Complete silencing

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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scaryduck
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Complete silencing

Post by scaryduck » Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:35 pm

With the installation of a Scythe Ninja, my system (see sig) is now almost silent. With the exception of the hard drive. It's a noisy thing - an IBM 180GXP - which I want to silence completely (at 1m or better). I've got it on Sorbothane chunks at the moment - which decouples the drive from the case beautifully - but does nothing for the idle whoosh. Seeks are easily audible.

I've tried: suspending with elastic (not as good as Sorbothane), a NoVibes III (idle and seek vibrations amplified) and resting the drive on packing foam (very good, about the same as the Sorbothane). Today I put the drive in a cardboard box (300x240x240mm) full of wood shavings; the idle noise was amplified by the sides and caused audible rumbling. I was hoping the wood shavings would absorb the vibrations: it didn't.

Before I spend any more time and money, does anyone have any ideas or comments? I'm thinking of packing the drive in a box full of sand for my next trick.

teknerd
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Post by teknerd » Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:56 pm

get a new hard drive :lol:
it's gonna be damn hard (if not impossible) to make that silent.
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jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:46 pm

Have you not tried actually buying a hard drive enclosure which is specifically designed to reduce airborne hard drive noise (as opposed to vibrational noise)?

Such as:

SilentDrive

(I have to say I have one of these and it doesn't cut out hard drive noise completely)

SilentMaxx Aluminium HD Silencer

Scythe Silent Box

Nexus Drive-A-Way

etc etc etc.

The box of sand will probably work really well in terms of reducing acoustic noise, but it's a bit drastic and will be very heavy.

[/quote]

Shining Arcanine
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Post by Shining Arcanine » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:51 pm

Does anyone know which hard drive enclosure is the most effective of all of the options? I would like to get one for my hard drive but I do not have information on what is the most effective so I do not know which one to buy.

Kythe
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Post by Kythe » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:23 pm

teknerd wrote:get a new hard drive :lol:
it's gonna be damn hard (if not impossible) to make that silent.
I agree with this.

You can use a combination of suspension with thick aluminum plates for parts of the drive for heat sinking and sound absorbing foam to surround the rest, or even build a sub-enclosure out of such foam for the drive, with forced air using indirect paths in and out. But the bottom line is, if you're starting with a noisy drive, you're going to have difficulties.

Start with a drive that produces very little noise, and life is so much easier. :)

alleycat
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Post by alleycat » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:48 pm

The homebrew drive enclosure I put together about a year ago is still working perfectly.

justblair
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Post by justblair » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:52 pm

Just to join the bandwagon....

Get a new hard drive. If you are that sensitive to the high pitch whine (It bugs the hell out of me) Then go to a spinpoint or a Baracuda and stick it in a silentdrive enclosure.... Sit it on your sorbothane chunks and you should get near silence..

I had a silentdrive working suspended in my bedroom machine with a cuda v and it was virtually silent. It is currently sitting unsuspended in my latest project, a passive machine and it is impossible to hear it working from about a foot away.

I have a maxtor 80gb that I had in the same enclosure and although it was quiet, it was far from silent.

I think it is true to say you just cant silence completely a noisy drive, or to put it another way....

You cant polish a t@rd!!
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scaryduck
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Post by scaryduck » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:10 pm

I've not tried any enclosures. The Scythe Silent Box might do the trick (in conjuction with suspension/Sorbothane), but I'm not sure it make sense to spend £32 on one when a P120 200GB SATA can be had for £66 from Komplett (my 180GXP is 120GB and full).

So the response is unanimous. I'll wait for the conclusion of the single platter drive test: hopefully the winner should be easy enough to silence.

Thanks for putting me straight.
Shining Arcanine wrote:Does anyone know which hard drive enclosure is the most effective of all of the options?
The HDD NOISE REDUCTION PRODUCTS section suggests either the Smart Drive or Scythe, dependent on what type of noise (airborne; vibrational) is predominant.

Badger
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Post by Badger » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:25 pm

alleycat wrote:The homebrew drive enclosure I put together about a year ago is still working perfectly.
Agreed. The two I made based off of alleycat's pictures do wonders. I hardly noticed any difference after suspending with Stretch Magic, but these homemade enclosures make all the difference in the world, and they're so simple to make. Order the aluminum box, buy two big hot/cold gel packs, if you can find a way to grind out about 2mm for your cables to exit, if you can't that's fine too, just don't screw down that end so tight, and you're set. It keeps your drives cool and silent, and for cheaper than a lot of other ones on the market.
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MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:34 pm

Increasingly, there is another viable option no one has mentioned here thus far:

An External SATA drive, located remotely.

External SATA was talked about as long as 2 years ago, and implemented by early adopter. They just used a long SATA cable and a long power output cable extender. E-SATA may still not be finalized as part of the new SATA 2.5 spec; I have not checked. But I do know of at least 2 ASUS motherboards that come with two E-SATA adapters and a power output in between. (Asus A8N-SLI & A8N32-SLI) They replace a PCI cover and plug into existing SATA connectors on the board.

Here's a pic of the front & back of these things:

Image

You can find 1-meter long SATA cables pretty easily, and it is easy enough to make a similarly long power extension cable. You might be able to find longer (1.5m?) SATA cables; I think I have seen them somewhere before.

Then, you can put an already quiet drive in a noise reduction box, and place it as far away as the cables will allow. My preference would be a QUIET HDD in a Scythe box or Smart Drive box sitting atop some soft foam in a desk/cabinet drawer. Make a slot at the front bottom and at the back top (of the drawer) if you need, for natural ventilation.

The big advantage over standard USB or firewire externals is that there is NO LOSS IN PERFORMANCE, it's a real SATA connection -- to the PC, it might as well be in the main case. But acoustically, it ought be much quieter than you can achieve with the drive inside the PC. The in-desk /drawer scenario I suggested is only one of many things you can drive with the room... outside the PC.

BTW, you don't need one of these e-SATA adapters to do this, but it does make it more convenient and increases the distance you have to work with.
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nici
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Post by nici » Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:39 pm

I´ve mentioned external sata in several threads but havent got any comments.
I have not had time to use it yet, but i have one of these things from AKASA, i´ve ordered a few more but need to wait a couple of weeks for them to arrive.. It comes with both the 3,5" thing and the PCCI backplate.

I intend to make some kind of box for the HDDs, like 20mm MDF with at least as much heavy foam inside and a slow fan or something.. tooot ired to think of anything else to say.

scaryduck
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Post by scaryduck » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:20 am

The SATA ports on the Asus bracket (and similar products from AC Ryan and Akasa) are "internal" SATA connectors. The cables are unshielded and limited to 1m (though I've seen 1.2m cables marketed for "external" use).

An eSATA cable is shielded and looks like this . It can be up to 2m long. Addonics do a SATA to eSATA bracket.

I'll build one of alleycat's boxes and put it in a cupboard, or something. Thanks all.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:03 am

scaryduck wrote:The SATA ports on the Asus bracket (and similar products from AC Ryan and Akasa) are "internal" SATA connectors. The cables are unshielded and limited to 1m (though I've seen 1.2m cables marketed for "external" use).

An eSATA cable is shielded and looks like this . It can be up to 2m long. Addonics do a SATA to eSATA bracket.

I'll build one of alleycat's boxes and put it in a cupboard, or something. Thanks all.
Cool, that's good info to know, glad you've got a solution to pursue. 8)
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gbeichho
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Post by gbeichho » Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:14 pm

I just bought a Vantec NexStar 3 SATA II drive enclosure. The enclosure is OK quality, but it includes an eSATA connector, eSata Cable, and PCI bracket. (I bought it for convenience -- moving the HD between two machines, not to relocate the HD)

I've found 3rd party PCI brackets and cables here:

http://www.satasite.com/esata-port-adapter-dual.htm

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