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Is It Safe To Travel With An External Hard Drive On An Airplane?


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#1
superstar

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I'm traveling this Christmas which is right around the corner. I plan to buy this hard drive:

http://canadacompute...h...&cid=HD.342

I cannot take my mid tower computer with me since it's huge and I'm just going on vacation for a month. But I'll be staying in a room with a top of the line computer. So my idea is buy the hard drive on that url^^^ and copy/paste all of the content from my home computer hard drives to the external drive I will be buying [only data, no programs/windows xp]. I have work to do even during my vacation so I have to bring all the data from my home pc hard drives.

But first things first... I have no clue if your allowed to travel with an external hard drive on board a plane in todays world. I mean airline security has certainly stepped up after what happened in 2001. I watch the news all the time and see people in airports who have to throw away lighters, gum, baby food, shampoo, etc. So I wonder if they would think that an external drive is something it's not? I mean I wouldn't want them to scan it with some xray device or something that may give it static electricity and fry it. I also wouldn't want them to shake it to hear what's inside. And worst of all I wouldn't want them to confiscate it because that would mean I'd be leaving it and personal data behind. I rather stomp on it with my two feet than let them confiscate it. I also don't know if being at such a high altitude would fry or kill my hard drive.

I haven't traveled on board an airplane in 7 years so I'd like to know anyones experiences with this subject. I mean I remember watching movies and such with people using laptops on board... But that must have been pre 2001. If anyone can share their experiences or knowledge on this subject it will be greatly appreciated.

Remember I plan to carry it on board in my carry on handbag not in the huge luggage that gets tossed and turned in the plane ramps and put inside the planes lower deck [that would definitely ruin the drive].

Also share any bad experiences about traveling with computer hardware if you have any!!!

:wave

Edited by superstar, 29 August 2007 - 06:47 AM.

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#2
dsenette

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a few months ago i went to Detroit for work...and i brought an external drive with me in some carry-on luggage...i didn't get asked a single question at a single airport on the way there or the way back....and since the drive was in my possession the whole time...no damage came to the drive

i always worry about passing things like that through the X-Ray machines...but that's based on paranoia not factual information...X-Rays have no effect on the drives....now if they wanted to pass it through a big magnet...I'd get a little angry...but...they don't do such things
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#3
dsenette

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also...altitude has nothing to do with anything...for a few reasons...but the biggest one being that the cabin of the plane is preassurized...so the air preassure (which is the issue with altitude) is exactly the same in the plane as it was outside of the plane on the ground
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#4
shard92

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The other thing to consider is where you are traveling to. You didn't say what if any borders you would be crossing so if your travels include crossing any borders you may want to check into what needs to be done. My Brother was traveling in africa and was almost arrested because he hadn't declared his laptop going INTO a country.... He had assumed as the one african country he was leaving didn't make him declare it that the next wouldn't but they made a big stink about it.... He had also thought that he only had to declare it if he bought it in country....
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#5
superstar

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Thats good news about the cabin and the x ray machine "dsenette".

As for your brother problems in Africa "Shard92"... Hmm that is really bad!!! I didn't mention where I was going to but I will now if it helps. I'm going to "El Salvador, Central America". I was there a long time ago in the late 90's and they confiscated my scissors, screwdriver, and nail clippers, in my carry on luggage. I guess those could be considered deadly weapons but the security made a big fuss about that too. & this was pre-2001 era... So I don't know how I can get any info in order to find out if it's okay to bring my external drive. I hope it is... & if it gets confiscated I may lose all the precious photos of my trip, new data I will work on, and the price of the drive [$200]. :whistling: :blink:

Edited by superstar, 29 August 2007 - 02:27 PM.

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#6
shard92

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You know I'm not real sure where you can find out about customs... maybe the travel agent if you used one. Maybe even the airline you are planning on using... otherwise a lot of googling maybe? I did a little before replying but nothing terribly apropriate.... sorry I can't be more help...
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#7
dsenette

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i don't remember where you live superstar...but if you're in the US... This is the US embasy in el salvador's website...you might be able to find something there...you might be able to find a contact email to ask about the drive This has an email address (down at the bottom of the page) that looks like it's for the embassy directly...
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#8
redline582

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You can usually find a drive for cheaper than $200. I buy most of my computer stuff from www.newegg.com. And if you're confident in you're computer skills, its not that complicated but you can buy a regular internal HDD and buy a separate external enclosure and put the internal HDD inside of it. Thats all that an external hard drive is anyway. Most of the time it is even cheaper unless you can find a good sale. Good Luck on you trip and have a safe flight!
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