Packing a Hard Drive
October 13, 2004 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Are there any precautions I should take when shipping a hard drive in regards to packing? I've heard that it's important to have a certain amount of padding around it, but I don't know what would be best.
posted by mindless progress to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Antistatic bag and some foam or peanuts or newspaper around it and it should be fine.

The antistatic bag is the important part.
posted by SpecialK at 9:35 PM on October 13, 2004

It's sudden acceration/deceleration that'll kill it. Padding is the best idea. Ask handlers to be kind by stamping Fragile/Kittens-Inside all over the box too.
posted by holloway at 10:10 PM on October 13, 2004

I've never had trouble shipping hard drives using the following packing system, from inside out:

Drive goes into a static bag. Bag gets wrapped in foam or bubblewrap. Wrapped up wad goes into a box stuffed with wadded paper. Box gets a shipping label slapped on it.

Do not, however, over-label the box. Shippers employ enough sadists such that any box heavily labelled as fragile and packed with kittens will get maximum abuse. Write "fragile" on it, once, so that should the package turn up abused and you find yourself filing a claim against the shipper, you can at least point to the word to support your claim.
posted by majick at 12:10 AM on October 14, 2004

Whenever packing anything breakable, make sure there is 2" of padding on all sides (you can fudge this a little with a hard drive, which is actually pretty sturdy). Use a 200-lb box in good shape, and seal it with packaging tape--not scotch tape, not masking tape, not duct tape. Strapping tape doesn't offer any benefits for actually sealing the box--only use it with very heavy boxes that need some reinforcement around their circumferences.

Make sure the box feels solid when closed: you should be able to stand on the box without crushing it. This is not an unreasonable approximation of how it will be treated in shipping--UPS suggests you use 200-lb test boxes, and if three 70-lb boxes are loaded on top of it (70 lb being their traditional weight limit), there you are.

It is most likely that nobody at UPS will look at any labeling long enough to respect or disrespect any "fragile" markings. The best bet is to pack it securely and not rely on labeling.
posted by adamrice at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2004

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