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I recently bought two Hitachi HLSMPUA3201ABB external Hard drives. They come with a USB key attached to the enclosure with a magnet. It's not a very strong magnet but I can't help wondering whether the drive would last longer without it. Should I consider returning it?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It won't damage your HDD, don't even give it a second thought.

See here for reasons why.

The only magnets powerful enough to scrub data from a drive platter are laboratory degaussers or those used by government agencies to wipe bits off media. "In the real world, people are not losing data from magnets," says Bill Rudock, a tech-support engineer with hard-drive maker Seagate. "In every disk," notes Rudock, "there's one heck of a magnet that swings the head."

There are magnets inside the hard drive also and are not shielded in any way.

enter image description here

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Thanks. Would have realised if I stopped to think. Guess I was being over-paranoid about my fifty bucks. :) – Yitzchak Sep 18 '11 at 13:48
Don't they put mu-metal around the motors in a hard drive to route the magnetic field away from the platters? – Tom Zych Sep 18 '11 at 14:02
Sensible people are cautious with their money. Its worth asking if you're not sure. Imagine if the answer had gone the other way and you hadn;t asked :-) – Joe Taylor Sep 18 '11 at 14:07
The armature that moves the heads on a hard drive uses a very powerful magnet on both sides of the voice coil, they are not shielded, and they sit very close to the platters, Joe is right, it takes a super magnet to have any effect on – Moab Sep 18 '11 at 16:39

It will be fine. Harddrives even contain magnets.

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