010 1:56 PM PDT

HDs get pretty hot on their own, so Idon't think the heat of an attic would bother one. Sealing in a ziplock should keep out humidity, but if it gets cold any humidity already in the bag will condense and maybe cause damage.

Keeping a backup off-site is a good idea, but I'd stick with the standard "cool, dry place".

Backing up to CDs or DVDs would probably be better to keep with a friend than an HD.

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Basic electrical safety
by Razzl / May 17, 2010 11:02 PM PDT

I agree with others that the attic out of your control is a bad place, for physical as well as security reasons. If you're worried about backing up off site consider subscribing to some service that lets you do backup through the web to their servers. Barring that, just keep your spare drive in your car, perhaps in a thermal food bag under the rear seat. Office phones sometimes have nice big cord compartments underneath big enough for usb sticks, keys, or a mini hard drive...

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scratch the title
by Razzl / May 17, 2010 11:03 PM PDT

Sorry I mistitled that, I originally thought you were talking about a wired connection to a drive in the attic...

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