Question Hard drive fell on its side, what should I do?

Sep 20, 2021
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I have an 8TB WD external HDD. This is the type that looks like a bookend and is in a case. Typically, the photos show it standing upright, and this is how I plugged it in to my PC (foolishly it seems).

During a backup operation, and most likely during a read operation during the comparison phase (the sync software shows the progress, and the comparison phase is where it looks for changes since the last sync), I bumped the HDD. It fell onto its side. Since it was already on the floor, there was no distance fallen other than the height of the drive, but of course it was probably spinning at the time.

I let the backup operation complete. Then I repeated the backup operation again (since if it didn't copy the files over the first time, it would be able to inform me during the comparison phase). It said nothing needed to be updated.

I ran chkdsk (no options/flags). It said no problems detected.

Of course, I know that a more complete test would run a read sector by sector over the entire 8TB. I figure that would take like a week, and for various reasons, it would be very difficult to have my PC on continuously that long. But I mean if I have to do it, I will, or even just get a new HDD if that is the best thing to do.

I guess the question is, how likely is it that something did go wrong? I haven't even a ballpark guess on this. Is it very likely that something has gone wrong and I would be a fool to continue using the HDD, or more along the lines of probably nothing went wrong although there is always the possibility? I am willing to accept a very small risk but not a very big risk, if you understand.

Thanks!
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
The HDD has built in spare sectors to use if any were damaged. Use CrystalDiskinfo, or any other utility that can read a drives SMART, and look for the raw data in Id fields 05, B8, BB, and C5 thru C7. They are all normally = 0; if you see those counts rising then grab another drive on the next sale.
 
Sep 20, 2021
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Thank you Popatim. I have not heard of CrystalDiskInfo but took a look at their website and it seems like a very useful tool. However, the wiki states that this tool is for solid state drives, and my external HDD was a regular mechanical drive. Would there be an equivalent tool for old fashioned spinning drives? Thanks!
 

Sagittariusss

Reputable
Feb 7, 2017
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Don't worry, HDD's are almost bulletproof at this point and nowhere as fragile as people are led to believe. You'd have problems immediatly rather than damage something that wasn't even making contact with the needle.
 
Sep 20, 2021
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Don't worry, HDD's are almost bulletproof at this point and nowhere as fragile as people are led to believe. You'd have problems immediatly rather than damage something that wasn't even making contact with the needle.
Thank you for the reassurance Sagittariusss. But just to clarify, the HDD read head doesn't need to touch the spinning platters while performing a read operation?
 

Phillip Corcoran

Titan
Moderator
Thank you for the reassurance Sagittariusss. But just to clarify, the HDD read head doesn't need to touch the spinning platters while performing a read operation?
The read/write heads don't need to touch the platters for correct operation. Indeed, if they did, the drive would be ruined.
They don't work like a gramophone needle on a vinyl record ! With hard drives there must always be a small gap between the heads & platters.
 

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