How to properly handle Western Digital internal hard drives

Special handling is required to protect hard drives from damage. Hard drives can be damaged by excessive physical force or from Electrostatic Discharge (ESD).

Caution: ESD damage is usually invisible to the eye and may not be discovered until much later, either through intermittent performance or failure. By using the proper procedures outlined in this article, you can reduce the chance of hard drive damage by ESD.

  • Before removing the hard drive from its ESD bag, prepare tools and cables to install.

  • Keep the hard drive inside the ESD bag until you are ready to physically install the hard drive into the computer system.

  • Wear a grounding strap if available - especially if near sensitive devices like memory, controller cards, or other electronic boards.

  • With the computer turned off (but still plugged into the power source), touch bare metal on computer case, then unplug the computer's power cable*.

  • Do not let others touch the drive.

  • Hold a hard drive by the sides, taking care not to touch the PCB connectors or Printed Circuit Board assembly.

  • Install drive without walking on carpet or moving about in any way that generates static electricity.

  • Do not drop, jolt, or shake a hard drive. This action could damage the internal components of the drive.

  • Avoid subjecting the hard drive to extreme temperatures.

  • Do not stack hard drives.

  • Do not stand hard drives on their sides.

  • Do not place anything on top of a hard drive.

  • Never force or hammer a hard drive into a computer bay.

  • Use caution when installing data and power connectors to avoid damaging connector pins.

  • Do not obstruct or cover any air filter holes on the drives.


  • * this is because the case may not be grounded once the third prong of the power connector is disengaged



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