(Sorry, this is not really noise related, but rather power/heat related...)
Until recently, I had a 40 Gb Seagate LD25.2 (originally from a 40 GB PS3) in a cheap aluminum enclosure (USB powered) connected via USB to my modem/router, which would offer it as NAS to the internal network. No cooling was installed. It worked fine for some time, even if it was rather slow.
However, maybe a month ago, the router started to show strange behaviour... DHCP was not possible via WLAN, and file transfers would break off with error messages. Since the external drive was the only change after the initial setup, and it worked flawlessly before, I immediately suspected the drive. It turned out that the drive was getting so hot as to be uncomfortable to touch. (It was also getting warmer around that time.) I didn't really expect a 2.5" drive to need much of an airflow or cooling, but I suspected the enclosure to collect heat around the drive, so I removed the aluminum housing. The drive was then put naked next to the router, connected by the USB-to-SATA adapter unit of the enclosure.
This looked fine in the beginning, but after a short time, I had the same problems with the router as before, and the drive was as hot as before. To at least get my files off the hard drive -- which the router formatted with XFS in a way that my machine with Debian Linux wouldn't even boot if the drive was connected -- I turned a room ventilator to blow against the hard drive. That worked, but it wasn't really what I wanted as a long-term solution.
So, the questions are the following:
- Are there 2.5" drives with a power consumption low enough so that I can reliably power them from USB and can just put them somewhere without cooling them? (I'm guessing that the power consumption of the drive grew as the drive heated up, to a point where it taxed the router's USB power resources too much... is that possible?)
- If not, are there enclosures that will cool a drive without too much noise and expense?