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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives | Physical Problems ]

The hard disk is very hot while in operation

Explanation: The hard disk feels very hot while it is operating.

Diagnosis: It is normal for hard disks, especially newer ones, to feel hot while they are operating. They should not get as hot as solid-state components like processors; they will often feel warm to the touch but should not be uncomfortable to put a hand onto. Newer disks that spin at 7200 RPM or higher will tend to get hotter than older, slower drives. A properly-ventilated case should be able to handle all but the hottest drives without additional cooling measures being required.

Recommendation:

  • Check the cooling level of the case as a whole if you suspect that the case is not being ventilated properly.
  • You may want to change the physical layout of the inside of the case. If the hard disk is mounted close to another disk or other hot-running components, or in a place where it will not receive much air flow to cool it, moving it may reduce its temperature.
  • High-performance disks such as Seagate's 10,000 RPM Cheetah often require special cooling arrangements. I recommend you contact the manufacturer directly for advice on cooling high-end, high-RPM disk drives.

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