Despite the incredible advances that have been made in technology over the past few decades, there is one unavoidable truth about the durability and reliability of electronic devices. Whether you’re talking about an old desktop with a hard disk drive (HDD) on its way to being retired or a brand-new laptop fitted with the most cutting-edge solid state drive (SSD) storage solution – heat damages computers. The more thermal stress that you’re exposing an electronic device to, the more of a risk you run of damaging it. That’s why if you are holding on to a back stock of storage solutions, whether they’re SSDs or HDDs, it pays to keep them in a climate-controlled storage unit.
Even SSDs Can’t Always Beat The Heat
One of the big advantages that SSDs have over traditional HDDs is that SSDs don’t produce heat the way HDDs do. That’s because HDDs work by using mechanical read/write heads to manage data on a spinning disc. This spinning disc creates friction, which creates heat. Since heat is damaging to HDDs, if the heat is not properly vented or managed, an HDD can easily go bad. SSDs, because they write to flash memory and aren’t governed by a mechanical device, don’t create nearly the amount of heat that HDDs do.
However, SSDs are still electronic devices and are temperature-sensitive. Because they are relatively new, there are still unknowns about exactly how exposure to external heat affects performance, but a recently released, widely disseminated report indicates that storing powered-down SSDs in rooms in the 100-degree range can cause significant data loss. Thus, if there are any data on an SSD that you’re keeping in a storage unit without temperature control, those are data that you might not ever see again.
While there is not a lot of information yet on how such conditions affect new drives, the demonstrated impact of heat on SSDs with data written to them indicates that when it comes to heat and SSDs, proceeding with caution and care is the best approach.
Temperature Fluctuations Hasten Wear—or Worse
When the metals and elements that make up an SSD are exposed to temperature fluctuations—extreme heat followed by extreme cold and vice versa—it can lead to different parts of the drive bending out of shape ever so slightly. This can result in undue wear and even breakage of the many delicate components of the drive. In many parts of the United States and elsewhere, inconsistent temperatures are the norm every season, so leaving a drive stored in a location with no climate control means it will definitely be exposed to these types of fluctuations.
With Climate Control, You’re Less Likely to Sell a Lemon
Whether an SSD or an HDD, no individual storage solution is guaranteed to be perfect. But if you’re keeping a stock of drives—new or used—in an environment that isn’t appropriately temperature-controlled, you are drastically increasing the chances that one or more of those drives will suffer a loss of reliability. Those are drives that are eventually going to make it to your customers, and if those drives fail right when a customer turns them on, or after an unacceptably short duration, that will reflect back on you.
It may seem like an unnecessary investment up front to keep any and all computer storage units in a climate-controlled environment. But reliability is key when it comes to storage solutions, and compromising the reliability of your drives means compromising both your business relationships and your good name.
How have you seen temperatures adversely affect SSDs and HDDs?