Save your Hard Drive from Cold Weather Chills

The winters of 2018-19 were the hardest of all. With the climate crisis, it is extremely important to save yourself as well as your electronic goods from the winter chills. Leaving your hard disk or any other gadget overnight is not a good idea. Have you noticed how you get a pair of sunglasses or a compact disk from outside and it gets fogged up? This usually happens when the laptop is sitting inside the car for too long. Cold weather makes your hard drive platter and circuit develop condensation as it goes from cold to warm or hot which can create nasty short circuits in your hard drive. Even though most laptops and desktops are resilient to temperature. But winter can disrupt the hard drive and LCD Screen.

LCD is a liquid crystal device and due to cold weather, it can freeze. Similarly, even hard drives can go for a toss in such weather conditions. Any liquid can freeze if it gets cold enough, including the lubricant in the hard drive. A hard drive consists of platters through which the drive tries to spin up, if the fluid is not viscous enough, it will not allow the platters to spin at their proper speed. All of this will result in corrupting the data on the drive as the drive won’t be able to boot up at all if the platters spin at wrong speed.

Condensation is another reason that doesn’t bode well with your hard drive. Try pulling a cold bottle of beer or water out of the refrigerator on a warm sunny day. Notice what happens, droplets of water surround the bottle because condensation is formed outside of the bottle. A similar situation occurs when you pull in your hard drive from cold weather. Water is one of the main causes to ruin electronics. Water and electronic gadget never mix well. It is always wise to bring a hard drive up to room temperature or at least operating temperature parameters before using the hard drive. So if you are about to receive a new hard drive that was out in the cold, it is advisable to first let it gel with the temperature of the shipping container so that it settles with the room temperature gradually and not receive any shocks.

Receiving a new hard drive is fun and exciting but opening it immediately to plug it into a universal driver adapter in a frozen state can be fatal. This is also why most data protectors advise you to be careful as you bring your laptop from the cold. Now there are two types of disk drives. One that uses ball bearings and a race around the shaft of the device while the other uses fluid dynamic bearings. FDB are mostly found in laptops as they produce lower noise and spin at a greater speed. Now, the mechanical bearings are more compatible with lower temperatures and survive better than fluid dynamic bearings(FDB) because the moment temperature falls to a single digits Fahrenheit, the fluid in FDB thickens and the platter cannot spin properly anymore. This is one of the causes of boot failure. It is therefore very important to bring the drives to its normal temperature. Those drives that are inside the computer case, the heat from the processor tends to warm it and a reboot is accomplished easily. However, for those drives that are external, you may have to wait a little longer.

There are various other storage devices that are available for harsh winter climates. A solid state disk (SSD) provides greater operating temperature range as low as -50 degrees Celsius. So those who stay in the polar regions or those of you who are planning an expedition to the Arctic region must carry SSD to protect your device from any boot failure.