View Full Version : What a difference a fan makes!

December 31st, 2006, 06:39 PM
Got a Seagate 250GB hdd at Best Buy for $79.95 (regular price $133.95). Installed it in my "file archive" computer in place of a nearly full 40GB drive. Transferred the files...yada yada yada...everything looked good.

I had read some reviews online and the general consensus is that these large Seagate drives run much hotter than most. So, I fired up Speedfan to check the drive temp. YIKES! 110F just sitting at the desktop doing nothing. Popped the side cover off the computer and sure enough, it's really hot to the touch. The CPU on that computer (AMD Athlon XP 1700+ ) was only 100F. The other drive (Maxtor 20GB) was showing 83F.

Using adapter rails I mounted both drives in the 5.25" bays and left the trim plates off the front for better air circulation. Now the Seagate reads 106F. Not much better. Maxtor shows 80F.

Gutted a dead micro ATX power supply so that I had just the fan mounted in a flat "U" shaped piece of metal. Slipped that in front of the drives so that the fan blows directly on them. The Seagate now shows 82F and the Maxtor 63F. I'm not really sure if the Maxtor temp is accurate but I'm pretty sure that the Seagate is.

Just goes to show, airflow is important!


January 1st, 2007, 08:07 AM
I had the same problem on my P4, it kept locking up. The fan in front of the drives solved the problem!

January 1st, 2007, 02:38 PM
Air flow is definitely important! I lost a power supply to one of my computers because of the lack of air it had! Over a period of time It over heated. I bought a system saver and that solved the problem.

January 1st, 2007, 03:32 PM
The software that monitors my computer currently reports CPU at 24C (75F, an Athlon64 3800+) and motherboard at 38C (100F, ASUS SFF barebone) after a few hours of regular use. No reading for the S-ATA hard disk. Perhaps it has some temperature measuring mechanism I can obtain by other software than manufacturer's default?

Compared to previous generation hardware and taken in consideration the small, narrow case, I thought those readings were quite low, but maybe they're rather poor?

Edit: Ok, I found a multitude of HDD temperature measuring programs using the SMART interface. I wonder why the software included with the computer doesn't include this. According to this program, my current HDD is operating at 44C (111F) which is just as high as Kent's drive before making adjustments. The spec says it is operational up to 55C. However this box is probably too tight to fit another fan, so I may have to live with it.

January 1st, 2007, 05:09 PM
My (new) Gigabyte board is reporting 25C (77F) for the cpu, Athlon 64 3200+. Aida32 will run once per session and usually reports about the same temp for the board as the cpu. Speedfan will not run.

This brings up a problem I'm having with my new setup. When I first set up this system (with 2 IDE drives), Speedfan and Aida32 worked fine. After connecting a SATA drive, any software that looks directly at the drive hardware won't run (except Aida32, it'll run once). Speedfan starts, but when it gets to where it's checking the SMART parameters it locks up. Task Manager can't kill it, it's just a hung process. Passmark's HDDCheck and Performance test also hang with unkillable processes. Aida32 works once, but if it's closed and restarted, it hangs. This is on Win XP Pro SP2.

I'm going to try disconnecting the SATA drive and see if that helps. I've had no luck at all with Google searches for this problem.


January 1st, 2007, 05:34 PM
They do make fan/heatsink type things for HD's. Hard Drive coolers or something like that. Or you could do what I did and put a 120mm fan in the back of the case.

January 1st, 2007, 05:58 PM
Another thing to do to keep the temperature down is to set the spindown settings.

I have the same Seagate drive - bought it last week. It's not the main drive in the system, and I only use it for bulk storage. (Things like disk image backups, digital photos, etc.) Most of the time it is not spinning.

If it's the primary drive in your system that trick won't work.

January 1st, 2007, 11:05 PM
I considered, a 5400 rpm drive probably will generate less heat than a 7200 rpm? I found some DOS based (?!) "feature tool" from the manufacturer (Hitachi Deskstar in my case) that promises to let one configure a number of parameters.

January 2nd, 2007, 10:18 AM
I found the problem I had occured when I added a second drive to the bay directly below the first one - the two drives together created enough heat to cause them to lock up. I spaced them with an empty bay between them, and added the areforementioned fan in front of them.

They were both Maxtor (shudder...) IDE drives, 80GB Master and 160GB slave. The 80GB has since been replaced with an 80GB SATA Seagate after I upgraded the mainboard.

My computer is in one of those desk cupboards, so it tends to run a little hotter than normal, but it has been fine for nearly 4 years so far. I've had absolutely no problems since then :)