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Hard Drive Noise
Last post Sun, Mar 02 2008 by vibrato, 15 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Feb 26 2008 23:35
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9141

tanuj, such a kind of noise can originate from several sources ...

if it comes through your soundcard it is most probably bad shielding of some cables and/or your soundcard

if it really comes from the harddrive i would consider to purchase a spare one - it might die ...

but usually i'd say it comes from some fan - mostly the fan in your power supply (dust on the blades make the fan running ´noisy, often the ball bearing of the fan is defective then)


48° C is nothing to worry - most boards have a limit of ~55° C

chassis RPM indicator means the rotation speed of the fan connected to the *chassis header* on your motherboard ... 1140 seems a little bit low to me ... maybe here is the bad and noisy guy to be found.


2 and 3 on zero means only that no fans are connected to these headers (or they are already dead) - check your motherboard manual for numbering and position of fan headers and follow the cables from/to fans.


a sidenote: motheboard temperature doesn't say something about temperature of your harddrive ... i'd make sure airflow in your enclosure is good because harddrives are mostly stressed in sampling machines and _can_ run hot even if the sensor for processor and/or motherboard indicates an uncritical temperature ...


and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Feb 27 2008 13:44
by hetoreyn
Joined on Sat, Nov 27 2004, Vancouver, British Columbia, Posts 1159
Well you certainly want to make sure your studio environment is cooled. Computers really just weren't made for warm environments, and your average PC can handle temps upto about 27 degrees outside .. after that they really start to cook.


One thing you can do is to open the side of the case .. and put a desk fan by it and blow air into the case ... although this may introduce more noise than you want .. but it's useful if things get too hot.


Only really practical and quiet way to cool is to use a liquid cooling system. My G5 uses this and it's really quiet.. since the day I had it I sometimes wonder if it's on .. if it's in standby mode. Even when on you can't hear very much from it at all ... which is more than I can say for me PC which is a hair drier at the best of times.


So liquid cooling is a good idea but can be a pain to implement and really does need special care to install yourself. Other options is to put your computers in a room that is cooled and to keep them out of the way .. that way the fans can run as high and hot as they like and you don't have to hear it. But you need a room that has good ventilation to do that.


Just some ideas.

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Posted on Thu, Feb 28 2008 17:55
by PolarBear
Joined on Sun, Jul 20 2003, Germany, Posts 1206

Please post me your complete system specs (I didn't get that picture part it seems, plus it would be helpful to know the involved components)... I think it's perfectly doable with aircooling to keep the system cool and running while not noisy but not having to invest in watercooling.

If you suspect your drive to be the culprit, (turn off the computer here,) umount it from the case and then have it lie e.g. on toilet paper or something else soft. If the unpleasant noise is still there, and you can really locate it to this harddrive, then you already have the problem. Cooling the system is another chapter.



A zero can decuple an existing problem.
Posted on Thu, Feb 28 2008 19:22
by Mahlon
Joined on Sun, Jan 08 2006, The decadent South, Posts 441


If it's a repetitive rotational sound like you describe, it may just be that the hard drive is causing sympathetic vibrations in your case. If so, there's a great product with which you can suspend your hard drive in a 5.25 inch drive bay. I believe they're called NoiseMagic NoVibes III. My drives are practically inaudible. They really reduce seek noise transfer to the case, as well.

I think Antec is making a case that ships with similar 'bungie' type suspension system. Others may be doing this too, as it looks like it's a popular way to reduce hard drive vibration.


Posted on Thu, Feb 28 2008 23:30
by PolarBear
Joined on Sun, Jul 20 2003, Germany, Posts 1206
vibrato wrote:

Really appreciate your replies. I have to say I am really confused at the moment - cauz the hard drive is not making any noise anymore. The computer has been swtiched on and off 3-4 times - but I dont hear that rotational sound anymore.

Could this sound be coming because the drive was under stress that particular moment? Can I overlook this? Or does it mean that it can certainly happen again and I am at risk of loosing data?

Yes, that and the overall heat the drive is/was exposed to may cause drive to fail earlier than in other environments. I'd take no risk for data I really need and would look to get these critical data stored elsewhere, harddrives are so cheap, 4 hours of installation saved will be easily worth an 80$ harddrive if you need to rely on it as a pro.


A zero can decuple an existing problem.
Posted on Thu, Feb 28 2008 23:56
by PolarBear
Joined on Sun, Jul 20 2003, Germany, Posts 1206
vibrato wrote:

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 Ghz, 8GB Corsair 667 RAM, ASUS P5K Deluxe motherboard, NVIDIA Graphics card, Asus Quite track DVD writer

Cooler Master Elite 300 Computer case. 3 Hard Drives - SATA II - 7200 RPM - 160 GB System  and two 500 GB Sample Drives.


Hmm, a few open questions here: I couldn't find a Elite 300 case, that seems to be the series... which one would you think comes closest on the Cooler Master site? http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?act=morecategory&finalflag=Y&tbcate=402&cateid=000019 

Could it be the 330, the 331, 332 or even the 333? I'm asking this because of the possible fan mountings, they seem to be about the same in general else: Could you mount 120mm fans to the back (and the front) or 80mm fans in addition to the PSU fan? Are there fans mounted at the moment and where are they connected to?

One other thing - which cooler do you have for the processor? Or do you use boxed cooling (bought the CPU "boxed" or "tray" + additional cooler)? Do you know which Nvidia graphics card is used, or if it is cooled passively/actively?

As I already mentioned above with 3 harddrievs, and all being used fairly well in the system, there are some things to cool... but I wouldn't say you need RAM cooling in your case if you're using it at stock speed (i.e. no overclocking done and everything running at 667MHz).

Nice systems/setup btw!


A zero can decuple an existing problem.
Posted on Sat, Mar 01 2008 18:29
by PolarBear
Joined on Sun, Jul 20 2003, Germany, Posts 1206

Have you sorted out your PC problems already? Just thought without the feedback to the questions above my answer would not yet be complete...


A zero can decuple an existing problem.
Posted on Sat, Mar 01 2008 23:21
by PolarBear
Joined on Sun, Jul 20 2003, Germany, Posts 1206

Okay, now let's see: You can mount a 120mm in the back and in the front in the 330 case. It does help to keep HDD and overall system temperatures down quite effectively. Just be sure that the rear mounted fan does work at same or higher speed (voltage) than the front mounted fan. This way you will produce a (little) low pressure situation in the case which will ensure the hot air will get out somehow. There's no problem for fresh air to come in through small chinks in the case, it's just that these can cause noise too sometimes if they are too small, but nothing to worry about here. If you are concerned about noise from the fans and the case temperature allows it, you could run the fans at 7V (stock is 12V) or just control the value via a fan controller module which let's you choose any artificial value between 5V and 12V. Less voltage slows down the fans, which effects in lower air throughput, but then they are less noisy, sometimes down to barely audible.

For 120mm case fans I recommend you to look into Scythe S-Flex or Slip Stream series, the Blacknoise SX1 or XL1, also good are the Noctua NF-P12 - as well as Papst 4412 series is sometimes a good choice IMHO but rarely availible outside Germany, with the forementioned being as good or sometimes better I'd not give it a sweat.

I'm no fan of boxed cooling for CPU, these coolers usually aren't of high quality, only meet the minimum criteria of cooling and therefore are sometimes insufficient under high load (and moreso under your circumstands then), and some models are very noisy. Their design usually needs the fans to run at higher speeds to work properly at all, which also means they are more noisy then. So my bet is that if you do a change here you're already quite a step ahead of your problems.

If you wanna go cheap there is an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (or also 64 Pro), if you have a little more money left you could go for either CoolerMaster HyperTX2 (probably the best buy for little money in the field atm) or Xigmatek HDT-S963, the next step up would be a Scythe Mugen or a Xigmatek HDT-S1283, the ultimate solution A Thermalright IFX-14 with a case fan from above. There is also some effects by low quality paste used for the cooler, but the quoted products shuold deliver reasonable qualified paste with them. All these coolers should require you to remove the airduct from the case due to their size, but that's not really a problem I think as they will perform better without a doubt.

Ok, hope I didn't frighten you with all the product names, but with little investments (far less than your air conditioning thing is my guess) you can get pretty much effect which will be more than sufficient even for your current situation.

Hope this helps,


Oh and, for anyone interested, Tomshardware.com test quite a few CPU coolers and they found out horrible differences in quality!



Unfortunately they don't list any boxed cooler set there, but my bet is that it is far down the list if not the at the bottom.

A zero can decuple an existing problem.
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