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Old 01-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #1
Athena
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Default Disks overheating

I have a Dell GX620 Minitower that is being used as a home server so it's on 24/7. Ever since I swapped out a disk in November, I've been getting error messages that indicate both disks are overheating. I've read quite a few messages in various places that indicate overheating was a problem on the SFF model of this machine but nothing about the minitowers.

In any case, I'm looking for something that I can use to cool the disks. When I looked on NewEgg, the best rated systems seem to be designed for installation in a front facing bay...which is not an option for me. What else can I use to cool these disk?

Thanks
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
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How much room do you have? If you have an extra hard drive slot, you can probably squeeze in a fan in there. They also make brackets that fit onto hard drives, I believe.

These should fit with the hard drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835888105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835119063
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
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How much room do you have? If you have an extra hard drive slot, you can probably squeeze in a fan in there. They also make brackets that fit onto hard drives, I believe.
I don't have an extra slot but there is a bit of extra room between the case floor and the first drive so I guess I'll try one of those. From reading the comments, I'm expecting some installation and/or power issues but if it works, the mods will be worth it. Otherwise, I'm going to have to find a new machine for this purpose.

Thank you.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #4
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I would try to put another fan into it. You may have to do some weird things like gluing or taping it into place. It's a pretty cheap option though. I googled an image of your pc and it looks like there would be room to mount a fan OUTSIDE the case on the back if all else fails. Also, I would play around with ducting using some packing tape to see if I can improve air flow efficiency. Your case isn't that small so I'm surprised that you are having this sort of problem honestly. Check your temps with an infrared thermometer maybe. Or use a SMART program to verify your HD temps.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #5
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Adding a fan to blow on the HDs may be iffy. Dell uses ducting to cool that CPU and as far as I can tell that is the only intake and the PSU the only exhaust. I'm guessing but I think having a fan inside blowing at the hard drives would simply push hot air around.
By the looks of it you could add an 80 mm inside the back grill pushing out as an additional exhaust drawing more in, hopefully some through the vents in front of the HDs.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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I think a pic or two of your setup would be very helpful here if possible. Would be nice to see the inside so we know what you have to work with.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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I'm guessing but I think having a fan inside blowing at the hard drives would simply push hot air around.
By the looks of it you could add an 80 mm inside the back grill pushing out as an additional exhaust drawing more in, hopefully some through the vents in front of the HDs.
I didn't see this until today...just after installing the Vantec HDD fan between the two disks. That wasn't particularly easy since I had to take the disk out of the mounting bracket and it's now just sitting on the bottom of the case.

Could you be a little more specific about your proposed solution? What kind of fan are we talking about and how would it be mounted? FWIW, there does seem to be a large fan in the shroud next to the heat sink...but it's clearly not adequate.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #8
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If the vantec has solved the heat problem you don't need this but I'll wager that cooler makes more noise and does not move air out of the case.

I would try to mount a fan on the back grill if there is enough room. I think an 80 mm square x 25 mm thick may fit. If you don't have a metric rule the conversion is 3 1/8" x 1" so measure the case before you buy. Use a straight edge across the open case to simulate the side cover closed and measure to that. Allow for the thickness of the side panel.

Depending on the direction of airflow of the main fan on the cpu heatsink, the ducted fan I would mount the additional fan as a booster, if the cpu fan is an intake , drawing air from outside the fan I add would be an exhaust. If the cpu fan exhausts I would make the new one intake.

The fan could be mounted in many ways, screws and nuts, fan screws that many ship with, some like Silenx used to ship w/ rubber screws, or even zip ties. I like zip ties because if you use 2 together you can use them like a nut and bolt. Cut the head off one and slide that onto the other and push it down tight. the 2 heads make a good, single use nut and bolt for fans.

Also if you do decide to try this look for a quiet fan like the Yate Loons. This fan does not need to push huge amounts of air as it is just a booster, meant to give a little more air than Dell engineered this case for so that the vents by the HD get more air. This would also allow the rest of the components a little fresh air as well.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
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If the vantec has solved the heat problem you don't need this but I'll wager that cooler makes more noise and does not move air out of the case.
Okay, thanks for the additional detail. The machine was shut down for 5 days so I won't know whether the fan is doing any good for a day or so. The fan is actually very quiet but I don't feel it moving anything out the front. If this works, I think I'll stick some rubber feet on the drive to keep it off the case floor.

If it doesn't work, I guess I'll have to attach something to the back grill as you suggest...and hope I can figure out which way the air should be moving.

Keeping my fingers crossed...
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The fan is actually very quiet but I don't feel it moving anything out the front. If this works, I think I'll stick some rubber feet on the drive to keep it off the case floor.

hope I can figure out which way the air should be moving.
If it's quiet and works your good to go. That fan only cools the heatsink you attatch to the drive, it isn't meant to move air in or out of the case. If it is between the two drives it may help both.

To find which way the cpu fan blows if the fan is a standard case fan the outer frame is probably marked. IIRC a while back I saw a dell shroud marked w/ an arrow, not sure. If not simply run the PC with the side off, you should be able to feel it. If you smoke, blow smoke at it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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To find which way the cpu fan blows if the fan is a standard case fan the outer frame is probably marked. IIRC a while back I saw a dell shroud marked w/ an arrow, not sure. If not simply run the PC with the side off, you should be able to feel it. If you smoke, blow smoke at it.
I used an easier method: I put a piece of paper up against the front of the case. I figured that if it was blowing out, the paper would flutter. Instead, the paper stood against the case on its own so I assume the fan next to the heat sink is pullling air in.

I haven't had any temperature alerts since I powered back up but I do have some failure warnings saying that one of the drives should be replaced ASAP. I've had warnings about bad sectors for at least 6 weeks and finally initiated an exchange this afternoon. I suspect that temperature issue contributed to, if not caused, the problem. I just hope the disk lasts long enough for me to get the data off. Actually, I guess I should shut it down until the new disk arrives (duh!).

There's lot's of room at the back of the case so adding an additional fan for exhaust should be possible and they don't seem to cost very much. Would something like this do? My only concern would be getting power to the fan; the only available power jack is not a standard 4-pin; it has 3 in a row then the 4th underneath -- and I don't know where to find an adapter to use it. It appears that a trip to Fry's may be in order...
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:18 PM   #12
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I've not used that fan so I can't say about it, but yes that type.
I used a vantec chipset heatsink years ago and it was very loud so that turned me off the brand. Gelid is another I avoid, Quiet as can be but they move no air.

Note the 4 pin cable adaptor that comes with the vantec, you can plug the fan direct to the mobo w/o it or plug it to a 4 pin from the power supply. It is a pass through connector so you can plug it into any 4 pin molex and still power the device or drive that plug went to originally.
Myself I like this Zalman if I were to buy from the egg. I've used them before and found them to be IMO one of the better brands of fan. This one does not have the 4 pin connector but comes with a resistor to give you an option as to the speed and noise level.
The Noctua looks like the cream of the crop as far as included goodies, pass through molex, rubber screws and resistors for speed but I haven't tried them so I don't know if they push air, they're ugly as sin and expensive as a high class hooker. I've got boxes of fans I've tried and stored, I have 4 Yates running in my PC now one of a replacement for my PSU fan that died.

This is what I would use in your case, look around here, Performance PCs has a much better selection than newegg for case modification and cooling and if you need help you can call. I've dealt with them for years and never had a problem. Once I ordered more sata connectors than they had in stock of a particular type and they called me! Frozen CPU is another place for good selection and you can count on to have someone nearby to answer questions if you call.


edit-
BTW, the paper was a damn good idea.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:34 PM   #13
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Myself I like this Zalman if I were to buy from the egg.
Hello again,

I've been assembling the bits to do as you suggested and have a some more questions:
  • The Zalman fan came with an extra connector with capacitor. Would it serve any function in this type of installation; where the fan is not directly connected to the motherboard?
  • The attachment cable is rather long, especially when combined with a converter cable. Is there any reason that I shouldn't leave it wound around the fan?
  • Is there a limit to the number of devices that can be strung on one power line? I only have one Molex connector in the case and it came attached to two optical drives. I put a splitter in there to attach the disk cooling fan (which I supposed could be removed now) and now a second splitter that I'm planning to use to connect the additional case fan when the converter cable arrives. Is that okay? Is there such a thing as an overloaded line for things like this?

While awaiting the converter cable and exchange disk, I was playing around with a disk monitor utility on my desktop and discovered that the disks there have been running hot too. I guess I'm lucky that I've not had any disk errors there yet. I'd like to install an extra fan in that machine (Dell GX740) but I don't see how I can get power to it -- no connector on the motherboard and not a single Molex connector visible anywhere. I did find this cable which I think might work. I haven't done any real fiddling around inside machines since SATA became popular though and am unsure about the advisablility of doing this. Is there a downside to connecting up a second fan this way?

Thank you again for your very informative answers.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
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  • The Zalman fan came with an extra connector with capacitor. Would it serve any function in this type of installation; where the fan is not directly connected to the motherboard?
If you run that resistor inline with the fsn it will lower the speed no matter what it is powered by.
  • The attachment cable is rather long, especially when combined with a converter cable. Is there any reason that I shouldn't leave it wound around the fan?
No problems there, just keep it neat, not twisted into knots or stretched tight, and not pinched.
  • Is there a limit to the number of devices that can be strung on one power line? I only have one Molex connector in the case and it came attached to two optical drives. I put a splitter in there to attach the disk cooling fan (which I supposed could be removed now) and now a second splitter that I'm planning to use to connect the additional case fan when the converter cable arrives. Is that okay? Is there such a thing as an overloaded line for things like this?
Yes, they can be overloaded, I don't know what your PSU is but if it is stock Dell I would think it has minimal headroom. One fan is almost certainly fine, probably both. They are not monster fans so I wouldn't be concerned.

I do like that sata to 4 pin you linked before. I havent seen that before.


While awaiting the converter cable and exchange disk, I was playing around with a disk monitor utility on my desktop and discovered that the disks there have been running hot too. I guess I'm lucky that I've not had any disk errors there yet. I'd like to install an extra fan in that machine (Dell GX740) but I don't see how I can get power to it -- no connector on the motherboard and not a single Molex connector visible anywhere. I did find this cable which I think might work. I haven't done any real fiddling around inside machines since SATA became popular though and am unsure about the advisablility of doing this. Is there a downside to connecting up a second fan this way?

Thank you again for your very informative answers.
Your welcome!
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