Author Topic: Laptop failure from vibration?  (Read 2004 times)

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Offline Jim

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Laptop failure from vibration?
« on: December 18, 2017, 02:22:35 pm »
Has anyone experienced a laptop failure from carrying it on the bike?  I'm concerned about packing a non-SSD laptop in the side cases.
 I plan on using a medium density foam to protect it from shock and vibration.  Other packing suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 02:59:48 pm »
I did 1800 miles with a laptop with a standard HDD with no damage.
It was sandwiched inside high density foam and other soft items.

I believe most modern HDDs have a park position to help prevent vibration damage.
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Offline BrianD

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 03:17:32 pm »
I have been commuting 50 miles a day with my laptop in my side case for years and have never had a failure.  I carry it in a standard padded shoulder bag.
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Offline S Smith

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2017, 05:04:29 pm »
As long as it is shut down the HDD head should be in the park position and should be OK. Some basic padding as described by others will protect it from jarring.


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Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2017, 05:29:35 pm »
I have carried non SSD  laptops across the country and back several times on C10 and C14 . Never had an issue with vibration. The hard drives Auto-Park so that is not an issue
Dropping it to the ground a few times seems to have done something to it.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2017, 05:54:09 pm »
Thanks for the replies.  I feel a lot more comfortable about toting it along on the next trip.

Offline 4Bikes

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 12:41:14 am »
I used to carry laptops for work, but for the past two years it’s not needed.  Not everybody is there yet, but I use VMWare Horizon that leverages Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). This allows me to use an iPad or iPhone to deal with most things that I need to do (server and repair issues) while traveling. Note, I would not want to work 8 hours like this, but the things I need to tend too while traveling, it works great.
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Offline mgoodrich

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 02:12:37 am »
Yes, I wrecked a laptop (IBM) the first time I took it on a business trip.

The roads in Illinois took out the hard drive so badly, it wouldn't spool up at all.

I don't think it was from vibration, was on interstate and the lane I was in had been freshly blacktopped, but suddenly ended with about a 4 inch drop. That jolt did it I believe.

Offline Jeff Kerkow

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 02:34:53 am »
I have dragged my older Dell Inspiron for at least 10,000 miles never had an issue. It is in a Target laptop bag that fits nicely in the saddle bag. I am convinced the only reason it lasts is because it is my sacrificial laptop. Absolutely everything on it is backed up or available from the cloud. Now if I absolutely needed it you know what would happpen.
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Offline Lee

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2017, 06:07:58 am »
As a geek (2 associates in computers) my recommendation is to remove the hard drive from the laptop when transporting.  Put the hard drive in a separate container with padding.  The lockable waterproof tackle containers from Wal-Mart would work with a good foam padding.  This allows the hard drive to be protected directly.  Please note my degrees are in computers not grammar so I apologize for any grammar errors.

Offline Bud

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2017, 10:24:04 am »
As a geek (2 associates in computers) my recommendation is to remove the hard drive from the laptop when transporting.  Put the hard drive in a separate container with padding.  The lockable waterproof tackle containers from Wal-Mart would work with a good foam padding.  This allows the hard drive to be protected directly.  Please note my degrees are in computers not grammar so I apologize for any grammar errors.
Lee, your method would be the safest for sure.  The problem might be that some of the newer model laptops have been designed so that removing a hard drive might require splitting the case to get it out.  In the old days, removing a hard drive from a laptop could be as simple as one screw to remove a cover and a couple more to get the hard drive free.  Some manufacturers even bury the battery inside the case, instead of having a couple of latches that hold the battery in so it can be swapped out easily.  These design changes probably have more to do with keeping manufacturing costs low with little regard to ease of service.  This is another example of changes that just make me shake my head in disgust.

My favorite aunt shipped her desktop to me some years back so that I could do a bunch of upgrade work to it.  It was an HP that the hard drive was held in place with a plastic latching mechanism.  The hard drive came lose somewhere along the way and bounced around inside the case as the box was tossed around by UPS handlers.  I was concerned that there would be damage to the drive, but it was just fine.  I had a laptop come in recently that had been dropped while it was running.  Not only was the hard drive trash, but the motherboard had been damaged as well.  If the hard drive isn't running when it is bounced around, you have a good chance of survival.

Offline jwh20

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2017, 12:58:06 pm »
I've carried mine many miles on various bikes.  In a regular backpack case and almost always strapped to the seat with a cargo net.  Never an issue.  Laptops in general are pretty rugged since they are designed to get banged around.  I don't think I'd go off-road with one on-board but street riding shouldn't be an issue.

While an SSD has advantages in ruggedness, all laptop hard drives have shock protection.
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 05:29:45 pm »
YES. I destroyed 2 laptops (including a new Mac) in about 10 months commuting on my C10. My daily roundtrip was ~90 miles, about half freeway and half mountain roads.

I was carrying the laptops in a normal laptop briefcase (not highly padded) in my sidecase and it was in sleep mode.

On the second laptop failure, I changed my routine (I may be slow, but I'm not completely unteachable   :rotflmao: ) and made it a rule to fully shut down the computer before getting on the bike. I believe this parks the hard drive and helps prevent damage.

In the last 6 years I've experienced no more failures and my company has stopped having to issue me new hardware!

Good luck
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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2017, 08:21:58 pm »
a rule to fully shut down the computer before getting on the bike. I believe this parks the hard drive and helps prevent damage.


Turning off a laptop does tell a non-SSD drive to park the heads.

Padding and other accoutrements are nice but this step is most effective.

Also make sure you ensure the safety of your luggage while carrying the laptop.  I learned this the hard way when I lost the driver-side bag containing my MacBook's charger while riding to the 2012 COG Nationals.  The MacBook was safely ensconced inside my GIVI 47L top-case.  But not the charger!?#?!  Bought a replacement at the Best Buy in Springfield, MO on that same afternoon.

So, if vibration doesn't get your laptop, make sure the loss of a bag doesn't either.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 11:33:50 am »
Great advice. :great: 
I've made a 2 piece clam-shell from 2" foam.  The thicker foam gives me the option of sculpting it to fit securely in the outer half of the side case while allowing the laptop to sit nestled (not compressed) in a rectangular pocket.  Hopefully, this will provide the best isolation from bumps and vibration.

Offline Outback Jon

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2017, 10:52:56 pm »
I generally throw my Thinkpad in one of the side cases when I go on a trip.  Usually stuffed in between my clothes in a saddlebag liner.  Haven't killed one yet.  But then, Thinkpads are on the stronger side of laptops.  (At least the slightly older ones that I use are.) 
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Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2017, 06:08:07 pm »
Just saw this but I had to respond.
I have killed at least a dozen laptops this way.  Now I may be harder on them because I need them actually running and datalogging on my EFI projects and so the hard drives are never parked.  In fact I killed one only a few months old recently but have now replaced the HDD with a (smaller) SSD.  Now both of my current laptops are SSD and I pray that the switch eliminates my high cost of tuning.

EDIT TO ADD:
I also have had a real problem killing USB ports since my tuning has been done using a serial to USB adapter and the vibration simply abraids and wears out the USB socket on the motherboards.  Now I have added a bluetooth transmitter to my bike's ECU and so I can forego the cables thus eliminating THAT connection as well.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 06:11:30 pm by Rev Ryder »
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Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2017, 10:45:16 pm »
Computer manufacturers ship laptops via FEDEX every day.
Ordered one for my oldest kid and it arrived just fine and I'm sure it was thrown into the truck with every other fragile package on the planet.
It was padded with nothing more than cardboard, and yes it had a HDD.
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Offline ChrisD

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2017, 12:51:08 pm »
No issues with any laptops I've carried around, even after a major accident.  Promoted to a tablet with an SSD, lighter and takes up less space. As long as you pack it right you should be good to go. :beerchug:
 
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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2017, 05:10:41 pm »
Any electronics subjected to vibration it wasn't designed for, will increase the likelihood that it will fail prematurely. It's not just the HDD but any connector can loosen, solder joints can fail, etc...  I've never had a problem on a bike, but my wife had a laptop that I believe failed due to her cats sitting on it. The screen failed and she took it to best buy and they quoted her a hundred more than she paid for it to fix it. Instead, I took it completely apart, found nothing obvious, put it back together, and it has worked fine since. I'm guessing the weight of a cat was enough to flex the case and loosened a connector which I re-seated when putting it back together.
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Offline connieklr

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2017, 12:49:07 pm »
Vibration?

What vibration?



Seriously: This is a "new" old D630 laptop getting ready for a new WWAN card and a CMOS battery. Can't wait to get into a later 1525 to replace a noisy fan that drives me crazy when it decides to start rattling away. You just about need to strip that one to a bare frame before you can access the fan. Dumb.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 03:15:25 pm by connieklr »
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Offline VTconnie

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2017, 03:23:16 pm »
Vibration?

What vibration?



Seriously: This is a "new" old D630 laptop getting ready for a new WWAN card and a CMOS battery. Can't wait to get into a later 1525 to replace a noisy fan that drives me crazy when it decides to start rattling away. You just about need to strip that one to a bare frame before you can access the fan. Dumb.

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Offline connieklr

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2018, 12:42:20 pm »
Vibration?

What vibration?



Seriously: This is a "new" old D630 laptop getting ready for a new WWAN card and a CMOS battery. Can't wait to get into a later 1525 to replace a noisy fan that drives me crazy when it decides to start rattling away. You just about need to strip that one to a bare frame before you can access the fan. Dumb.

Hydrolocked' it did ya? I can't believe DELL stopped using overflow tubes.

LOL! Yeah - hate it when that happens.
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Offline Thud300

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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2018, 12:00:41 am »
I generally throw my Thinkpad in one of the side cases when I go on a trip.  Usually stuffed in between my clothes in a saddlebag liner.  Haven't killed one yet.  But then, Thinkpads are on the stronger side of laptops.  (At least the slightly older ones that I use are.)

My T410 Thinkpad is damn near bulletproof. It goes with me everywhere and has been on almost every ride since I began riding, in a backpack with a laptop pouch and a little added foam in the bottom.
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Re: Laptop failure from vibration?
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2018, 01:12:13 am »
I think I'd back-up my porn collection before taking the risk.
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