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Moving internationally, what to do with the hdds?

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September 19, 2012 4:04:52 PM

In a couple of weeks, I'll be moving internationally. For two months, I'll be without my computer from where I view and listen to all my digital content. During those two months it will be in climate controlled storage. I'll have a new laptop with me (still unpurchased) and my goal is to have the media on the hdds with me to use on the laptop.

My questions are...
1. A professional moving company is moving and packing all our belongings. Is it dangerous to leave the hdds in the tower? I just built this computer from scratch last summer and don't want them to be physically damaged in the move. The PC will be in a box, properly packed, on a boat, and eventually in climate controlled storage until December. I've never moved for this long with a computer so I have no clue what people do which is why I'm asking.
2. Should I...
- take the 3.5" harddrive in my laptop bag?
- take the 3.5" harddrive but leave it wrapped up in my checked luggage?
- forget the 3.5" drive altogether, pack it with the movers and remove the essential media to an SSD to carry with my laptop?

Thanks to anyone who can help.
September 19, 2012 4:41:01 PM

Option 3 would be just fine.
a b D Laptop
a c 85 G Storage
September 19, 2012 4:41:27 PM

I have moved internationally and around the US many times. Packing up your PCs is usually not an issue. For key files and documents, I recommend a backup and that you carry the backup with you. Can be just your basic removable HDD. Don't check it in luggage, but put it in your carry-on baggage.

How much stuff (in terms of storage) do you need to backup?

One last thing, if you have inkjet printers in your stuff. Get rid of the old cartridges. Buy new ones and leave in their wrappers and have them put into the box the printer ships in. That way you don't run the risk of a damaged printer when it arrives (learned this one the hard way).
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September 19, 2012 4:46:29 PM

The C: drive (obviously the most important one) is 1 TB of which maybe 20% is in use.
The Media drive add-on has about 900GB full of music, video, etc. It's all essential. BUT, I can burn blu-rays as backup, I can get an SSD which will allow me to keep using my media on my laptop, and I don't mind making room for one hdd in my laptop bag.
I'm just worried that if I take only the media drive, I get to my computer in 2 months and the C drive is shot.
a b D Laptop
a c 85 G Storage
September 19, 2012 4:52:31 PM

Pulling it is certainly an option. Sounds like one 2TB drive would store all of your stuff.

If you pack in your checked luggage, there is a chance of theft. Not to be intrusive, but what country are you moving to?
September 19, 2012 4:56:21 PM

I would think there would more likely be a chance of damage than theft. Moving to France.
Is it safe for a 3.5" drive in an enclosure to be bouncing along in a laptop bag?
a b D Laptop
a c 85 G Storage
September 19, 2012 5:00:39 PM

Sure. I carry external drives all of the time (both 2.5 and 3.5 based) and I travel all over the world A LOT. Never had an issue.

The reason I asked about where you are going is because some places are worse than others for pilfering through luggage. Going to France should be okay. Other places (no need to go into that now) and I would advise you otherwise.

BTW, if you packed in your checked luggage then protect the drives as best you can. You have seen how rough baggage handlers can be. Right?

Good luck and safe travels!
September 19, 2012 5:04:52 PM

So you're thinking one 3.5" 2TB hdd. One folder for the C: drive and another for the media drive. Put that in an enclosure and carry in the laptop bag. Security scans won't harm the drive?
a b D Laptop
a c 85 G Storage
September 19, 2012 5:07:21 PM

That would work just fine. Scanning will do no harm.
September 19, 2012 6:33:13 PM

I might be getting paranoid now but any issue with 2 hdds just sitting in storage for 2 months and not being used? Can they suffer somehow from not spinning for that long?
a b D Laptop
a c 85 G Storage
September 19, 2012 7:05:00 PM

Sitting for 2 months is not an issue (unless they are under water). Seriously, this is not an issue.
September 19, 2012 7:08:31 PM

My new laptop will be traveling with me (1TB hdd)
So... I'll copy the 230GB of my computer's C: drive to my new laptop's C: drive (in its own folder). And then I'll buy a 1TB 2.5 to have all my media with me for the 2 months. Then I'll just properly pack the 2 hdds from my PC and pack them in the box with the computer and leave them in storage.
a b G Storage
September 19, 2012 7:10:41 PM

i think you are underestimating the durability of modern hdds. i have roughly 5 laptop hdds i use for back ups of my laptop and desktop and i literally just throw them in a drawer when im done. when i go on vacation i throw one of them with videos in my bag and go. i have yet to have ONE go bad in five years.
September 19, 2012 7:14:56 PM

I probably am. But I have had extraordinarily bad luck with hdds. My experience with computers is.. better to at least consider the paranoia to make sure you're covered. ;) 
!