In summer, when you use your PC for a long time in a hot room, sometime your PC may get hot. One of the causes of heat generated by PCs is heat generated by HDDs and SSDs. Abnormal heat generation of HDD and SSD can cause malfunction, and in the worst case, it can lead to loss of important data. So what temperature is an abnormal and what should we do if an HDD or SSD gets hotter? This page introduces what to do when an HDD or SSD overheats.
・1. What is proper temperature for an HDD or SSD?
When using a PC, surface temperature of HDDs and SSDs usually rises to about 40 degrees. This is because HDDs use a motor to rotate an internal disk (platter) at high speed, so heat generation is structurally unavoidable, and SSDs generate heat due to an increase in power consumption when processing data at high speed. It is inevitable that HDDs and SSDs generate heat. HDDs and SSDs generally have a temperature limit of 50 degrees Celsius and 70 degrees Celsius during operation, and it is said to be dangerous if the temperature exceeds that. An SSD have a safety device called “thermal throttling” to prevent thermal runaway, and as a guide, it automatically slows down the process when it exceeds 70 degrees, and tries to maintain a safe temperature, however it is not always possible to prevent failures due to heat generation only by this function.
Therefore, it is important to have a way to check how much an HDD or SSD is generating heat. If you can check the heat generation yourself, you can prevent failures due to abnormal heat generation. Since HDDs and SSDs currently on markets have a self-diagnosis function called S.M.A.R.T., it is possible to know the surface temperature of HDDs and SSDs. S.M.A.R.T. information can be displayed by using a tool, and a typical one is “CrystalDiskInfo” which is for free. It is better to install such a tool to know the status of an HDD or an SSD.
・2. What to do if an internal HDD or SSD heats up
If an internal HDD or SSD heats up, firstly turn off the power and check the following points.
Is a cooling fan or PC clogged with dust, or is the fan itself malfunctioning?
→ A PC that has been used for a long time may be clogged with dust inside the fan or case, or the fan itself may break down and the air flow may be obstructed. If the air cooling mechanism is not functioning properly, heat tends to be trapped inside the PC. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust or replace the fan.
Is a room temperature of the working environment appropriate?
→ If you work at high temperature, the temperature in an HDD or SSD not tend to drop. If the room temperature is high, try lowering the room temperature with an air conditioner.
Is a PC vent blocked?
→ If a vent is blocked, intake and exhaust will be hindered and heat will be trapped inside a PC. Move it so that air can pass through the vents, such as by moving the PC away from a wall.
Are you continuously performing work that puts a heavy load on an HDD or SSD?
→ When performing tasks such as defragmentation, virus checking, and video encoding continuously for a long time, an HDD and SSD are heavily loaded. When performing work that is considered to be a heavy load, try reducing the load applied at one time by increasing a work interval.
If the temperature still does not drop, or if you want to improve cooling efficiency, you can also consider the following methods.
[For desktop PC]
Replace with a stronger fan
Add more fans if there is installation space
To cool an HDD or SSD, it is important to create an appropriate air flow inside the case. By strengthening and adding fans, if you create a situation where air is smoothly sucked in from the front and discharged from the back, the cooling effect will be improved (Since the amount of dust sucked in will increase accordingly, regular internal cleaning is also necessary.).
[For notebook PC]
Use a commercially available PC cooler
Notebook PCs often have vents on the bottom, and the narrow housing is packed with heat-generating parts, making it easy for heat to accumulate. If you want a strong cooling effect, we recommend installing a PC cooler with a fan. Power can be supplied from a USB port to operate the fan and air can be sent in.
・3. What to do if an external HDD or SSD heats up
If an external HDD or SSD heats up, first remove the external HDD or SSD and check the following points.
For models with a cooling fan, is the fan not clogged with dust and is the fan rotating normally?
→ If the proper air flow is obstructed, the cooling effect will be reduced. Remove dust or replace the fan as soon as possible if it is not rotating.
Whether the room temperature of the working environment is appropriate?
→ Similar to an internal HDD or SSD, the cooling effect decreases at high temperatures, which may cause abnormal heat generation. If the room temperature is high, try lowering the room temperature.
Is the vent of an external HDD or SSD blocked?
→ Due to the small size of external HDDs and SSDs, it is often placed close to the corner of the rack or other devices. Move it so that air can pass through the vents.
If the heat dissipation still does not work, it is better to use a fan or circulator to forcibly blow air to cool it. Please try it when you work for a long time. Also, as with both internal and external ones, avoid using ice packs just because you want to cool them immediately. HDDs and SSDs are a precision machines. Water droplets on the surface may cause a malfunction.
Although the mechanism of heat generation is different, HDDs and SSDs inevitably generate a large amount of heat when processing data at high speed. Both HDDs and SSDs are places to store important data. Sudden failure can result in data loss and serious damage. If you are concerned about heat generation, try the method introduced this content. Also, by using the power saving function of an OS such as Windows, an HDD or SSD can be automatically put to sleep when there is no access for a certain period of time, and heat generation can be suppressed. By making good use of these function, you can use an HDD or SSD more safely and save energy.