After a long, slow, and seemingly indefinite winter (how many other ways can I say winter seemed to last FOREVER?!), springtime is finally upon us! Now is the time for remembering how loud birds can sing in the morning, questioning why you bought your house next to the guy who mows his lawn at 7am, and, of course, spring cleaning. But no matter what your mom taught you, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be all about going through old clothes, dusting, and getting rid of those Guns N’ Roses posters you’ve had since 1991. It can also be about making sure all your data is organized and safe.
The Newer Technology StoraDrive is perfect for storing, protecting, and organizing all your 3.5” hard drives. It’s sleek, black, and prepared to make you look ridiculously neat and organized. Each drive drawer includes a convenient label area so you can remember exactly what content you put in each section (a feature that would have come in handy on your dresser when you misplaced not both, but just one of your favorite socks…such a tragedy).
And unlike that (*cough*) beautiful, hand knitted sweater you found in the back of your closet from your sweet Aunt Sally, the StoraDrive cases are anti-static to provide safe, durable storage for your drives. Best of all, you can stack more StoraDrives as your drive storage need grows!
So let the StoraDrive help you with your cleaning and organization efforts. Well, at least partially…unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about that tumbleweed of dust forming under your bed…you’re going to have to face that one head on.
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One of the more frequent question topics we get here at OWC revolve around anti-static precautions.Very often, it will read something like this:
“I purchased a Newer Technology Voyager, and I love it! But I am still unsure how I should be handling a bare hard drive. Should I have one of those Electrostatic Discharge wristbands? Can I hurt my drive by handling it?”
That’s an important question; if you’re going to be handling bare hard drives, you should do so properly. Simply put, electrostatic discharge (ESD) occurs when a charge on a hand or tool finds a path of lesser resistance for itself to “ground.” If this “path of lesser resistance” goes through the hard drive, damage to the drive can occur. So, you must either create an even lower-resistance path, or discharge built-up electrostatic charge prior to handling the drive.
Creating a lower-resistance path to ground is usually done with an ESD wristband. If you don’t have a wristband, you can discharge static in one of two ways:
- Touch a grounded metal object to remove any charge from your body.
- You can ground yourself with most computer models by touching the metal chassis inside the case. That is, provided the machine is turned off, plugged into a properly grounded outlet, and has a metal chassis. If the machine isn’t grounded, you’re actually causing the damaging discharge we’re trying to avoid on purpose.
There are two other things to keep in mind regarding handling bare hard drives.
- Always handle the drive on the side, never touch the printed circuit board
- All drives ship in an anti-static bag. You can both handle your drive with the anti-static bag and store your drive in it too.
When you take your drive out, store it in our NewerTech StoraDrive stackable anti-static cases. They’re a great way to archive your hard drives, protect them from the elements—including static buildup—and keep them safe!
Of course, anti-static precautions should be taken any time you work on your computer or handle any bare internal computer components, like memory or PCIe cards. For more tips check out this article by OWC Michael.
So often we are asked in reference to our OWC Instructional Series of Videos, “How exactly am I supposed to ‘Use proper anti-static precautions when performing this upgrade’?” The real answer is…it depends. There are actually several different ways, depending on your situation, that you can help to control static electricity in order to avoid damaging the electronically delicate components found inside your computer.
According to Wikipedia: Static electricity refers to the buildup of electric charge on the surface of objects. The static charges remain on an object until they either bleed off to ground or are quickly neutralized by a discharge. And it’s that discharge that can ‘zap’ or ‘fry’ your computer components, rendering them inoperable.
To give you an idea of how little static electricity needs to be generated to cause harm to your computer components, it takes as little as 5 to 10 volts to cause damage inside your computer. In order for you to even feel the presence of static electricity, the level needs to be above 1,500 volts. You can accumulate an average of 10,000 to 12,000 volts just walking across carpeting. Rubbing a balloon on dry fur (or hair) generates about 20,000 volts. Did you know the average person can carry up to 25,000 volts of static energy at any given time? So discharging any built up energy before you begin is important.
So, how are we to be safe when working in our precious machines? Article Continues…