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I had an old laptop which failed; I've removed the hard drive and RAM and disposed of the laptop (it was kind of old, anyway).

While I realize the RAM may only be "useful" for a period of time, the hard drive should always maintain some usefulness... (The specifications of the equipment shouldn't matter for my question)

What is the proper way to store such items for the long[er] term? Just a static free bag for each item or something more? Could they be stored together? Is the static-free back necessary even? What are the chance's the equipment will become damaged without one?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would use the anti-static bag and include a small packet of desiccant to keep moisture off any connectors and so on.

One possible issue with a hard drive is sticktion where the drive motor fails to spin the platter(s) after sitting for some time. Not sure how common this is. IBM training used to mention this as an issue when using spare drives in servers that were not running as “hot” spares.

Also keep a device like an external USB case handy as interfaces can change. Your PATA/IDE drive won’t work too well if the system you have available in the future is all SATA

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+1 for sticktion issue and comment about interfaces –  whitequark Jan 29 '10 at 16:27
    
So it might be better to get the HD setting as an external hard drive? Used occasionally? –  Frank V Jan 29 '10 at 16:32
    
It couldn't hurt if occasional use. Have had a number of IDE drives and SCSI drives that have sat unused for several years and still are fine. –  Dave M Jan 29 '10 at 17:12
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Yes, a static-free bag is preferred. This is quite stochastic through: I kept my drives (old 20Gb ones) for years just stacked in a box and they worked fine after, but you can never determine if a drive will work after someone eventually discharges at it.

They can be stored together, but only if you sure that no mechanical damage will be done by ones to others; a RAM module will probably be crashed if a hard drive is dropped on it with a sharp angle even from 5cm height.

Also it's a good idea to keep all parts on something soft (foam rubber maybe) to protect them from excessive stresses when moving their storage, and place a small bag of silicagel to keep moisture off.

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