Will a hard drive immersed in non-conductive fluid or oil work properly?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Adrian Wong, May 26, 2008.


Can a hard drive immersed in non-conductive liquid work properly?

  1. Yes, I think it's possible.

    0 vote(s)
  2. No way! No way in hell it will run.

    0 vote(s)
  3. I don't really care or wish to guess.

    0 vote(s)
  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Karhoe just reminded me about the overclocking tests where the motherboard, CPU, memory modules, graphics card, etc. were all immersed in non-conductive fluid, including oil, to increase thermal dissipation from those components.

    He asked me a rather interesting question - can the hard drive be immersed as well? Will such an immersed hard drive work?

    Obviously, I don't think so. I have my reasons for that opinion, which I will reveal later. But what do YOU think? :think:
  2. mikegas

    mikegas Newbie

    Is this a trick question? No way. Mechanical component, breather hole. Flight dynamics, air pressure .. blah .. the list goes on. Get a SSD drive maybe it would work. Plus, there is no way to overclock a HDD .. is there? Prove me wrong.
  3. zy

    zy zynine.com Staff Member

    i'm thinking about the breather hole too, fluid might go in and start interfering with the mechanism inside :p
  4. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Haha, I was just asking for fun, I don't think it would work because the oil could slow down the spinning of splatter and movement of the head
  5. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    No I don't think so any mechanical device with breather holes as mentioned above will work submersed in liquid.

    I saw a post a while back in which a system was submersed in liquid but the DVD Rom and HD devices were externally mounted.
  6. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    No way it will work, unless the HDD is air tight, which isn't. :p
  7. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    No-no, it's not about overclocking the hard drive. It's just a way for them to radically cool down the hot CPU and graphics card by soaking the whole assembly in a tank filled with non-conductive liquid.
  8. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hehe.. Frankly, I was thinking the same thing. The fluid may be non-conductive but the hard drive isn't completely sealed.

    If the fluid is not sufficiently viscous, it can leak past the filter into the drive, disrupt the spinning of the platters and cause the heads to crash.
  9. g0tanks

    g0tanks Newbie

    No for sure.
  10. Lacus

    Lacus Newbie

    This experiment seems familiar..Was it from Tomshardware? I remember them soaking their PC in some sort of oil :S to Oc their system to the MAX (Referring to Maximum..Not Max :whistle:)
  11. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Well, so what is the purpose of breather hole?
  12. Lacus

    Lacus Newbie

    So that hot air can come out thru those breather holes? HDD can be hot sometimes due to writing and reading :3
  13. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Adui... It's mentioned in ALL our hard drive reviews! :wall: :wall:
  14. mikegas

    mikegas Newbie

    Well behind the breather hole is actually an air filter. This hole would serve as pressure equalizer and humidity control. HDD actually has altitude spec, do you know that HDD spec only cover usage from sea level to 3km ;)
  15. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    It was with cooking oil and posted on Tom's Hardware ;)
    VIDEO: Tom's Oil-Cooled PC - DIY & Mods - Tom's Hardware
  16. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Actually, the one I saw did not use cooking oil. It used some high-tech non-conductive fluid from DuPont, I think. And I believe it was done much earlier than Tom's.
  17. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    Interesting if you find it post it up Adrian ;)
  18. jasperchc

    jasperchc Newbie

    no way, unless its a SSD :thumb:
  19. Zenphic

    Zenphic Newbie

    The thing about Tom's though is that they kept the hard drive outside the case and never immersed it. Darn!

    I actually think that's it's possible that a hard drive could work in a fluid. Sure, if the the fluid gets into it, the platters won't be able to spin as well because of the extra resistance, which could cause a failure, but it "should" work for some time ;)
  20. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    I disagree ;)

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