What happens when you cover the breathing hole on a hd with scotch tap


i have an old wd 10gig hard drive that qorks fine but i hate it so whatll happen if i cover the breathing hole with scotch tape. of course, it says DO NOT COVER BEATHING HOLE!!! but i feel like doing it anyway.
and i just did it and after 5 minutes it makes a clicking sound. and now it turned off the enclosure its in, took the taoe off, aand turned it backon , and it works fine again.
will it get a head crash or somehitng?
or will it overheat?
sorry i know its stupid but its fun
oh and no its makeing a clicking noise without the tape!!!!!
so what actually physically happens whe nthe breathing hole is covered? :hello:


Dec 2, 2009
Hmm all I know is that breathing hole is for equalizing pressure. (This is the cause for hard drives to not work well on high altitudes) But if it says not to cover the breathing hole, then I think you shouldn't. But I won't stop you if you do... tell us what happens if you find out :)


well i left it on for like ten mintes and it just went hum.........click.................hum.....................click and liek aven when it urned the hd off, took the tape off, and turned it on again...............hum...............click..........................hum.......click..
but then i went a step further and covered the hole with super glue.
it still worked so i dropped it
it still seemed to work ok, i didnt actually attach it to my computer but it still made the same hum,click noise.
than i took a screw driver and stabbed a hole into the green pcb on the underside.
plugged it in and then it was just silent. nothing.
no explosions and cool sounds, like i hopen
The breathing hole is there to equalize air pressure when the drive is taken to different altitudes. The drive casing is not made to be pressure-resistant - if there wasn't a way for the air to equalize then the pressure could distort the case and cause issues for the spindle bearings or alignment.

If you cover the breathing hole and operate the drive in the same location, it's not likely to cause any problems because the only differential in air pressure would be due to the barometric pressure of weather systems, which is a relatively small variation.

BTW, scotch tape may prevent air from getting in very easily, but any positive pressure in the case would just push the tape off to the point where the air could escape.


This is the craziest I've heard of since I cut up a hard drive platter and bent sections to make a desk fan.

It worked but I had some concern that the platter might break up and injure someone.

Incidentally, has anyone had a CD disintegrate in a drive ? I had a Russian CD shatter with an enormous bang -- the drive never worked reliably afterwards.


Jun 22, 2012

This is incorrect.

The variation in air pressure occurs as the HDD heats up during operation, and cools when shut down. Closing the breather hole (which has a filter behind it) may force air out of the enclosure through other sites (not really a problem), or it might pull polluted, unfiltered air in (big problem).

The reason the air pressure needs to be equalized is the fact that the read/write head (called a "slider") floats on a cushion of air. Change in pressure means change in the "focus" of the slider, as it moves closer or further away from the platter. Corruption ensues.

There are sealed HDDs for extreme working environments. I can't afford them.