When was the last time you dropped your desktop PC?
When it was running? Never you say? Well the hard disk
drive in your desktop PC probably doesn’t need drop
protection while running. During shipment anything can
happen and hard disk drives (HDDs)
are designed to withstand the more
common shock experienced during
shipping. PCs are packaged with
that in mind too and since most of
today’s PCs have a plastic case,
they must protect the case as much
as the HDD inside.
If I asked the same questions about your laptop, you, like
most, probably have dropped your laptop at least once
and perhaps even while running. The latest technology
laptops today contain a drop sensor that permits the
processor to detect a drop and shut down important parts
of the machine, specifi cally the hard disk drive.
Now let’s talk about your MP3 player or cell phone. How
many times do you drop that device PER WEEK? Again,
if you’re like most folks, it’s not if you dropped it but how
many times or how recently. Designing a hand held device,
like a PDA, cell phone or MP3 player with a hard disk drive
requires designing in some kind of drop protection.
Until now, that protection usually consisted of some foam
isolation, and/or some plastic suspension that “gives”
when the unit hits a hard surface thus reducing the exterior
shock force to a smaller value than is tolerated by the HDD.
Thanks to some new technology from Hitachi Metals,
the drop sensor technology that is used in the laptop
computers described above, has been reduced in size
so that Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST) can
place that sensor in the new Microdrive® 3K8 as an
optional feature called Extra Sensory Protection™ (ESP).
This means that the hand held units can now have more
storage in a smaller space and still have a high degree of
Drop Proofi ng a Hard Disk Drive
Dr. William F. Heybruck
Senior Storage Engineer
How it works
The sensor consists o