I have a 4TB WDBBGB004HBK MyBook external drive. I would like to lie it on its side to prevent it from being accidentally knocked over. There are air vents in the top and bottom of the case (in the vertical position) which are probably meant to facilitate convective heat removal. If the drive case is laid horizontal with unblocked air vents at left and right, would this be a problem either from heat or drive orientation?
Personally speaking, i don’t do anything that the manufacturer advises against.
The choice is yours though.
The My Book and My Cloud series of external hard drives contain air vents along the top and back of the drive; however, placing the drive on its side may cause it to overheat. WD designed the My Book and My Cloud externals for upright placement to vent heat through the top. Best practice would be to place the drive upright with at least and inch or more of space to the sides to prevent it from overheating.