Old 2.5" -- any particularly quiet ones?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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Old 2.5" -- any particularly quiet ones?

Post by qviri » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:51 pm


I have an older laptop, based on a P2-Deschutes, and am very happy with the noise level. Most of the time it is zero, as the CPU fan doesn't turn until CPU term reaches 86*C, which happens only on some web sites with badly designed flash ads.

Or at least it would be zero, and I would be happy, if it wasn't for the hard drive. This 3.2 GB, 4200 rpm IBM has the worst whine I've ever heard. I'm looking to reuse the laptop in some shape or form, but I cannot survive in the same apartment that the drive is running in.

Normally I'd fashion an PSP enclosure a'la Bluefront to make the thing shut up, but this isn't an option in an actual laptop. Therefore, I'm considering finding a reasonably quiet older laptop drive. Requirements: 1) quiet 2) at least 1GB 3) cheap 4) did I mention cheap? 12mm height rather than 9.5mm is okay, it'll fit..

Does such a thing exist, or would it be easier to just make it boot off network or a half-gig USB drive or something to that effect?

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Post by VERiON » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:14 am

I have an old thinkpad laptop PII 400 Mhz, 128 MB ram as a second laptop only for web browsing, im, mail. It has noisiest hard drive I ever heard.

I'm using puppy linux - diskless (usb pendrive, flash, cd) linux distribution.

Puppy linux boot from cheap 128MB usb pen drive (or 64mb if you don't want much space for your data) and sits entirely in notebook memory. It is fast and deadly silent because hdd doesn't spin (accually I simply removed my old hdd to shave off a few grams from my laptop weight).

You don't have know enything about linux. Just boot from cd, choose "instal on USB" and that's it.


There is also "Damn small linux" similar to puppy - but I haven't try it.


Both distributions are of course free - as in a "free" beer :D


If your laptop has win98 licence - you can try win 98 from ram drive. Boot from hard drive to DOS > make ram drive > copy win 98 to ramdrive > run win 98 from ramdrive.
It can be relatively easily done. Just search the web for "win 98 from ram drive". You can also check "98lite". A program/installer that can remove most of the fluff from win 98 install and shrink it down to 50-70 MB.

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Post by jaganath » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:36 am

The Fujitsu MHT2***AT range should be quite quiet. Not sure how cheap it would be though. Also look at the MHR2010AT; I found one of these for $40 refurbished:


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Post by Bluefront » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:04 am

Humm....I recently acquired four Thinkpads in a n/w condition. Got three working so far.....each has an IBM 3.2gb drive (DYKA-23242 E182115 T). I don't find them particularly noisy. I cannot hear bearing noise, only some seek noise. These laptops have a thin heatsink screwed to the sides, and they are held in a chamber with foam pushed against the top of the drive.

The quietest older drive I have is a Seagate 850mb.....9.5mm thick. You cannot hear it at all....must be running 3800rpms. Still works.

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Post by michaelb » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:28 am

You can try Damn Small Linux very easliy, just burn a cd, and run it using
DSL toram
It will load entirely into memory.

If it's enough to meet your needs, you could get rid of the hard drive, and either continue to boot from cd, or do a USB or CF/PCMCIA version.

I didn't try Puppy Linux myself, as it seemed to want to put something on my NTFS hard drive when booting, so I chickened out. Maybe there's a way to tell it to not write to hard drive at all, or maybe it wasn't really going to try.
Far as I know, DSL won't write to your hard drive.

If you can find a newish fluid bearing 2.5" drive cheap enough, just about any of them will probably be much, much quieter than the old drive, if it's the original that came with the P2 notebook.

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