HDD vibration & noise reducing methods - ranked

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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EvilNick
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Post by EvilNick » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:48 pm

Currently, I have my WD drive suspended using elastic cord in one of my 5.25" bays. 2 problems with it:
- Although it's greatly gotten rid of vibration noise, I can still hear it a lil bit since it's so near to the front top of the case. But this is not too bad.
- The bigger cause for concern is that there is no airflow over the drive, and there's no way for it to conduct heat to the case as normal mounting will allow.

I was wondering about the method of placing the drive on a layer of foam at the bottom of the case where there'll be more airflow.
Firstly, I'm assuming the layer of foam will be just as good as suspension at reducing vibration noise. What I'm wondering is what foam to use? I thought the foam that comes in those mobo/video card boxes are actually a lil electrically conductive? Is it ok to lay a HDD electronics side down on the foam? :)

cmcquistion
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Post by cmcquistion » Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:09 am

EvilNick wrote:Currently, I have my WD drive suspended using elastic cord in one of my 5.25" bays. 2 problems with it:
- Although it's greatly gotten rid of vibration noise, I can still hear it a lil bit since it's so near to the front top of the case. But this is not too bad.
- The bigger cause for concern is that there is no airflow over the drive, and there's no way for it to conduct heat to the case as normal mounting will allow.

I was wondering about the method of placing the drive on a layer of foam at the bottom of the case where there'll be more airflow.
Firstly, I'm assuming the layer of foam will be just as good as suspension at reducing vibration noise. What I'm wondering is what foam to use? I thought the foam that comes in those mobo/video card boxes are actually a lil electrically conductive? Is it ok to lay a HDD electronics side down on the foam? :)
Foam can work pretty well, but it can also cause the drive to run hotter. Have considered an elastic suspension, in the bottom of your case? Check out the link in my sig to my elastic suspension hard drive rack. With this, you can put the drive in the bottom of your case, where it can get airflow.

EvilNick
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Post by EvilNick » Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:29 am

Yeah I did consider just moving the suspension setup down to my HDD rack in front of the 120mm intake, but keeping cables neat will be a slight issue. :)

I would like to do the foam method at the back to keep the HDD at the rear of the case where the noise will hopefully be less audible, but as you mentioned cooling is a concern and if only I had something to use to make some big heatsinks for the HDD sides.

fpp
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Post by fpp » Sat Aug 06, 2005 11:47 am

EvilNick wrote:I would like to do the foam method at the back to keep the HDD at the rear of the case where the noise will hopefully be less audible, but as you mentioned cooling is a concern and if only I had something to use to make some big heatsinks for the HDD sides.
Just fish around for some unused Hifi amp from the 70s or 80s, most of them have huge aluminum heatsinks inside to cool the power transistors.
The last two I opened (a 70s Panasonic and a 80s Sony) had them : they were just about exactly the length of a 3" drive, and high enough to sandwich two drives with ample room for airflow in between...

wim
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Post by wim » Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:33 am

EvilNick wrote:I was wondering about the method of placing the drive on a layer of foam at the bottom of the case where there'll be more airflow.
Firstly, I'm assuming the layer of foam will be just as good as suspension at reducing vibration noise. What I'm wondering is what foam to use? I thought the foam that comes in those mobo/video card boxes are actually a lil electrically conductive? Is it ok to lay a HDD electronics side down on the foam? :)
EvilNick: cut n' paste from this thread - post would have belonged better in here anyway. to improve convection cooling you can use motherboard standoffs in the HD mounting holes like so:

Image

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EvilNick
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Post by EvilNick » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:18 pm

Hrm, interesting idea. But I might keep my drive up in the 5.25" bays because wires are neater that way. Have to think up a new form of cooling tho, I checked my HDD after doin some formatting yesterday and it was HOT! :shock:

Bob_the_lost
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Post by Bob_the_lost » Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:15 am

Quick question, elastic suspension is the best way to decouple the drives from the case, but if you don't have heatsinks or a HD cage connected to the drives they tend to overheat.

Why not just suspend the hard drive cage? You'll probably get some noise from it vibrating the air around it, but you'll lose the direct vibration effects and won't have to worry about heat dissipation. Anyone tried this before and compared it to individually suspended drives?

Tibors
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Post by Tibors » Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:17 pm

Bob,
Look at burcakb's - Thor's Hammer.

Bob_the_lost
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Post by Bob_the_lost » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:30 pm

Thanks.

thef1podcast
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Post by thef1podcast » Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:34 am

I've been reading this thread as I have been planning & building my new PC. I've got a Samsung 200GB drive which is quiet when reading & writing, but he seek noise is still noticeable (it's currently screwed into the cage on my Antec SLK3000B using the standard rubber grommets).

My idea is to use the Zalman Heatpipe HDD cooler, a couple of drive rails, threaded rod, nuts & rubber washers as I've drawn (badly). Has anyone got any comments/advice?

Image

datapappan
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Post by datapappan » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:34 am

I tried something similar, but with a 'ghetto' frame to hold the HDD, the position in the case was the same. I had major vibration transmittance, though, probably the rubber I used to de-couple was to stiff anyway. It was a softish type rubber feet, some 20 mm diam. Success is now better with HDD sitting on case floor on top of ordinary hiking mattress material (gotta get some air there though, thing is running 48 C).

Point is, make sure the damper is really soft (think: bungy cord).

/datapappan

Jonas/Viper
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Post by Jonas/Viper » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:36 am

I did my suspension in an Antec 3000B case by cutting off the middle part of the HDD-rack and suspended my drive with elastic cords. To keep the drive cool I pulled the cords through aluminium profiles and screwed them to the drive instead of suspending it directly. This made the drive (Barracuda 7200.7 160 GB) about 10 'C cooler as well as removed the vibrations from the case.

Image

The metalwork isn't too great and the picture was taken before I cleaned out the case, but at least it works.

The main problem now is the airborne noise which is too loud for me. I'm thinking of getting some kind of enclosure for the drive, or swap it for a Samsung instead. By the way, how much less noise do they emit?

thef1podcast
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Post by thef1podcast » Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:16 am

With my 200GB spinpoint suspended, it's almost inaudible.

wim
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Post by wim » Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:31 am

Jonas/Viper wrote:The main problem now is the airborne noise which is too loud for me. I'm thinking of getting some kind of enclosure for the drive, or swap it for a Samsung instead. By the way, how much less noise do they emit?
i have one of each.. (except my 160G 7200.7 is a sata) the samsung is a 200GB P120 model. to be honest there is really very little in it and i doubt you will be satisfied with either 3.5".

nici
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Post by nici » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:41 pm

I did this today, suspended a 7200.7 PATA with 3mm medical grade silicone "wire", hardness is 65 Shore wich is just right for this, and added nexus damptek blocks above and under and in front, i removed the front block for this pic so you can see the silicone stuff. It idles at 38c and makes the drive a lot quieter. I cant imaginne the suspension breaking, but even if it would the hdd would drop just one cm on the soft foam.

Image

Shadowknight
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Post by Shadowknight » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:54 pm

So... where do the P180 silicon grommets go on this list? Better? Okay?

Ralf Hutter
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:09 am

Shadowknight wrote:So... where do the P180 silicon grommets go on this list? Better? Okay?
From my personal experience*, I'd put them about even with the EAR grommets, and definitely a noticeable step below Sorbothane.





*Using various Samsumg SP80 drives with their low frequency vibrations.

Derek Baker
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Post by Derek Baker » Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:41 pm

Tibors wrote:Bob,
Look at burcakb's - Thor's Hammer.
Just done mine that way. Temps, in front of an open but fanless intake, are excellent: currently 29 and 30 C, in a room ~19C.

Derek

Hvatum
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Post by Hvatum » Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:53 am

Wow! This is awesome - so inexpensive yet effective. I just setup my entire server using this method and it's now almost completely silent. I used to turn it off most of the time due to the noise but now I have no need to.

Even my loud Maxtor drive is now practically silent. Very nice.

spaceman_spiff
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Post by spaceman_spiff » Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:27 am

Moved to General Gallery.

DE

slothrop
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my elastic suspension

Post by slothrop » Tue May 16, 2006 10:21 am

sorry, wrong thread. moved here...

nahos81
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What type of elastic??

Post by nahos81 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:10 pm

What type of elastic did you use to suspend your drives? I'm thinking of either doing a DIY elastic suspension on my drives or using the Novibes III. However, I'd rather go the DIY route since it will be MUCH cheaper. I'm still unsure though on what kind of elastic to use and how durable it will be. Also, what do you suggest I do if I need to thread the elastic through sharp metal frames. Any links to some elastic that I can buy online would be helpful.

Thanks!

AudiQ7
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Post by AudiQ7 » Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:37 am

If I custom make an aluminium radiator and I place it on top and sides of the drive but without direct touch ( 1-2 mm gap between the radiator and drive, due the pieces of rubber washers placed between them ) it will help lowering the temp. ?
Next I will put it on the bottom case or suspend it, but I want to know if it worths doing that radiator.

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:15 am

If I custom make an aluminium radiator and I place it on top and sides of the drive but without direct touch ( 1-2 mm gap between the radiator and drive, due the pieces of rubber washers placed between them ) it will help lowering the temp. ?
Probably not, air is a very good insulator. You really need direct contect for good heat conduction, and ideally some thermal paste (ie Arctic Silver etc) as well.

AudiQ7
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Post by AudiQ7 » Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:23 am

Supposely I set it tight one to onother ( but without thermal paste, pad ...) won't the radiator function like an amplifier to the noise/vibrations made by the HDD ?

wim
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Post by wim » Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:51 am

yes :(

a small amount of airflow over the bare (suspended) drive is a quieter way to cool it, in my experience..

oyvine
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Pretty basic elastic suspension with some cooling

Post by oyvine » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:26 pm

Hi,
just finished my first attempt at HDD suspension. I am quite pleased, although my computer is not 100% silent yet. The low-frequency hum is gone, and I suspect that the fans are my main source of noise now. This is my linux-box, primarily used as a web-server.

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I hope that the vertical mounting combined with my five heatsinks will keep the disk cool. I used some spare parts from work. The heatsinks are attached with s special double-sided tape for heatsink mounting.

Image
I attached a heatsink to the motor :)

regards,
Øyvin Eikeland

MikeC
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Re: Pretty basic elastic suspension with some cooling

Post by MikeC » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:52 am

oyvine wrote:I hope that the vertical mounting combined with my five heatsinks will keep the disk cool. I used some spare parts from work. The heatsinks are attached with s special double-sided tape for heatsink mounting.

I attached a heatsink to the motor :)

regards,
Øyvin Eikeland
Welcome to SPCR, Øyvin.

FYI, the sides of the HDD tend to conduct the most heat; they are the densest part. The top is just a thin cover and it makes contact to the main HDD body via the sides, which are usually made of cast.... aluminum? steel?

Check out this early SPCR research article on the topic: Effective Passive Hard Drive Cooling

fx-men
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Post by fx-men » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:05 am

I shall tell about the epopee of struggle against noise HDD (Sorry for my bad English):
One week ago has stopped to alter in 3-rd time boxing HDD for it has got me already the rumble. On 3-rd time has achieved this, now it is essentially impossible to define the disk works or costs even having put an ear to the system block (a stop of HDD in Windows has adjusted on 3 minutes of idle time). The main conclusion one, and it confirms words of coryphaei’s of SilentPC, want silence - suspend the HDD.
For a basis for boxing has taken a thin tin, has inside made 2 incomplete partitions for formation of a labyrinth, has fastened through wall the HDD and has pasted over Isolon 8mm in 2 layers, having left opened windows for passage of air, having counted, that Isolon will absorb vibrations:
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Not here that was. There is no noise certainly became less, but it was all the same clearly audible (however has pleased cooling - in current of day at decent loading the temperature has not risen above 29°С). But has all the same decided to alter to achieve full vibroinsulation HDD from the case. Since the HDD closely adjoined to boxing, and to do new boxing of a tin it would not be desirable - has decided to cut out on each side windows, then inside has pasted over vibroinsulation Isomad and has suspended the HTT on three lateral extensions from elastic bands from a medical plait having fixed them for lateral walls from the same Isomad - such fastening of has not justified, the HDD all the same concerned lateral wall and the boxing vibrated.
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Has suspended it on another - having thrown elastic bands atop of boxing and having fastened them on each side a HDD - now the HDD freely hung inside of boxing not concerning it walls. Has closed up boxing by Isolon and Isomad. Has established, has started and has heard only fun’s (at start they on 2-3 s. stay on full and a buzz of throttles in PSU. At last that of any rumble. To understand the HDD works, or has stopped because of idle time of Windows, on hearing it is impossible in any way - only indirectly to temperature attributes if has cooled down on 5-8 °Ñ

PopCorn
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Post by PopCorn » Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:43 am

what i found best for cooling and and stopping vibes from getting to the case is springs... what you do is you mount them on its side and take 2 springs (the ones that contract not push) and screw them on the hard drive on all four corners than in the drive bay you hook the top front ones to the cage than you do the top back ones... same with the ones under the hard drive. make sure when you hook the bottom ones on you make sure all the springs have some tension on them. i find that the springs work kinda like a heat sink. because when the sides of the hdd warm up the springs pull the heat away and disapaite the heat. this is what i found has the best of both sides. I can still hear the seek clicks if I open the case and put my ear 3-5 inches away. Ill get some pics of it soon

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