I'm scared! Using my brand new shiny MBP 15inch on an airplane? Will this kill my HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by icedvovo, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. icedvovo macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2009
    Will using my MBP on an airplane ruin it's hard drive if I lift it up too fast (because the reader/writer head thing will push through the semi-pressurised onto the actual HDD)???
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    Haha, u kidding.. How many people take machines up there to play with all the time.
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    If you're worried about exceeding the maximum operating altitude, you don't need to. Cabin pressures are maintained at < 8000'.
  6. icedvovo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2009
    Thanks for all the info guys! I feel a lot better now.... :D
  7. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    I flew about a half million miles with my PowerBook G4 before the stress finally killed the hard drive. I think you'll be fine for a while at least. :)
  8. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I use mine on the plane all the time. Nothing to worry about.
  9. nefan65 macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2009
    You might want to slide a Dramamine pill into the superdrive :D
  10. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    For comfort, I never would get my computer out on flights. Even in business class, it's just such a pain, to me.

    I say "never would," because now I don't even take a computer when I fly away. It's too much of a pain. I Just take iphone.

    I worry about those plastic security bins scratching them.
  11. Patrick J macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Mar 12, 2009
    Oporto, Portugal
    After the attempt, on all inbound international US flights you aren't allowed any electronic equipment in the last hour of flight (you aren't even allowed to go to the toilet (stupid, but meh..).

    Back to the topic, I use my laptop every time I'm on a train/plane/occasionally a car. It's amazing to think of the heads hanging tiny distances from platters spinning at over five thousand rotations per minute. I suppose that eventually fate will catch up with me, but I have daily backups on my Time Machine and HDDs are as cheap as dirt.
  12. shoulin333 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    if you think the airplane doesn't have some hard drives of its own in there your kidding yourself :)

    But if it makes you feel better you could always buy an SSD just to be sure, haha :)

    have fun
  13. sharkync macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2009
    I'm afraid that taking computers on airplanes will soon be a thing of the past - at least in the U.S. Probably flying clothed as well.

    Oh well - paranoia equals power.
  14. boatski macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2008
    If you had read about this you would know that this is related to taking computer INTO the US from international flights, but you didn't read it.
  15. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
  16. XboxMySocks macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2009
    Please explain this more, I don't really understand the way you worded it :/
  17. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    A 15" MBP is extremely difficult to use in coach class. There isn't enough room to put the screen at a comfortable angle, and there isn't enough room for your arms between you and the computer, so you will probably keep hitting the person next to you. This is one situation where a 13" would really come in handy.

    Generally I don't use my laptop on planes, but now that they have internet, I might do so more often despite the discomfort.

    The OP's concern is somewhat valid. Mechanical hard drives float the heads on a cushion of air, and that air cushion is the only thing that keeps the head from crashing into and destroying the platter. At some altitude there isn't enough air for the heads to float on, and trying to use one at that altitude could destroy the disk.

    Most hard drives have an operating altitude rating (probably very conservative), and as far as I know, most (all?) of them are high enough to be used in planes. If brand X hard drives sometimes died during use on airplanes, I'm sure you would hear about it here with all the complaints people post. In fact, I'm sure there would be several threads per week about it. The fact that people use their laptops on planes all the time and I haven't heard of any failures because of it suggests that it isn't something to be worried about.

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