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 Post subject: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:40 pm 
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I have finally reached hard drive silence perfect.

For years I have had my HDD (3 year old Western Digital 500gb) in a box as such

http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/hdd/0 ... etail.html

I had it sat on the floor of my case - this killed most of the noise but I still had vibration - I lived with it for years as the rest of my PC is very quiet so it wasn't a pain

Anyway, today I got some bungee cord http://www.ampowercord.com/images/products/big/20.jpg) and in the little space I had left in my case I suspended the drive in the air.

It is now totally silent. No vibrations at all and I cannot hear any noise. (If I touch the case I feel a little vibration but I cannot 'feel it in the air' as I could before and it is not vibrating through onto the floor and causing any noticeable noise).

I note most suspensions on the forum just have the drive suspended - but I would really suggest the combo of suspension and an enclosure box. The only limiting factor for most people will be space as the box cannot fit into a normal HHD slot.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:42 am 
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Very nice. May we see some pictures of the suspension and might we know which case you use?

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:47 pm 
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I'd have to agree about putting the drive in a box before suspending.

I had my drives in homebrew enclosures for a while and it more or less silenced the motor noise. At the moment I've just got the drives sitting on foam, so there's not really any vibration noise but the motor noise is quite obvious.

Maybe some people don't hear it because their cases have better noise dampening, but I'd have thought it would inevitably escape from one or the other of the air intakes/exhausts.

I actually only stopped using the enclosures because I thought they might have been responsible for my drive dying, but it turned out to be due to a dodgy Pico-type unit, so I really should get round to putting them back in! I'm not sure if I'll need to suspend them though, as just resting on foam seems to do the trick.

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Location: Greece
Resting my drives on open cell foam did the trick for me as well, at least when it comes to vibration.

I have also discovered that it`s not necessary to completely enclose a drive in order to deal with airborne noise. Most of the noise get emitted through the top: The bottom and sides of a drive consist of a single piece of machined steel which is several millimeters thick (it needs to be as it serves as a base for the motor). The top on the other hand usually consists of sheet metal no more than 2 millimeters thick. Indeed, covering the top with a chunky aluminium heatsink did the trick for me. I also drilled a hole on the heatsink so as not to cover the breather hole (needed to maintain consistent air pressure between the drive platters).

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:56 am 
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I think when I was messing around with the enclosures I tried just putting them over the drive, without putting the lid/bottom on, but still the motor noise leaked out.

I've never noticed this breather hole and you've got me worried now! Does the Scythe Quiet Drive and similar make provision for this?

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:20 am 
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doveman wrote:
Does the Scythe Quiet Drive and similar make provision for this?

I can speak for the 2,5" SQD: it's quite ok, I've dealt a bit with Scythe EU support before buying my first one. And however I run several of them since three years and I just have had one fail up to now (crossing my fingers: however, it was not a mechanical fail, some issues with reallocating sectors on a 500GB Samsung).

What you need is a few mm spare (1 is enough, 2 is better, more are welcomed) to let it breathe, so if (as usually) that hole isn't on the very top of the drive cover, you should be fine.

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:46 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
What you need is a few mm spare (1 is enough, 2 is better, more are welcomed) to let it breathe, so if (as usually) that hole isn't on the very top of the drive cover, you should be fine.


Thanks. I'll have to find the holes on my drives and see whether the gelpacks on my homebrew enclosures would block them, before I think about using them again :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:44 pm 
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When putting the drive on foam at the bottom of the case, is there any smart way to keep the foam and the drive in place. The foam can be glued or taped I guess. But the drive? Tape for that too?


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm 
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bomsy wrote:
When putting the drive on foam at the bottom of the case, is there any smart way to keep the foam and the drive in place. The foam can be glued or taped I guess. But the drive? Tape for that too?


Perhaps you could make some anchor points in the base of the case on each side of the foam and use them to tie some bungee cords over the drive, holding it in place? Wouldn't be good enough for shipping, but might do for day-to-day purposes.

Personally I've never bothered as the case is only going to get moved if I'm doing maintenance on the PC and then it's powered down anyway, so it doesn't matter if the drive moves around a bit.

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2nd PC: Bach VX, GA-MA780G-UD3H, PhII 720BE @ 3.2Ghz (SI-128SE/Yate Loon fan), 8GB Kingston Hyper-X DDR2 1066MHz, Yate Loon 140mm intake, Nexus 120mm exhaust, HD103UJ, WD6400AAKS, Nexus Value 430W


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:03 am 
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Hi Guys- A number of years since I last posted and am thrilled that some here are still using Coolpaks to reduce HD noise, Vibration, etc. I've been employing them since I originally posted the idea back in mid-2004, and can assure all that there still really hasn't been any downside to the technique (ie no pack leaking, no HD failure). The upside has been the ease of setting it up (plopping a pak on the bottom of the case, plopping the drive on top of it), the total elimination of HD vibration, and the suppression of other HD noise on any but the most annoyingly loud drives.

But to the point- as I've been blissfully unaware of any vent holes on any of the drives I've used either the Coolpack technique doesn't block anything of value or covering such holes is of no consequence.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:10 pm 
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cruelsister wrote:
Hi Guys- A number of years since I last posted and am thrilled that some here are still using Coolpaks to reduce HD noise, Vibration, etc. I've been employing them since I originally posted the idea back in mid-2004, and can assure all that there still really hasn't been any downside to the technique (ie no pack leaking, no HD failure). The upside has been the ease of setting it up (plopping a pak on the bottom of the case, plopping the drive on top of it), the total elimination of HD vibration, and the suppression of other HD noise on any but the most annoyingly loud drives.

But to the point- as I've been blissfully unaware of any vent holes on any of the drives I've used either the Coolpack technique doesn't block anything of value or covering such holes is of no consequence.


Hey, nice to hear from you again :)

Do you just use the one pak on the bottom then? I think I was putting one on the top as well, to help transfer heat from both sides and also to pack the box to keep the drive held tight. Do you put the drive circuit down on the pak? I'm just wondering if this vent hole is on the non-circuit side, so is left clear if you're not putting a pak on that side.

It's still the best technique I've seen/tried either way. I'm baffled how people put up with the airborne HD noise, as even with drives suspended/on foam I find them quite intrusive and I can get my system essentially silent until I plug the drives in, at which point it seems like I've wasted my time silencing the rest of the system ;)

Even though I'm 99% certain the problems I had with my drives when they were in the boxes was down to a dodgy PICO PSU, I'm still a bit nervous but I will be going back to them as soon as I've had a chance to make sure I've got everything backed up (and maybe after HD prices come down again, just in case I need to buy a new one!).

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:25 am 
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Hi Doveman- You bring up interesting points. First off, as I use an older Antec case with plenty of floor space I've laid down 2 packs, placed the HD top side up on top of them. I'm really not concerned about the filter (vent) hole as this exists not to cool the drive in any way but is for the equilibration of atmospheric pressure (basically a barometric equalizer). Coolpaks in no way will prevent this operation. Also the vent is normally on the side of the drive.

As to stacking drives on Coolpaks, I tried this and didn't care for it for 2 reasons. Having a coolpak-hd-coolpak -hd sandwich didn't seem stable for me. It tended to shift slightly resulting in the connectors touching the side of the case and thus transferring some vibration. The second thing I was concerned about was heating up the middle drive too much- and I was certainly off base with that one!!! If you remember the Google Hard Drive Failure study from 2007, they found that in their servers a drive working consistently at 27C had failure rates twice as high as those drives running 10-20C hotter. It was really shocking to me that the fan I had blowing over the drives was doing more harm than good. Needless to say that fan has been removed.

So don't worry about the vent (unless you are using a laptop while driving up the Alps) and try to keep your drives toasty!


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:20 pm 
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cruelsister wrote:
Hi Doveman- You bring up interesting points. First off, as I use an older Antec case with plenty of floor space I've laid down 2 packs, placed the HD top side up on top of them. I'm really not concerned about the filter (vent) hole as this exists not to cool the drive in any way but is for the equilibration of atmospheric pressure (basically a barometric equalizer). Coolpaks in no way will prevent this operation. Also the vent is normally on the side of the drive.

As to stacking drives on Coolpaks, I tried this and didn't care for it for 2 reasons. Having a coolpak-hd-coolpak -hd sandwich didn't seem stable for me. It tended to shift slightly resulting in the connectors touching the side of the case and thus transferring some vibration. The second thing I was concerned about was heating up the middle drive too much- and I was certainly off base with that one!!! If you remember the Google Hard Drive Failure study from 2007, they found that in their servers a drive working consistently at 27C had failure rates twice as high as those drives running 10-20C hotter. It was really shocking to me that the fan I had blowing over the drives was doing more harm than good. Needless to say that fan has been removed.

So don't worry about the vent (unless you are using a laptop while driving up the Alps) and try to keep your drives toasty!


Ah I see, you're using them somewhat differently from me as I've been using them in a metal box (homebrew enclosure) and found it's necessary to wrap the drive with paks (one on each side with the edges stuffed down the side) to keep the noise contained and keep the drives tight in the boxes so they don't shift and come into contact with the sides of the box, transmitting vibration into it. I'll have to check the sides of my drives to see if I can identify the vent just to make sure I'm not blocking it. Anyway, I've never tried stacking drives on paks and think I'd find them too unstable as you did. Certainly your method of resting the drive on a pak has an advantage over using foam, as I wouldn't want to put a drive circuit-side down on foam, and the paks help to transfer heat away which foam doesn't. The paks are also a lot thinner than foam (I've used the stuff that comes in the box with the drives in the past), meaning you don't need as much vertical space.

I'd forgotten about that Google HD failure study, but thanks for reminding me. As I recall the drives run a few degrees higher stuffed in my enclosures, so I think they were running in the low 30's even with a fan blowing over them, but I'll keep an eye on the temps.

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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:06 pm 
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cruelsister wrote:
It was really shocking to me that the fan I had blowing over the drives was doing more harm than good.

That would indeed be surprising. You're jumping to conclusions based on limited data. The paper doesn't say that. It says your fan was likely unnecessary (moderate temperatures do not seem to increase the failure rate) but there could be any number of reasons for the slightly higher failure rate for the drives which reported very low temperatures.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:05 pm 
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Actually the data was far from limited as I really can't recall ever seeing a HD failure analysis so extensive (over 100,000 drives were in the study). But perhaps I should have phrased the statement better- I was utilizing the fan in the attempt to keep the drives as close to room temperature as possible which at best would yield no benefit; optimal conditions for the drives are about 8-14C above that.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:14 pm 
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The number of drives in the whole sample is one thing. It's indeed more than adequate.
But do we know how many drives had very low temperatures and more importantly why? It's not a given that very good cooling systems were the only cause for these surprisingly low temperatures.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:43 am 
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My point was not so much that one should avoid running a drive at low temps, but in keeping with the Philosophy of this website that one should not in any way feel obliged to run a fan specifically to cool the hard drive(s).

The data charts plainly showed that those drives with the highest failures were those that ran at the lowest temps (cause not made plain) and older drives running at sustained high temperatures (reason I guess pretty intuitively obvious). But as the above were at either end of the Bell Curve we can throw them out and instead look for the range of highest Temps/lowest drive failures. This is shown to be the 38-42C range which should be easily achievable by a Home user without extra cooling- so no extra fan, less noise.

With the added use of a Coolpak no noise at all.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD silence - achieved
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:48 am 
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I suppose the only problem with this is that most cases have the main intake fan in front of the HDs, so it's not easy to avoid having it blow over the HDs. Obviously you don't want to turn this off or run it so slow that it negatively affects the cooling of the rest of the components. If there's space, I suppose you could use vibration-dampening adapters and fit HD's in 5.25" bays, but then you can't use the coolpak approach (either just resting on the bottom of the case or in a homebrew enclosure).

I know some cases, like the Xclio Nighthawk (which I was considering until I realised it has a side-window full of unfiltered vents!), have space for two fans, so you could just use the top one, although I don't know what impact that would have in regards to cooling any cards.

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2nd PC: Bach VX, GA-MA780G-UD3H, PhII 720BE @ 3.2Ghz (SI-128SE/Yate Loon fan), 8GB Kingston Hyper-X DDR2 1066MHz, Yate Loon 140mm intake, Nexus 120mm exhaust, HD103UJ, WD6400AAKS, Nexus Value 430W


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