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The advice given to travel with a desktop computer is to remove the hard drive and pack it into carry-on luggage. Is this still allowed if the hard-drive is not connected to anything?

Given that we often hear that laptops and other electronics should be charged to prove they work, I am having trouble finding recent information on this. The answer given to the linked question is from 2011.

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A lot of threads on both Tripadvisor and Flyertalk confirms there is no problem. Even a less than a year old thread on 10-12 hard drives have lots of reports of no problems.

Photographer here who often does similar/the same: you're totally fine.

I have had TSA ask me to power up my laptop and tablet but never a portable HD

I've traveled with 3-4, no problem.

  • Fair and recent enough :) Although I am considering getting some extra enclosures to that they look like external drives, might even improve ruggedness of the only redundant non-SSD in the bunch. – Itai Jun 22 '16 at 13:39
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Adding to the answer of @chx (+1), I have traveled within Europe as recently as January 2016 with 2-3 external hard drives (and some other electronics) in my carry-on and while it did win me a selection for the explosives test, there was no problem whatsoever and security staff was very chill about it.

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