Snowboarding, the iPod, and Hard Disk Damage | iLounge Article


Snowboarding, the iPod, and Hard Disk Damage

Author's pic

By Kirk McElhearn

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Articles Categories: Ask iLounge

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I’m thinking about getting an iPod but am concerned about the hard drive getting damaged if I fall while snowboarding. I assume the heads on the hard drive crash into the platters if it is dropped while the iPod is reading from the hard drive. Will formatting the iPod allow the iPod to avoid storing data on the parts of the hard drive that have been damaged?

- Paul

A: You’re making a fair assumption. However, iPods have been used without complaint by thousands of people while running, skiing, and engaging in plenty of other sports, so you can also assume that the chance of the hard drive sustaining significant damage under normal conditions is fairly low.

Why? The iPod has a hard drive that stores your music, but also has a memory cache that holds a quantity of data (about 9 MB) as it plays the music. Since the iPod’s hard drive does not spin all the time, the likelihood of such damage is greatly diminished. However, if you were to drop the iPod at the moment when it is reading data from the hard drive into the cache – once every few songs, for a few seconds - it is conceivable that the platters could be damaged. When snowboarding, consider using an anti-shock case such as the ones we’ve reviewed.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more.

The most asked question at

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« Legality of Copying CDs to iPod

Restoring Erased iTunes Library with iPod »

Related Stories


If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.