Jani's Big Quiet Wood Case PC

Do-It-Yourself Systems
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Harddisk Silencing

So I had already made the computer itself virtually silent and the only noise coming from the computer was the harddisk's high pitched whine, which was still audible even inside Coolputer's Level HDD shell-enclosure and the sound-insulating effect of the wooden case itself. The whine was still annoying and audible over any background noise, so I decided to add another layer of acoustic insulation.

This old Maxtor HDD...

...was still annoyingly loud even inside Coolputer's Level HDD shell-enclosure.

I recycled the cardboard box in which my DVD-ROM drive had arrived in. I chose that box because it was the right size, covered with foam on the inside, which seemed to have quite nice silencing effect. First, I tested it on the table with a 13 year old Seagate Barracuda that had a terrible whining noise. I made cuts for the cables to the box, connected the HDD to the PSU and powered it up. The cardboard box silenced the bare drive very well, but although the whine was still audible from about a metre away. After a while in the cardboard box, the HDD felt very warm. Still, I decided to try the Maxtor in the cardboard box with the HDD cooling/silencing enclosure, hoping the Maxtor would be cooler with the enclosure.

HDD now doubly enclosed.

After installing the cardboard box / HDD assembly, I ran Windows and opened up the temperature monitoring program. It showed 27°C after the computer had been on for 15 minutes. I ran a test which really made the HDD work, and then the temps went up to 37°C but that's as high as it got during the testing. I think, the temps could be lower if I made a hole in the cardboard and put a fan to blow cool air into the box, but that would mean more noise, which is of course intolerable.

Some days ago I noticed that temps had gone over 47°C, and when I touched the HDD it felt very warm. First I was amazed that it was so hot but then I looked at the room's ambient 31°C temperature and wasn't too amazed any more. The HDD silencer works very well and didn't really cost anything to build.

Conclusion: The HDD was completely silenced. It became hotter than normal but it's cool enough for me. The main thing is that the HDD has worked well for the past three weeks 24/7. I will get a new quieter drive for the server, soon, though.

Here you can see most of the tools used in the project. Big thanks to my father for the tools and his help.


SPCR Articles of Related Interest

Doug's Quiet Wood Case PC
Rusty's Quiet In-Desk PC

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