Question Should I store my external hard drive in a vacuum-sealed bag?

paulo_andre

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Mar 18, 2011
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I have a backup system with an always-on hard drive and another in storage, which I periodically sync.
This means the second hard drive is usually stopped for months and I would like to store it in a more protective way.
I though about my garage, which is underground so has stable temperature, inside an air tight case with some silica to absorb moisture.
But my real question is, if I store it inside a vacuum-sealed bag, would it be better? Or would it damage it?
I read that operating hard drives in a vacuum is a bad idea, but I only want to store it that way, operating will still be at normal pressure.
 

Eximo

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You could seal a bag, but I don't think I would pull a vacuum on it. Certainly keep the dust out, though there shouldn't be much ingress. Would also be ESD concerns when unsealing it, just make sure you are touching the device it will be installed in when it is opened, that should prevent a discharge.
 

Karadjgne

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Just use a cheap fire-case. They are air-tight, moisture proof, dust-proof and reusable. Line the case with some decent thick cardboard or use cardboard to create a slot the drive can sit in and not bang around if the case is moved.

Sync should be done at least every 3-6 months to prevent possible data loss from degradation.
 
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lvt

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Apr 19, 2021
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Vacuum bag is not necessary, but something like a small box with a good shock-resistance is highly recommended.

If you buy your HDD new, it should come with a plastic protective case, that's all what you need.
 

hotaru.hino

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Sep 1, 2020
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The reason you can't operate hard drives in a vacuum is because the read-write heads need air to form a cushion above the platters. However, there isn't really a need to use a vacuum sealed bag. Just keep it in a relatively cool, dry place.

I recommend keeping it in a fire resistant box rated for data storage. Normal fire resistant boxes are only good for keeping the contents below 450F to keep paper from burning. 450F will wreck electronics.
 

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