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  1. Is it true that it's better to get HDD's from brick & mortar stores rather than from mail order like Amazon, Newegg because of the additional bumps the HDD will accrue during shipping (UPS), being handed off from step to step, going through conveyer belts, being dropped in bins, etc? This is exacerbated by Amazon and Newegg not packing them well (sometimes just one air pillow, or nothing). I think the idea is that when they're being shipped to brick & mortar stores, they're going to be part of a pallet so won't get bumped as much. Internal HDD's I've seen seem to come in cardboard boxes, with styrofoam inside, but external HDD's seem to come in plastic blister packs/clamshell packs, not so much padding. I know the heads are parked so they're not as vulnerable, and manufacturers release data on shock tolerance. On the other hand, I read opinions that there can be cumulative damage on the whole to the mechanism, so by the time you receive it the lifespan or reliability might be compromised. What do you guys usually do? Thanks for your help...