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Thread: Silencing Hard Drives

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    Silencing Hard Drives

    Hey Guys...

    Recently I was asking why my computer kept restarting by itself...A reinstall of windows got past that so thank to the guys who helped out with that, Acrobat

    I have another little question for you... Is there a way to quieten down hard drives that can only be in a 3.5" bay? I have a shuttle you see, so there isn't much space, and I think they're the loudest things in there. I suppose there is enough space to wrap them in something, but I guess they'd overheat?

    Ah well, it's not too important but if you do have any suggestions I'd like to hear them...


    Oh by the way I have two 250GB 7200.10s, and one of them is the chinese one. D'oh!

    Thanks

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    There's not much you can do about the noise physically, but you might try modifying the automatic aucoustic management system built into modern hard drives. You can set it with hdparm or Hitachi Feature tools.

    The only adverse affect will be slight performance impact, if you can live with it.
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    you could mount them on some thin acousti foam where they touch the metal cage

    i use that with my hdd's in my main pc

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    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    There's not much you can do about the noise physically, but you might try modifying the automatic aucoustic management system built into modern hard drives. You can set it with hdparm or Hitachi Feature tools.

    The only adverse affect will be slight performance impact, if you can live with it.
    Aw, that's a shame. Do those programs work with Barracudas?

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    • timtim86's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Shuttle
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      • Athlon X2 5000+
      • Memory:
      • 6GB OCZ Gold 6400
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 250GB Seagates, 1 x 750GB Samsung
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 8800GS 384MB
      • PSU:
      • Shuttle 400W
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      • Operating System:
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    looks like you can, but is there anyway to put the bootable diskette onto a USB pen instead?

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    use computer silencing foam round the hdd rack or am I just talking crazy talk here

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    Quote Originally Posted by timtim86 View Post
    Aw, that's a shame. Do those programs work with Barracudas?
    Yes, they'll work with any ATA hard drive. hdparm was designed as a program for configuring IDE disks, but it will still work with SATA disks. You might look for a Linux LiveUSB image to gain access to the hdparm program if you wish to use that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by timtim86 View Post
    Hey Guys...

    Recently I was asking why my computer kept restarting by itself...A reinstall of windows got past that so thank to the guys who helped out with that, Acrobat

    I have another little question for you... Is there a way to quieten down hard drives that can only be in a 3.5" bay? I have a shuttle you see, so there isn't much space, and I think they're the loudest things in there. I suppose there is enough space to wrap them in something, but I guess they'd overheat?

    Ah well, it's not too important but if you do have any suggestions I'd like to hear them...


    Oh by the way I have two 250GB 7200.10s, and one of them is the chinese one. D'oh!

    Thanks
    Ohhh cool! I'm glad to hear that worked. Windows runs so nice too on a fresh install.

    As for the disks, theres a couple of things you can do to shut them up, besides that Hitachi tool. I have Seagate Barracudas aswell, and they annoyed me in the first couple of months But I recently realised, that they don't make TOO much noise by themselves. The majority of the noise, was cause by how much they vibrate. Some of these things are pretty "ghetto" as they say.. but it works anyway.

    1) First off, you can buy a hard disk silencer, or a hard disk cooler. But that will only work if you have a spare 5 1/4 inch slot. The 3 1/2 inch disks just fit in the cooler/silencer, and then you fit that in the 5 1/4 inch bay. So if you have a free bay you could do that. If you can do that, just ask for recommendations on silencers/coolers. (Coolers help quiet the disks as well as keep them cool by the way).

    2) Another thing you can do, is remove the "hard drive cage". I'm not sure if this is possible with your shuttle, but it might be. Its usually not very obvious, but sometimes there are some screws holding the hard drive cage in place, and if you can just unscrew those, the cage can be removed. Then all you need to do is leave it in the case with the hard disks in, but sit it on the bottom of the case resting on some foam, instead of it being attached to the case. Its a tad risky because if you moved the case, the cage could fall over or something. But if the case is just sitting on a table or desk the whole time, then its safe enough to do that. You can also use those little cable ties or something, to hold it loosly in place. So if it did get knocked or something, it wouldnt fall all the way over. This is what I did with mine and its really quiet now. The cage is just sitting on a couple of foam blocks and its really quiet.

    3) If you can't remove the cage, another thing you can do, is just get some thin rubber. Take the disks out of the cage, and put the rubber down either side of the disk, and then put the disk back into the cage. If its tight enough, the rubber will hold the disks in place, inside the cage. But if you wanted to be sure the disks dont fall down, you can put little holes in the rubber and line it up with the screws so you can still screw the disks into the cage. It helps keep the disks quieter because the disks vibrations get absorbed by the rubber. The downside though, is that the disks arent actually touching the metal of the hard drive cage, so the heat doesn't get transferred to the cage. When I did this, the temperature of the disks went up from about 32C to about 40C. So it was quite a bit warmer, although its still just about safe. Unfortunately though, the rubber will only shave off a few decibels. If the cage itself is a bit rattly, then it will probably still vibrate and be noisy But it might be worth a try anyway.

    4) Another thing I did, was to just get either some rubber washers (i had some left over from some case fans I bought), or just cut some bits of the plastic sheeting, stuff gets delivered in, or something similar.. and cut it into little squares about 1 inch squared. The thicker the better. Then cut little holes in it the middle of it, and put the screws through. Then you can screw the screws into the disk as normal, but the bits of rubber/plastic/paper/whatever, will act like a washer, and can help dampen the noise a bit. This worked a bit for me, but it just didn't remove that much noise. You could also try using these home made washers on the inside of the cage where the screws go in to. Similar to the rubber method. It might even be better than the rubber method because parts of the disk would still be in contact with the hard drive cage, so it would let the disks transfer some of their heat. But it probably wouldn't be as good for the noise.

    5) Running out of ideas... The only the other thing I could think of, would be to maybe get some paper or foam or bubble wrap or something, and jam it somewhere in the case, so it presses hard against the hard drive cage. If its tight enough, and puts enough pressure on the cage, it could help stop it vibrating or rattling. You could do this even if the cage can't be removed. Just make sure whatever you use to jam against the cage, doesn't get in the way of any of your case fans or anything.


    Thats about all I can think of sorry Hopefully one of them will help. Unfortunately though, I tried most of them, and the only thing that really made them quiet for me, was removing the whole cage, and then resting it on some foam. But thats not possible with a lot of cases.

    Also, if you try any of these things, make sure to earth yourself first so you dont wreck anything with static. And also make sure the PC has been switched off a for a moment before you do anything. Not only is it better to not have the power in the case, but if the disks are powered down, they are much more resistant to being knocked around and prodded and stuff. They are really strong when they are switched off, but when they are running, a knock can damage them easily.

    Hope one of those helps.
    Last edited by acrobat; 18-05-2007 at 09:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    A box of small O-rings work well in reducing drive noise. I did it in my g70. Just put one on each screw that hold the drives in, an if there is space, between the drive and the case as well.
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