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This is nothing too tech-savvy like mounting...

If I do these things:

  1. Put my laptop into "hibernate" state instead of shutting it down
  2. Open the back of the laptop (I mean something like this)
  3. Pull out the hard-drive from the back
  4. Put the hard-drive into an external hard-drive casing, something like this: enter image description here
  5. Plug the hard-drive into another laptop via USB, just like plugging in USB hard-drive. Like this: enter image description here

What would happen to the hibernated hard-drive?

  • Would this procedure damage the hard-drive in any way (since it is still "hibernate" state)?
  • Would the laptop (another laptop) read the data inside the hard-drive?
  • Would it be safe to use the hard-drive as an external hard-drive in the long run (in case the original laptop is broken)?

I hope I lay out my question/explanation clear, since English is not my mother tounge. Thank you in advance!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

No damage would occur; the hibernated drive would be perfectly readable, and safe to use for however long you like.

Deleting the hibernation state file (\hiberfil.sys on a Windows drive) would make it impossible to restore from hibernation if you ever put the drive back in its original laptop; you'd have to boot up like any other time you start up the machine from power off. That's the worst you can do to it, though.

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Correct. When Windows hibernates, it writes the contents of memory to the hiberfil.sys file. So, when the computer boots off of that drive, it reads the hiberfil.sys contents back into memory. However, changes to the contents of that drive could potentially break resuming from a hibernated state. Worst cast, Windows would throw an error and you would lose your ability to resume, but you would be able to boot normally from the original laptop. – Keltari Apr 27 '13 at 15:33
Thanks for the answer! The other answer mentions something about covering hard drive hole. It reminds me: is there something to be take in caution during the process I outlined above? – deathlock Apr 29 '13 at 20:47
@deathlock The label on the top of the hard disk will probably say something like "Do not cover this hole" or "Do not cover any drive holes". Said holes allow air pressure equalization between the hard disk's interior and the surrounding environment; covering them results in a head crash -- the unrecoverable destruction of the physical media on the hard disk platters. You'll be fine as long as no part of the the external enclosure forms an airtight seal over any hole on the top cover of the hard disk, something which is highly unlikely to occur in practice. – Aaron Miller Apr 29 '13 at 23:55
@deathlock The only other caution I'd recommend is to avoid dropping the hard drive or subjecting it to similar abuse. Other than that, you should be fine. – Aaron Miller Apr 30 '13 at 0:44

Yes no damage will occur. But be careful. You have to choose correct casing for your hard drive. Wrong casing will cover hard drive hole which used for cooling. If it happen your hard drive will be failure and all data be lost. This happen to me so careful.

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Thanks for the answer! Regarding covering the hole, is there anything that might cause accidental covering? And where exactly is the hole you mentioned above? – deathlock Apr 29 '13 at 20:49
@dipa The holes are not for cooling; they allow air pressure equalization between the HDA and the external atmosphere, which is necessary to prevent head crash. – Aaron Miller Apr 29 '13 at 23:55

It will be broken beyond repair. Definitely you won't be able to use it in long-term. Make sure you have a proper backup before proceeding.

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Not true in any way or form – Keltari Apr 27 '13 at 14:33
My hdd was broken from this. – messhia Apr 28 '13 at 10:04
then you damaged it in some other way. the method described by the poster is perfectly safe. – Keltari Apr 28 '13 at 20:26

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