Silencing A Hard Drive

Silencing a hard drive

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This guide shows how a hard drive can be effectively silenced using some household items and an aluminium enclosure.  I performed this modification a while back on a passively cooled pc.  The hard drive used was an IDE drive.  Even in an open case, with no other fan noise, this device reduced almost all hard drive noise to complete silence.

I origionally got the idea for doing this through a post from "AlleyCat" at www.silentpcreview.com. Though my refinement to the build is using a flanged enclusure and adding elastic suspension.

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{include_content_item 45}Bill of Materials: 

1 Hard drive.
1 Cable
1 Power molex extension (mine was cut off a PII cpu cooler)
3 Gel packs (a la LIDL) 2 quid a box of 2
1 188x119x55mm Alu alloy Hammond enclosure.
some elastic. 



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Take the hammond box. The one I got was flanged. The flanges give a conveniant way to attach the elastic, however, other mounting methods can be used in your PC. 


Then take 2 of the medical cooling packs and line the base of the Hammond of enclosure, folding them up the sides and back.

 

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The cooling bags were purchased in a local supermarket, they contain a gel which can be cooled and applied to an injury.  Their ability to transfer heat is useful.






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Next take your HD and place it in the bed of cool gel that you have made. Push it around a bit to get it settled.

Then mark around the top edge of the box where your cables will come out. File away the edge so that the cables fit and very snugly. Putting a gel pack in the box while you file greatly reduces the He Haw He Haw noise by the way. When you have a good fit, wash and dry everything.

Next place the gel packs and HD and cables back into the Hammond Box 

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Next place the gel packs and HD and cables back into the Hammond Box



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Then add gel pack no 3 to the top... 



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And carefully attach the lid on the box and fit the screws. Be carefull that you dont burst the bag of Gel as you do this.... 

Here you can see the completed enclosure,  this system works because the head from the hard drive is passed through the gel cooling pad and into the aluminum enclosure.  Grom there conventional cooling can be used to remove the heat from the system.  


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Next feed several lengths of elastic to the flanges.  



And use the elastic to tie the. Hammond enclosure to the mounting brackets/points/whatever inside your case. I have knotted these in this picture.  The elastic is used because it damps any vibrations from the Hard Drive that have not been absorbed by the gel.  If the computer that you are fitting this to is going to be transported regularly, you may wish to look more closely at how you mount the device.  As you can see in the machine that I installed the silencer into, the hard drive swings free.  This is fine for a machine that will not be moved often.



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Then power your machine on, hoping that those bags have not burst. And start punishing your HD in a vain attempt to get it to make some noise.

 

With the silencer, the hard drive is  silent unitil i get my ear to within 20cm of the drive. Thats in a system with no other moving parts.


Prior to fitting this home made hard drive enclosure I had a Silentdrive enclosure,

 

Temperatures in the home made enclosure were comparable to the comercially made Silentdrive enclosure.  Though these are higher than you would get from having a traditionally mounted hard drive.  Over time this will no doubt reduce the lifespan of the hard drive.  However, with hard drive sizes expanding, and prices dropping all the time, I would think you very unlucky if the drive were to fail before it is time for your next upgrade.  Certainly in my case the hard drive was still functioning perfectly after a year and a half before it was retired.