Active hard-drive protection
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In computer hardware, active hard-drive protection refers to technology that attempts to avoid or reduce mechanical damage to hard disk drives by preparing the disk(s) prior to impact. This approach is mainly used in laptop computers that are frequently carried around and more prone to impacts than desktop computers.
Usually the system consists of accelerometers that alert the system when excess acceleration or vibration is detected. The software then tells the hard disk to unload its heads to prevent them from coming in contact with the platter, thus potentially preventing head crash.
This technology only engages if the hard drive is running at the moment of impact. Modern hard drives are designed to unload their heads when they lose power.
Many laptop vendors have implemented this technology under different names:
- HDAPS, Hard Drive Active Protection System, by Lenovo (originally designed by IBM)
- Sudden Motion Sensor by Apple Inc.
- GraviSense by Acer
- 3D DriveGuard, HP Mobile Data Protection System 3D and ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection by HP
- Free Fall Sensor (FFS) by Dell
- HDD Protection by Toshiba
Some hard-disk drives also include this technology, needing no cooperation from the system. For example:
- Free Fall Sensor in some Western Digital's Scorpio Black drives 
- G-Force Protection by Seagate Technology
- Andrew Ku (2003-10-07). "IBM ThinkVantage Technologies: Hard Drive Active Protection". AnandTech.
- "Just Add Wheels: Leveraging Commodity Laptop Hardware for Robotics and AI Education" (PDF). 2008.
At least three different manufacturers now offer models with built-in accelerometers: The Apple Sudden Motion Sensor, IBM HD Active Protection System and Acer GraviSense
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