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 Post subject: Which direction to mount hard drives?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 3:27 pm 
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My two Maxtor drives are mounted in an alum cage sitting on the bottom of the case, on an acoustic mat in front of an 80mm front case fan which is blowing on the drives. To lessen the noise this fan is running about 1600rpm.

S.M.A.R.T. temp measurements using speed fan and HDD temperature utilities give readings about 45c. Digitaldoc temp probes on the top of the drives give readings about 35c. I'd like to get the smart temps down somewhat.

For cooling sake what direction is the best to mount the drives. They're about 1" apart. The lower one is about 1" off the floor. The top is open. Upside down, rightside up or on edge? Seems to me the bottom is the hottest so if I mounted them upside down, they would cool better. Any thoughts about this....


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 3:48 pm 
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Just a thought... if you turn them them upside-down, won't they still be hotter on the bottom (the 'top' of the assembly) ??

One way to find out, I guess...



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:06 pm 
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I have mine mounted on the edge with a fan blowing over it. Is this safe, BTW?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 10:19 pm 
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My IBM 120GXP is mounted upside-down (relatively) in an antec removable drive cage, with a piece of foam sandwiched between the cage and the body of the case to lessen the drive's vibrations and another piece of foam on top of the drive (the exposed part of the motor) to reduce whining noise.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 12:10 am 
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The temperture of 45C is perfectly fine, why worry?

My HD temps are at 47C and common temps I have seen is around this range anyway. 55C is the max recommended by most manufacturers.
:lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 1:05 am 
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I know it sounds odd, but in terms of HDD whine, the position of your head relative to the drive will dictate the best postition.
One's best HDD position will differ from another's , IMHO.

Experimentation is in order...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 3:24 am 
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Well thanks for the response.....and I know most people report temps around 45c. I cannot hear either of these two Maxtor drives at all, so sound is not a factor.

However, hard drive failure is becoming more and more common. Manufactures have reduced the warranty down to one year. With larger drives, you stand to lose more data if a drive fails. Backing up large drives is becoming more difficult due to this increased size. From personal experience I know four people who had drive failures...recently.

And I don't want it to happen to me. I suspect heat to be the biggest factor in these failures. So it follows I'd like to keep the temps down. At the same time I don't want excessive noise. So I am experimenting with different hard drive cooling solutions.

Here's one I've been thinking about.....cutting a hole in the bottom of the case, raising the case off the floor with taller feet. Mounting the HD right over this hole with enough clearance to promote natural airflow over the HD.

Thanks for any more ideas.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 6:36 am 
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Bluefront wrote:
Well thanks for the response.....and I know most people report temps around 45c. I cannot hear either of these two Maxtor drives at all, so sound is not a factor.

However, hard drive failure is becoming more and more common. Manufactures have reduced the warranty down to one year. With larger drives, you stand to lose more data if a drive fails. Backing up large drives is becoming more difficult due to this increased size. From personal experience I know four people who had drive failures...recently.

And I don't want it to happen to me. I suspect heat to be the biggest factor in these failures. So it follows I'd like to keep the temps down. At the same time I don't want excessive noise. So I am experimenting with different hard drive cooling solutions.

Thanks for any more ideas.


Bingo. If you spend some time at StorageReview forums you'll see lots of discussion about HDD temps vs. reliability. Consensus seems to be that you should keep your temps down. It doesn't take much airflow to do this either. The Barracuda IV on my quiet rig was running at 40C without any fan in front of it. I put a 5-volted Panaflo L1A in front of it and the temps dropped 7-8C. That's a big drop with just a small amount of airflow added.



A few general comments on this thread:

Mounting: Drive engineers say it's OK to mount any modern HDD in any attitude as long as it's not at an angle, i.e keep it flat, 90 degrees, 180 degrees (upside-down), 270 degrees. It also doesn't matter if it's oriented along the short side or the long side. Many SCSI racks mount the drives 90 degrees on their long side, many OEM's have their drives mounted standing up on their noses, etc.


Drive temps: I own many HDDs from various manufacturers and keep track of the temps on all of them. I have currently have five Barracuda IVs, three IBM 60GXPs and two Maxtor D740Xs. Here's a breakdown of my experiences:

1)Drive temps without any airflow in front of them, from hottest to coolest:

Maxtor D740X - hottest

Barracuda IV - 2-3C less than Maxtor.

IBM 60GXP - 1C less than Seagate.


2)Drive temps with just a tiny bit (as little as 5-6cfm provided by 40mm fans 7-volted inside of mobile-racks) of airflow:

Maxtor - Hottest

IBM - 2-3C cooler than Maxtor

Barracuda - 2C cooler than IBM.


And I don't personally own any, but I had the chance to run a 120GB WDBB a few months ago and it was running 3-4C hotter than my cuda IVs with a little bit of cooling. This would put it between the IBM and Maxtor drives for heat.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 6:58 pm 
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Update.....so I flipped the two drives upside-down, and mounted an PCToys Airmax cooler on each drive. These have two little fans on each cooler. They are somewhat noisy. But the temps dropped dramatically. The drives were running at 45c at an idle....now they'e running at 34c.

I'm going to wire these fans in series so they run at 6 volts. Noise will be down and hopefully the temps should still be almost as low.

Another question. Just where are the S.M.A.R.T. temperature sensors located on a Maxtor drive?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 11:37 pm 
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So, for proper comparison, I'd have to ask what the drive temps are like flipped and without the extra cooler. Or with the extra cooler, but not flipped.

Need to keep one thing constant to see what's making the difference. Right now ya can't tell if it was the flipping or the cooler that dropped the temps.

I'd think that most of the temp drop was from the added cooler, and a little bit from flipping them.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:14 am 
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Heh....I'm well aware I did two things at once. But it's the end result that interests me, not the scientific method involved.

If the S.M.A.R.T. sensor is on the bottom of the drive, it stands to reason a small fan blowing on the sensor will show lower temps...but not necessarily cooling off the whole drive.

The four maxtor drives I've examined that failed, all showed a melted chip on the bottom of the drive. That leads me to suspect the bottom is the hottest part. So if you flip your drive the heat should rise better off the bottom. I just helped that along with the small fans.

Well I think this setup is the answer..... small fans blowing directly on the bottom of each hard drive and a front case fan blowing directly at the ends of the whole assembly. Of course you could avoid all this complication with one powerful/noisy fan. :)


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