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Hard Drive Breather Hole

By goal120 ·
Do you know of any 'hard-core' research papers documenting the failure rates of drives with covered holes vs uncovered? There are warnings on most disks, and warranties claim not to apply if the hole is covered (but how could they tell?), but I haven't found any real data on the subject.

I have a set of specialty computers with high hdd failure rates, which I figured was just a bad batch of drives, but I have had a replacement drive of a different brand fail recently, so I am trying to review all the possible contributing factors. These are 2.5" laptop hard drives encased in a metal frame with a foam liner around the perimeter of the drive to dampen vibrations. Would it help to tear out a chunk of the foam to make sure the breather hole is not covered? I have done this during most replacements, figuring it can't hurt.

But if there are data out there showing covered holes cause failure rates to increase 0.0001 times the normal rate, then that is not much of a contributing factor. Any references or discussion of personal experiences would be appreciated.

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Breather holes

by mjd420nova In reply to Hard Drive Breather Hole

Most all of the hard drives I've serviced have had small attached devices that allow the air
inside the drive to expand and escape thru the breather, however I've not really encountered
any drives that have failed because of the
device being blocked or non-existant. Most
failures were from being run continuously and
fromlow cooling air flow, or no flow at all,
they were identified by their smell, or the
high temperature of the drive enclosure.

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Hard Drive Breather Hole why?

by LV426 In reply to Hard Drive Breather Hole

The breather hole is there to allow air flow within the drive. The reason airflow is required is more to do with the heads than cooling. The heads float on a cushion of air above the platter. Blocking the hole results in a change of air pressure which can affect the working of the drive - this coupled with overheating can contribute to early hard drive failure.

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if you pull out the foam

by Dr Dij In reply to Hard Drive Breather Hole

dirt could get in under heads and crash it.

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