How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed space

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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Ozkar
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How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed space

Post by Ozkar » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:18 am

I have a DVR with an external hard drive connected to it. The external hard drive is too loud and it's always being accessed. Always. So I've decided to build a small wooden cabinet to house the external hard drive. Can I make the cabinet completely sealed? Would it get too hot? (my guess is yes). Should I leave small openings in the back? Add a fan?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Vicotnik
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by Vicotnik » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:32 am

It depends on what kind of HDD it is. A 5400RPM "green" drive will require less cooling than a 7200RPM drive for example.

Before boxing in the drive, I would look into the possibility of enabling AAM and see if that helps. Another solution might be getting another HDD. I know that a WD Elements with AAM enabled will be fairly quiet, and if it's not quiet enough naked then it will probably be ok temperature wise if it's tucked away in a box. Wrapped in a towel and placed behind the TV bench could also work. Building a wooden cabinet sounds like a lot of work. ;)

xan_user
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by xan_user » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:45 am

Whats the drive and enclosure model?

Whats the maximum ambient temperate where the enclosure sits? (gets real hot behind big TV's, near amplifiers and cable boxes...ect.)

Ozkar
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by Ozkar » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:58 am

This is the enclosure:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817173042

The drive is a 500GB WD Green drive.

I'm willing to do anything to quiet it as long as it doesn't create a fire hazard. Right now I can't replace the drive because I have tons of recorded shows I still need to watch.

CA_Steve
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:37 am

Is the rosewill's fan the noise problem?
Or something else:
- WD vibration when in the case
- WD seek noise

Ozkar
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by Ozkar » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:45 pm

The problem is the seek noise, which is amplified by the vibration of the enclosure.

Oh, and I haven't checked if AAM is disabled or enabled.. Does AAM come enabled by default?

Vicotnik
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by Vicotnik » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:45 pm

Disabled by default most of the time.

xan_user
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by xan_user » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:43 pm

After verifying AAM is enabled, take drive out of enclosure and lay it on some foam or a book and see how it sounds decoupled from the enclosure (& fan?).

you could build a wood box with large vents on top and bottom, with tall feet for airflow, and use foam or drive suspension to decouple the drive from the box. keep the drive vertical for better convection. and if you want for insurance, add a nice slow 80mm or larger SPCR recommended fan . -but if its not smoking hot where the drive sits, and the drive was quiet during seeks in the decoupling test, a fan is pro'lly not needed. i would make it so there's at least 2" drive and box walls.

if drive was too noisy decoupled, you could build baffles into the box exhaust and intake. -but I'd want a fan then for sure, as natural convection would be reduced/eliminated.

Ozkar
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by Ozkar » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:41 am

Which utility can I use to enable AAM on the WD Green Drive?

Tephras
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Re: How safe is keeping an external hard drive in a closed s

Post by Tephras » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:10 pm

Hitachi Feature Tool or quietHDD.

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