Will airport x-ray machines damage an external hard drive?
August 28, 2007 9:00 PM   Subscribe

Do airport x-ray machines damage external hard drives?

I'll be traveling tomorrow with two external hard drives. I'll be taking them carry-on, so that they don't get all banged up. Should I just leave them in my bag and let them go through the x-ray machine? Or should I, like, take them out and hand them to the guy or something?
posted by Afroblanco to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
To echo the reassurance, I travel with a laptop (sometimes two) and one or two external hard drives on a weekly basis and none of them have been damaged at all.

And burhanistan is correct, the x-ray machines don't affect the hard drives.
posted by bedhead at 10:10 PM on August 28, 2007

No, they'll be fine. Travel with my laptop and a 250GB drive containing my life, and so far all ok.
posted by djgh at 10:11 PM on August 28, 2007

Just leave the drive in your bag and don't worry about it. My portable hard drive was x-rayed three times last time I flew, and it still works like a charm.
posted by benign at 10:14 PM on August 28, 2007

The x-rays aren't an issue, but impact shock can be.

I once hit an asshole security screener who slammed the drives down onto the steel table, and then threatened me when I asked him to be gentle with them.

So just leave them in the bag - don't mention them or bring attention to them, they're safer that way. (Even if they want to inspect an item in the bag, they'll have you take it out)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:55 AM on August 29, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, all. My hard drives made the journey just fine.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:17 PM on September 2, 2007

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