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How long can HDD survive without power. I have three Samsung HD103SJ HDDs none of them were powered for few years. I took them from RAID 5 array and all of them were functional. Now I tried to make new RAD 5 array but they are death. All of them.

Im not asking about data retention.

I thought maybe some electrolyte capacitor died or some internal batery that helps actuator arm to get in safe position after sudden power off.

marked as duplicate by Ramhound, DavidPostill, fixer1234, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Moses Oct 30 '15 at 21:18

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  • There is no single rule that applies to every mechanical drive. – Ramhound Oct 29 '15 at 11:39
  • Well I read that Q&A before i made this question, well and there is no answer. They are mainly talking about data retention I am talking about HDD lifetime when is not used. – Addman Oct 29 '15 at 11:54
  • If properly stored the device should simply work. – Ramhound Oct 29 '15 at 12:07
  • Well it was. In my office at room temperature. Humidity at ~45%. In antistatic case. There was any mechanical shock. At this point there 5 HDDs not working from metioned RAID. – Addman Oct 29 '15 at 12:55
  • I agree with Wes below. The fact that none are working now would suggest more that the new setup is wrong/incompatible than the disks actually being dead. – Linef4ult Oct 30 '15 at 16:47

Power has nothing to do with the shelf life of a hard drive. A traditional spinning hard drive does not have a battery or a capacitor to park the heads after a power-off. When the drive loses power the heads simply fly off the outer edge of the platter by centrifugal force and land on a set of pads designed for that purpose. It's a product of physics, not electronics.

So the assumption behind your question is invalid. The answer, without addressing the "data retention" aspect of things, is that a drive will survive without power indefinitely, all other things being equal.

  • Not quite indefinitely. Eventually the lubricant (rotating platters!) becomes solid or sticky and the drive will no longer spin up. – Hennes Oct 30 '15 at 16:46
  • Well, subject to the laws of mechanics yes. But in the context of the way he asked the question it's definitely not the reason his hard drives don't work now. – Wes Sayeed Oct 30 '15 at 16:51
  • If it was one drive. Maybe. But all of them? I suspect that is is indeed a compatability issue. Fun detail: written from a desktop with four such drives in a RAID 5 array (HW RAID, 3ware 9750). – Hennes Oct 30 '15 at 17:00

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