I'm currently in the process of moving from France to Canada.
I have plenty of computer equipment that I just put in boxes and that will be sent by naval transport. One thing I'm scared off though, is that people handling my boxes and/or the container aren't really delicate when it comes to moving stuff that contains hard-drives (I'm mainly concerned about my Network Access Storage device which contains tera-bytes of data). Obviously hard-drives are really sensitive to movement and could break easily if wrongly handled.
Putting those in checked-luggage doesn't seem like a better idea (some would even say it's actually worse) so the only option I can think of is taking at least one of the disks with me in cabin-luggage.
So here comes the question: is one allowed to carry such a disk in cabin luggage ? I know people travel all the time with external hard drives, but in this case, I'm afraid a custom police officer unaware of what this device is, might be afraid of the looks of an unenclosed hard drive such as:
I can easily imagine how one could use a sharp hard drive as a dangerous projectile, but I could say the same for many other items so my concern is more about "What is this metallic/electronic device that you can't turn on ? Is it a BOMB ?!"
I obviously made online backups of anything really valuable, but some of the data files are just too big to be uploaded in reasonable time now.
Should I prepare for the worst ?
I actually used an old case for hard-drives of that size and could go through both french & british customs/security checks without any trouble. They were more concerned about my shoes (you know, terrorist shoes, with small rings of metal to hold the laces) than about my hard drive.