View Full Version : Tough Laptop Hard Drives

03-07-2010, 11:48 AM
Does anyone have any info on ATA / IDE laptop hard drives that are exceptionally shock and vibration resistant? I'm running into problems on rough bumpy roads with my laptop freezing and requiring me to pull the battery to get it to reboot.
At first I thought it was loose / wiggling USB connectors, because it always seemed to happen when I was running an OBD2 scan-tool / data logger on rough roads, but I'm now realizing that it happens on all rough roads regardless of what is or isn't connected.
A few weeks ago it took 6-8 reboot attempts including safe-mode, and when it did recover several desktop icons were moved and there was a white line down through the screen, which went away a few days later.
I don't have to have anything larger than 30-40 Gig. Current drives (one is an external backup clone) are WD Scorpios.
The laptop is mounted in a Ram mount; I might try some foam padding between the mount and laptop, too.
Between running Delorme Street Atlas w/GPS, AutoEnginuity Scan Tool, Isspro Data Logger and the Minotaur Engine Tuning Software, not running the laptop at all times is simply not an option.

03-07-2010, 01:07 PM
Only thing I can recommend is a small solid state drive (SSD). I don't know if there are any laptop sized SSDs for IDE though.
All hard drives will have issues with violent bumps though.

8GB for $100 is a rip off. Laptop SATA SSDs come in as cheap as 32GB for $90.

03-07-2010, 01:31 PM
You could try a solid state hard drive as it has no moving parts which would be subject to G forces.

One note of caution however. I was involved in specifying tough notebooks last year and was surprised to hear from a distributor that the failure rate of the solid state drives was higher than that of the mechanical drives. That may have only been on his brand and things may have moved on since then.

A suggestion:You may want to consider spending the disk upgrade money on pursuing a better vibration limiting mount. The ram mounts are pretty good (I have one on my Ducati -- lots of G forces) but it is more of a positioning device than a vibration attenuator.
I wonder what the LEOs use? Maybe you could check on that?
It looks like you run the PC all the time so you will not get away with a cusion and some duct tape :)

03-07-2010, 07:09 PM
Ok I admit it...

I have been an MP3 player killer.

I had a nice Zune and it died so I bought another nice Zune and it died. I got pissed off at the Zune and bought an iPod and then it died.

I finally figured out that what died was the HDDs and then I bought an iPod touch. It is Solid State. No problems since.

All my laptops that I use "on the road" have SSDs. I have learned that the vibrations of many vehicles destroy HDDs no matter the G drop ratings.

Get an SSD and so long as you buy a good one and you don't read and write to it "too" often then" it will last you long time" :)

03-08-2010, 07:35 AM
You guys rock! I didn't even know that SSD's existed. One of these should solve everything.

The Chariot
03-08-2010, 09:07 AM
You're going to love it. Boot times of about 10 secs if you get a good one. Best bet is to run Windows 7. It has drivers optimized to take advantage of SSD speed and also reduce the failure rate by using wear leveling technology when writing out (it spreads writes out over the entire disk).

03-08-2010, 09:32 PM
I stopped by my local 'puter shop this morning and had them order one in for me; it will be here in a few days. :D

This has been a PITA for a while, because the faster I drive, the more often it freezes/crashes, LOL.

03-09-2010, 05:32 PM
I stopped by my local 'puter shop this morning and had them order one in for me; it will be here in a few days. :D

This has been a PITA for a while, because the faster I drive, the more often it freezes/crashes, LOL.

I would'a just ordered it on newegg.com, but oh well.

03-09-2010, 08:36 PM
I'm sure I could get it cheaper and faster online, but this shop takes care of me when I really, really need help, especially for company business / emergencies. :)