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To retract the read/write head on a hard disk to its home location before the unit is physically moved in order to prevent damage. Most modern drives park themselves when the power is turned off. See drop protection.

drop protection

Techniques employed to reduce damage to a hard disk in a portable device if dropped. For example, foam bumpers can be placed around the drive to absorb impact, and the drive can be mounted to the unit with springs. A piezoelectric sensor can detect sudden motion and cause the hard disk to stop all I/O operations and park the heads. In addition, similar to automobile crumple zones, the external case of the device can be designed to collapse in order to absorb impact and reduce damage to vulnerable components within. See park.

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