Hard Drive Overheating? - Page 2

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Re: Hard Drive Overheating?

On Sun, 27 Jan 2008 17:36:31 -0800 (PST), AdenOne

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We still don't have a good idea of exactly what this case is
like, a verbal description is not as good a a link to a good

From what you're saying, it sounds as though you have
something similar to an OEM mATX case and have mounted the
hard drive in the external 3.5" floppy drive bay?

The key to having good airflow past the drive in this
position is having the majority of the front case intake
through holes in the front metal wall of the case (behind
the (plastic?) bezel), and most of those holes immediately
in front of the HDD inside the perimeter of that rack, not
outside the rack and lower down on the case wall.

Sometimes it is possible to modify a case to accomplish
this, by drilling many small passive intake holes in front
of that area, or cutting out that area behind the front
bezel, and if necessary putting a solid sheet panel of
plastic, cardboard or metal (well secured), or tape over the
lowest holes to ensure more airflow in past the drive.
Likewise with your description of the case, my description
of doing this must be a bit ambiguous, basically the idea is
airflow follows the route from intake to exhaust and should
be impeded as little as possible, and channeled through the
rack the drive is mounted in.  If that rack has a solid
bottom panel that the bottom of the drive practially rests
again, it will not be sufficient for allowing enough airflow
across the bottom of the drive and would take a lot more
work to drill out rivets (if that's how it's attached to the
rest of the case frame) to pull the whole drive rack out
then cut out a lot of the bottom of it.  In most cases, this
is more trouble or work than reasonable.

As for the other mounting location further down which places
the drive on it's side, that may be the best option.  The
drive head arms and heads float above the platters based
upon the cushion of air created by the minor friction of the
spinning platters, a boundary layer on the platter surface.
Gravity does not have to be oriented perpendicularly for
this to work so the drive does not need to be mounted
horizontally for this reason.  Some have speculated that if
the drive is not mounted horizontally, it will create
different areas of wear on the motor bearings and while this
seems true, there is insufficient evidence of whether this
is better or worse for the wear of the bearings over time.

Since many OEMs do mount the drives in a vertical
orientation instead of horizontal, and we have not heard of
excessive failure rates as a result, thus far the evidence
seems to suggest the drive should be fine mounted like that.
However, the same applies as above that in the front metal
wall of the case next to the drive, this is where there
would need be the holes for air intake so that the air flows
over the drive surface cooling it most effectively.

Re: Hard Drive Overheating?

I really can't describe the case much, it is a M-ATX with only 2 5"
and 1 3.5" bays, airflow is mostly via panels of holes in the side
panels, very little flows over the HDD area, I am considering mounting
on its side, giving airflow around all sides, but now realize the SATA
power cables cant reach the HDD and the SATA DVD drive, I will have to
buy a molex-SATA converter for the DVD drive I suppose.

I realize side mounting should be fine, but have always been skeptical
of such mountings, I suppose if OEM's do it it must be ok. Then again,
they are not known for their brilliant form factor work these days.

Re: Hard Drive Overheating?

On Fri, 25 Jan 2008 11:18:39 -0000, "GT"

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Smart temp is the temp of one point on the drive where the
sensor is, not a comprehensive way to know if the entire
drive including individual components are cool enough.

Unfortunately since a hard drive is not a candle, it doesn't
just melt at an exact temp but rather individual components
create different heat levels.  For example motor controllers
or their powered transistors often get quite hot, or the
logic chip/*processor* being hot can cause logical lockups
which aren't fatal but require cooling down and possible
corruption or loss of data.

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This may be true, it would be easy enough to touch test the
drive to get an idea if it is relatively cooler than it was.

Re: Hard Drive Overheating?

On Thu, 24 Jan 2008 16:49:02 -0800 (PST), AdenOne

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You are vague about what this "test utility" is, but
generally it would be reporting a Smart value for the drive
temp.  While the Smart value is certainly better than
nothing, it is only the spot temp of one component on the
drive and does not tell the whole story about whether any
individual parts are cooler or hotter than this temp.

Generally speaking, the drive you listed above should not be
feeling particularly warm when installed in a case with
adequate drive bay airflow.  What case are you using and
where is the drive mounted in it?

Certainly one of the more common ways to keep a drive cool
is when the case has a front fan mounted, a case intake fan
that blows through the bay.  Providing the case does not use
a mostly obstructed stamped-out set of slits or holes, this
can be a very effective way to cool HDDs, how many can be
cooled this way depends on the specifics of the room ambient
temp, position of the drives relative to the fan, fan
diameter and placement, whether there's a filter installed
in front and the case front bezel intake area.

A well designed case can cool a few drives in a rack
adequately without a front case fan if care was taken in
it's design such that most if not all of the intake airflow
comes in through the HDD rack.  Unfortunately these days
cases are being made with several aux. intake areas that
countermine this cooling strategy, such as side vent holes,
rear vent holes.  Covering these side and rear passive vent
holes will improve the front intake rate, though in some
cases the intake area is insufficiently low such that either
the metal or (typically plastic) front bezel area may need
to be increased... it varies quite a bit based on the
specific case.

Another concern as significant is that if there is low
enough intake flow rate that the drive is running warmer
than usual, it may also result in other parts running warmer
than usual, not just those we often have temp reports on
like a chipst or CPU.

Therefore without more info the only suggestion I have is to
look over all areas of the case cooling subsystem to assess
where there is a weakness as the aforementioned model of
drive is not difficult to keep cool enough that it only
feels mildly warm if that, providing the case airflow is
good and the ambient (room) temp is not excessively high.

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