Klennet Storage Software

Correct hard drive orientation

I came across a discussion on Technibble where someone asked which is the correct way to mount a hard drive. Can we mount it vertically, sideways, or should it always be in flat orientation?

Obviously, this question only applies to traditional hard drives. A solid state drive has no moving parts, but a rotational hard drives do have moving heads and bearings, which are obviously affected by gravity.

Well, we can try the manufacturer specs. They are mostly similar and where orientation is mentioned, 5 degreess off any vertical is pretty much a standard. Some manufacturers include mounting orientation data, others don't. I checked modern WD spec sheets and these do not include orientation. Then, Seagate says in its Seagate BarraCuda Pro SATA Product Manual, Rev. D, page 23 that users can mount the drive in any orientation and does not mention any limits whatsoever. However, I recall that there were some specified limits, at least in the olden days. So I tried harder and found the IBM document dated 10 January 2002, S07N-7909-09 Publication #1530. Admittedly it is kind of old, but it specifies explicitly

The drive will operate in all axes (6 directions) and will stay within the specified error rates when tilted ±5 degrees from these positions.

This pretty much concludes it. You can mount a hard drive aligned with any axis you feel like.

Created Saturday, October 14, 2017

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