It is currently Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:16 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: ...And the hard drive goes Hmmm.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 10:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 10:10 am
Posts: 10
'Allo there, Nigel here. I've got a wonderful pair o' Maxtor D740X 60GB 7200 rpm hard drives. Faster n' Maurice Green, they are. Fairly quiet too.

However, if I don't miss my mark, I think they may be responsible for a new and interesting phenomena within my very noisy box.

It's a humming of sorts. Permit me to explain.

Try humming not a tune, but a single note. Then once every three seconds or so, hum that note a bit more loudly. It would go something like this:

hmmmmMMMMmmmmMMMMmmmmMMMM

You get the idea. And you can feel the vibration pulsing like this when one puts one's hand on the Antec case as well.

Turns out this little rhythm section has set itself up inside my 6-month old computer very recently. At first I thought this oddness was coming from my power supply but now I believe it's the HD. Don't know for sure because the damn sound is intermittant. But often, when I put my HD's to sleep, the sound disappears. Hmm.

Think the problem is an HD issue? If so, any suggestions?

Cheers.

Nigel
______________________________________

AMD XP1800+
Antec SP350 w/two M1A Panaflos
Two Maxtor 60 gig D740X's
Visiontek Xtasy 6964 Ti500 64MB DDR AGP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 11:47 am 
Offline
SPCR Reviewer

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 3998
Location: Phoenix, AZ
How are your hard drives mounted? It sounds like there may be a resonance being created with the structure of the case. Try decoupling them from the case and see if it goes away.

I've got a D740X that is suspended, and its virtually silent.

_________________
Senior Contributing Writer, SPCR


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 12:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 10:10 am
Posts: 10
'Allo to you, Rusty!

You know, before I joined up with this sordid lot, I read a bunch o' your posts and glory be, your computer system is very nearly identical to mine.

Given that's the case, I tried IM'ing you on AOL, as your profeel lists a handle... but you're never signed on, alas.

Your suggestion also occurred to me. But, I'm afraid, 'tis not merely a resonance. I've tried standing on the box, holding the sides... I've done everything but hug the bloody thing. However the sounds and vibrations come from deep within this evil beast. The thing is, it never used to do this. These bad vibes are a very recent phenomena.

I've got the HD's mounted one over the other in the HD bays. And yes, putting 'em on, or in, some sort of mount may fix the symptom... but not the disease. Dr. Nigel wants to know the cure...

In any case, I greatly appreciate your response and hope, some day, to chat with you on AIM.

Cheers.

Nigel


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 8:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 333
Location: Melbourne, Australia
have u tried unplugging each of the hard drives selectively nigel and seeing if it happens during the POST period? it could also be one of your fans deciding to die a terrible terrible death as well I had a YS tech 60MM 6800 RPM (b4 my ears decided that it likes to hear) die on me like that :) I'd be guessing it would be one of your fans in your setup maybe or if could be your HDD decouple your drives and see if that's whats causing your problem maybe sit them on some foam for a lil while while your testing maybe good luck :)

_________________
Nothing is impossible: Somethings are not worth the effort to achieve.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 10:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 10:10 am
Posts: 10
Good suggestions, quokked! But as a “Silent Apprentice,” naturally I’ve a bit o’ the “Noisy Idiot” in me as well. And I’ve no idea how to accomplish the tasks you suggest. I mean, will the computer even boot up without one or the other HD connected? Is the, erm, “post” period you refer to the computer boot-up sequence?

You see, my interest in computers is solely in getting them to shut up. The only program I’m semi-proficient in is Word. Speaking of which, any words of advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Cheers.

Nigel

P.S.
Almost forgot—the fans! I’ve disconnected every one of ‘em and still… the hard drive goes Hmmm…


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Problem found. Solution sought.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 1:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 10:10 am
Posts: 10
As I’m a bit of a wanker with too much free time, I set out to measurably prove from where my humming was, ehem, coming. So I pulled out my handy Sound Level Meter and went to work.

I wasn’t terribly concerned with ultimate spl, mind you. I simply wanted to get to the root of this cycling noise/vibration problem. Which is why I placed my spl meter on top of the box. This way, cabinet AND air borne vibration would be measured.

Lordy, what a result.

With the Maxtors active, the meter swung wildly between 60 and 72 db in three second cycles. Nasty stuff, that.

Then I went to my power management program, shut down the hard drives and stared hard at the spl meter.

My oh my.

The swinging needle wasn’t swinging any longer! I measured a steady state C weighted spl of 68db.

Ok gang, we know from where the offending noise is emanating. Question is, is this within spec or tolerance of the Maxtor? Should I request an RMA?

Thanks for your input.

Cheers.

Nigel


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 1:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
Posts: 169
Location: Stockholm
I'm not terribly sure about this, but I think it's quite normal... at least my 80 GB IBM 120GXP drive exhibits the same kind of behaviour as your maxtor counterparts.

It creates additional resonance in the case every three or so seconds I believe (I haven't timed it).

This is something that annoys me (among other things), which is why I'm going to try something "different" as soon as I get well (got a cold at the moment), and if successful, I'll probably post it here.

My advice to you would be that you find some way of dampening the vibrations coming from the drive(s?), perhaps the pink "fluffy" material that you get once and a while if you ask for packaging when buying computer components at your local computer store?

Hope this helps...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 1:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Worcester, UK
Do you know which is your main HD? IE the one that contains the c:/windows directory? Try unplugging the OTHER HD and boot up the computer. Does the sound still pulsate? To me it sounds like your HDs are spinning at slightly different speeds, and every 3 seconds(?) the resonance comes into phase causing the loud noise, then it goes out of phase and they kind of cancel each other out...

The POST is the bit at the start where it tells you what CPU and ram u have, and runs a few tests etc...

You comp will start fine with either or neither HD, but if the one with windows on isnt connected it will just stop after the post test.

_________________
Computers should be seen and not heard...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 4:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
Posts: 169
Location: Stockholm
Will it start even if you have the swap file on the other drive which is disconnected?

Oh, by the way, POST = Power On Self Test, I'm sure you knew that ChiefWeasel, but I saw no harm in mentioning it, hope I didn't offend you. ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 7:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Worcester, UK
Red Dawn wrote:
Will it start even if you have the swap file on the other drive which is disconnected?


Hmm, hadnt thought of that... I guess windows should be able to cope with that, but who knows? anyone? (I have Virtual Mem switched off :roll: ) Maybe try just leaving your non C:\ drive connected then...

Red Dawn wrote:
Oh, by the way, POST = Power On Self Test, I'm sure you knew that ChiefWeasel, but I saw no harm in mentioning it, hope I didn't offend you. ;)


Nah, course not :wink: Should've mentioned it in my post (unintentional pun! :roll:)

Either way i think decoupling is the way forward for both of you, short of getting a 'cuda. Theres decoupling guides in the mods/projects section... Any hints on this something 'different' Red Dawn? Or are we gonna have to wait :roll: :D

_________________
Computers should be seen and not heard...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 7:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
Posts: 169
Location: Stockholm
I'm going for virtual mem turned off as well (my two 512 mb ram sticks I ordered just arrived at my postal office today, haven't gotten up there to pick them up though..), how big is the difference with it turned off by the way?

Glad you weren't offended. :)

Decoupling (if not by rubber-wire, then by foam; or the like) is something I'm incorporating in my "project" (hehe). I think I will be using one piece of aluminium plate with side-sinks to cool down my two IBM hd's (120 and 75GXP), there are just a few things I need...

1) More foam.

2) Some sort of sound absorbing material (thought of the material they use in recording/sound studious, may be too expensive though as I'm on a budget...).

3) Cork in various lengths and thicknesses, alternatively; a copper or aluminium sheet.

4) Some kind of strong tape, both single and double sided.

If you haven't guessed it by now, this will look pretty "ghetto" after I'm done, no doubt. :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 7:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Worcester, UK
Not sure how much difference it makes - i went from a P3 800 with 256Mb and virtual mem on, to a P4 2.4 with 512Mb and Vmem turned off... I figured i would give it a try and havent encountered any low mem probs yet (5 months) so ive just left it as it is. Gotta be worth doing thou i reckon if it works ok.

Not sure how to help with your bits list, although im confused about number 3? Since they have very different properties, what were you intending on doing with the cork/metal?

_________________
Computers should be seen and not heard...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 8:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
Posts: 169
Location: Stockholm
I'm using an old hd-cooler in aluminium, and the drive is fastened to the bottom plate by screws, and when I remove them (the screws) to allow the other drive to use the same plate (as I flip the whole thing over (hd cooler/plate)) I need something to balance the drive so it will touch/rest on the aluminium plate, rather than slip down and rest on the foam.
Cork is a bit noise dampening as well (I believe), compared to using aluminium or copper (which also is more expensive), but maybe that's better, if the foam should absord a lot of sound?

I will have fans blowing at the side-sinks to provide (hopefully) sufficient cooling, well that is what I've come up with so far...

Any suggestions for improvements?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 8:45 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 12053
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Played around with cork & aluminum plates; check the sandwich revisited article in mods/projects. What I found is that if you have side heatsinks, the top/bottom aluminum plates don't really provide much more cooling. They do block the sound some, but not as much as if you have cork between the aluminum plates and the drive. Cork is not as effective a noise dampener as form, but it does absorb vibration more -- much like rubber. I am thinking about a new HDD cooling silencing setup altogether:
1) long side "U" channels for HS
2) placed inside medium density foam "box" with channels sticking out the back as far as possible
3) the foam box placed inside a 5.25" wide metal box (like an old case from a dead CD drive)
4) The box mounted normally.

Hypothesis:
A) heat is dissipated well enough by side sinks that stick out the back
B) foam absorbs noise and decouple vibes from case
C) metal case makes mounting simple and blocks any remaining HDD noise

The main question is whether A) is true.

Anyone care to test? :wink:


Last edited by MikeC on Tue Oct 08, 2002 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 9:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:46 am
Posts: 169
Location: Stockholm
Let me elaborate on what I meant by using side-sinks... ;-)

Normally (in my particular setup with the aluminium hd cooler), the drive is screwed into place by screws on the bottom plate, meaning you can only have it properly fixated by having it sitting on it's "belly".

Now you may think: "What does that have to do with side-sinks?"

And here's your answer; the side-sinks I'm talking about aren't actually touching the drive at all, but the heat is transferred to them by the bottom plate, or at least, that's the general idea. :)

Does this put me in a whole different situation where that extra plate is crucial... or not?

PS. I look forward to a review on that new approach to hd cooling as well Mike. :wink: DS.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: DING DING DING!!!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 12:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 10:10 am
Posts: 10
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant! Thank you, ChiefWeasel! Y’know, funny thing is as soon as I read your explanation, I knew it was right. How could it NOT be? It’s the only possible reason why this hmmmMMMmmmMMM phenomenon was intermittent. I should have known better given my background in acoustics. Tsk tsk.

So I put it to the test. I unplugged one drive and measured. The problem was gone. Then I unplugged the other hard drive. The computer wouldn’t boot, of course, but the HD was spinning (at least it sounded that way when I put my ear to it.) In any case, the spl meter didn’t lie. No wild swinging.

Given the intermittent nature of the problem, I could, just to cross the t’s and dot the i's, test this hypothesis over a longer period of time. But I believe continued testing will yield the same results.

Thanks to all here who helped solve the problem.

Rusty, a hearty thank you to you. You were right about the resonance, I just figured that said resonance was the result of a defective drive.

Now it’s up to me to come up with an isolation or damping scheme that alleviates/eliminates the bad vibes. My bet is that isolating either drive will do the trick nicely.

Any suggestions, of course, are both welcome and appreciated. I’m not the DIY sort, so any solution will have to be of the store bought variety.

Thanks so much for your help, good chaps. And a special thanks to you, Your Weaselship, for correctly identifying the problem.

Cheers.

Nigel


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: DING DING DING!!!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 3:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Worcester, UK
Nigel wrote:
Thank you, ChiefWeasel!


No problem! :D Check out the smartdrive for a retail option :)

_________________
Computers should be seen and not heard...


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group