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Do internal HDDs work correctly outside a computer?

Last response: in Storage
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April 27, 2007 2:52:47 PM

Someone once told me that an internal HDD only functions correctly when it's properly installed as opposed to connected but laying freely on a desk. Does an internal HDD know if it's installed inside a computer?

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April 27, 2007 3:02:31 PM

That person is incorrect. I had a server at one point that was just a bunch of parts laying on top of a cardboard box. Their have also been plenty of times that I have connected a hard drive to a computer and left it hanging out the side so I can ghost it.
April 27, 2007 3:04:59 PM

no way does it know that would have to be an uber smart hdd. i dont see why any one would leave it out of the case unless they were lazy
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April 27, 2007 3:26:27 PM

lol...

funniest thing ever.

you don't even need a case to hook up a computer, you can glue the mobo to your wall at home ;)  much better cooling too :) 

the case does nothing except keep out dust, make it transportable, a bit more durable, and sell cooling fans :) 
a b G Storage
April 27, 2007 3:58:57 PM

They don't know they are outside until they get kicked or dropped or what have you. Which is why it's best to enclose them.
April 27, 2007 5:59:15 PM

The case is actually for EMI considerations. And it's not to protect your computer from EMI, it's to protect the rest of your house from the computer's EMI. As long nothing goes wrong you could leave your entire computer sitting out on a table top forever, but most households do not have environments where that is true in practice. Moisture, dust, pets, bugs, kids, static-charged dust, charged ions, EMI etc are best mitigated by some kind of a rigid, electrically conductive and grounded casing.

Running a computer with the side panel off or with a case window or with the the components laying out is actually not legal to do in a home or office environment (that whole FCC thing about not screwing up other devices).
April 27, 2007 6:14:26 PM

Quote:
Running a computer with the side panel off or with a case window or with the the components laying out is actually not legal


I'm the bad boy then :twisted:



Vista 32bit | Core 2 Duo E6600 | BFG GeForce 8800 GTX | Patriot EP 2X1GB PC2-8500 DDR2-1066 CL5-5-5-9| 3ware 9650SE-4LPML RAID Controller with BBU | 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - OS | 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - Data | 150GB Raptor - Swap/Backup | SB X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro Series | Dell E207WFP & Samsung SyncMaster 213T | Asus Striker Extreme | PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR | Silverstone Temjin TJ07 | Zalman CNPS9700 NT
April 27, 2007 6:39:10 PM

Quote:
The case is actually for EMI considerations. And it's not to protect your computer from EMI, it's to protect the rest of your house from the computer's EMI. As long nothing goes wrong you could leave your entire computer sitting out on a table top forever, but most households do not have environments where that is true in practice. Moisture, dust, pets, bugs, kids, static-charged dust, charged ions, EMI etc are best mitigated by some kind of a rigid, electrically conductive and grounded casing.

Running a computer with the side panel off or with a case window or with the the components laying out is actually not legal to do in a home or office environment (that whole FCC thing about not screwing up other devices).


Ouch! So if I have a case window I might mess up my neighbor's TV reception? Even if he has cable,or just over-the-air signals? :oops:  8O
April 27, 2007 7:39:10 PM

Quote:
Running a computer with the side panel off or with a case window or with the the components laying out is actually not legal to do in a home or office environment (that whole FCC thing about not screwing up other devices).


Ahhhhhh, then that explains the mysterious death of some remote controls in the house. I hope the open pc police never inspect my house. I would be in a world of hurt. :p 

I have both side panels off of my pc...great cooling. But, as previously mentioned, bad with dust and such. I definitely wouldn't advise it. If my pc was worth it, I wouldn't be so lazy and put the panels back on. :wink:

While building pc's and testing, it's very handy assembling the guts without the case. So much easier in case something isn't quite right and needs adjusting / replacing.
April 27, 2007 8:23:46 PM

Unless the frequency has a good antenna it shouldn't travel too far, not to your neighbors. Also depends on the frequency. More likely to screw up your UHF, wireless phone, cellular phone, wifi, audio system or bluetooth inside your own house. Unless you have other non-compliant electrical systems in your house too in which case you could propagate the signal across your phone, cable or power lines also. Depending on how your cable tv is hooked up it might make it to your neighbors but seems very unlikely it would be strong enough to be notices as analogue video or audio degradation. Might show up as some bit loss for digital signals.

I have never encountered a strong case of EMI coming from a computer before but with more buss speeds now reaching the gigahertz range it's becoming more likely. Worst case of EMI I have ever seen was from a halogen lamp. Guy wondered why he frequently lost his internet connection around dusk... it was because he turned on his desk lamp around dusk and the signal got into his phone lines. I've also had cases where cable TV gets into the phone lines, capped out my dialup speed around 38k due to the interference.

For a very very sloppy explanation:
(High frequency + repeating signal) * power * antenna = EMI

Usually the "repeating signal" part of the equation doesn't happen much in a computer as you are sending all kinds of random data around and the power is very low. But the higher the frequency and the bigger the antenna (any long straight piece of conductor such as traces and wires) the less power and repetition you need to create a strong signal.

For example: A SATA HD can have a 1meter cable with a little over 3ghz signal which is effectively a super high frequency (SHF) Microwave antenna so they kept the power very low and implemented 8b/10b encoding and pseudo-random continues to prevent repeating signals from forming. If you didn't and you had a data pattern that repeated itself in increments evenly divisble by about 42 cycles that's a 70mhz singal and if it's not shielded you don't get to watch UHF Channel 14 anymore (at least not without being a little staticy).

As you increase the frequency you increase the signal strength wile also increasing the number of possible patterns that can reproduce a signal that will interfere with other devices. "Background noise" (random interference) can be filtered fairly easily even though it still decreases Signal/Noise. Patterned interference can cause some real damage though. That's why signal jammers rebroadcast modulated signals so they interference can't be filtered out.

Eh, yeah, that should all be correct at least in the general overview but if I made any mistakes plz do correct me.
April 27, 2007 8:52:24 PM

There is nothing wrong with leaving your HD outside of the case. It just gets dirtier and increases the chance to get kick or knock of the computer. :D 
April 28, 2007 2:25:07 AM

Thank you, that's very good to know 8O
!