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Help : 2 sata HDs - Noise problems - PSU cause?

By yippeeyayay
Dec 8, 2007
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  1. hi, i just installed a second sata hd (western digital caviar se16 - 500 gb), and afterwards a low humming noise (that goes high from low constantly, regardless of whether computer's thinking or not) started to come from my computer. I opened it up, and the sound isn't actually coming from the HD, but rather somewhere near the PSU. I uninstalled the second HD, and the noise stopped. So i'm wondering whether my PSU is not powerful enough to operate 2 HDs? I know from the reviews WD Se16 500gb is supposed to be quiet...

    my powersupply is Thermal Cooler ATX 12V, with max 350W (+12V, 10A; +5V, 14A; +3V, 14A). My first sata HD holds 160 gb (seagate barracuda 7200).

    other stats :
    motherboard : gigabyte tech co. 945PL-S3, bus clock 200 megahertz
    processor : 3 gigahertz intel pentium D, 16 kilobyte primary memory cache, 1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
    graphic card : radeon x300 series

    if someone could please advise me, i'd much appreciate it.
  2. CJ-real

    CJ-real TS Rookie Posts: 103

    Most likely the processor or PSU... juded by your specs, 350W seems to be enough...
  3. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    what would be the recommended processor and PSU for someone in my position?
  4. CJ-real

    CJ-real TS Rookie Posts: 103

    Well the pentium D may not handle 1tb very well - its old with new. I guess it's the processor fan making a lot of noise, but I may be wrong
  5. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

  6. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    sorry, i went to that site, but i couldn't fill out all the sections because i don't know the exact specifics (i'm not familiar with all the technical names), ie. i know my ram is 1gb, but i don't know if it's a ddr2, ddr or pc66...i don't know the fan size (80mm-250mm...? other than the details i listed above, i don't know anymore about the fan), with the pci cards...i have no idea. sorry, i didn't build the computer myself, and i'm not as knowledgable with these things.

    when the noise came around, i had all usb external devices turned off, and the computer was not running any applications or such.
  7. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Google and get everest home edition. That will tell you everything you will need to know about your pc.
  8. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Recommended PSU Wattage according to that site, is 271w.

    what does this mean, that it's not my power supply??? i'm confused now to why the noise appears.

    here are the specifics from the everest home edition :
    DualCore Intel Pentium D 830 CPU 3.00GHz
    Intel Lakeport-G i945G
    1 GB DDR2-533 DDR2 SDRAM
    Gigabyte GV-RX30S128D
    RADEON X300 Series Secondary (256 MB)
    ATI Radeon X300 (RV370) - accelerator
  9. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    I suspect the noise is caused by a fan as fans are the most common source of noises. Can you discribe the sound in as much detail as possible. It is also possible for the components in the psu to make a noise too.
    A good accurate discription of the noise may well help me to figure out what the cause is.
  10. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    right now, i have only one HD installed, and there are no noise from anywhere. normal sound. very quiet.


    when i have both HD installed, i hear an almost vibrating low/deep humming noise that goes high and low within seconds. so it's like...HUMMM...humm...HUMMM...humm... and it feels like something is vibrating, but the machine isn't vibrating (nothign is moving). if i put my ear close to the fans...it sounds ok. but the humming noise is around the psu and the fan, yet i can't pin point exactly...it's quite hard because the noise just travels everywhere. i know the humming isn't coming from the second HD. All i know for certain is that the noise stops when only one hd is operating....

    i cleaned out the fan + power supply (the dusts and everything), made sure everything is secure and tight, no loose ends....but annoying sound persists. it's not very loud, you can't hear it from another room, but when you're on teh computer, you can feel it. it doesn't ahve the normal computer sound (that i have when only 1 hd is running).
  11. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Ok, pretty sure i know what the cause is now. I think its a resonant vibration of the case itself. Do you have enough space to put a gap between the hdd's? Another thing that could help is to make sure the hdd mounting cage is securely fixed.

    Let me know if that helps.
     
  12. CJ-real

    CJ-real TS Rookie Posts: 103

    I never knew HDD's had fans though...
  13. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Hdd's dont have fans! They have metal disks within them that spin. Hence they are labeled as 5,400rpm, 7,200rpm, etc..
  14. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    ok, i rearranged the HDs couple of times, moved them around from slot to slot to see if that made any chages, but the hummings still there. I checked everything is secure, and they are....

    from the everest report, it even said the temperatures are low - Motherboard 34 °C (93 °F)
    CPU 1 °C (34 °F)
    Seagate ST3160811AS 42 °C (108 °F)
    WDC WD5000AAKS-65YGA0 35 °C (95 °F)
  15. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Place your hand against a solid part of the case and see if you can feel the vibration then.
  16. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Yes, i feel the vibration when i put my hand against the side of the computer case.
  17. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Are the parts of the case screwed or riveted together?
  18. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    screwed together. but i checked all the screws and it seems fastened...
  19. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    You may need something between the contact points between the hard drive cage and the case then. Even bits of cardboard should do the job.
    I remember a guy in australia had a similar problem about a year and a half ago here on TS and i suggested cardboard to dull the noise and it worked well.
  20. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    you mean stick cardboard (like box quality) on both sides of the case (inside) near the HD, just one side, or everywhere inside (that would block ventilation)?
  21. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Nope, if you can, remove the drive cage and just put cardboard between the mated surfaces of it and the case to act as a "cushion".
  22. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    ahh. i realised that when i put my computer on a carpet surface (like my rug ), all is ok..... doh! is that safe? if so, i might just keep it like that.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,681   +880

    Not Such a Good Idea.....

    IMHO, one of the worst things you can do to is to run electronics on the carpet. In spite of the fact they might only be a 1/4 inch off the surface, the metal bottom plate greatly assists with the cooling. This may not be as severe for a computer because of it's small footprint. Still I wouldn't do it.

    Is the surface that the computer is on sufficiently sturdy?

    Are one of the fans loose or out of balance?

    Some HDD cages have rubber grommets to mount the drives. (notably Antec). If so, are these in place?

    Did this occur only when the new drive was installed?
    Although it's highly unlikely, the drive could be bad.

    Is any of the wiring contacting a fan or the like?

    Are you sure you tightened everything correctly?

    A couple of thicknesses of electrical tape could prevent a side cover from rattling against the case proper.

    When you speak of "humming" I automatically think of the power supply. 60 cycle hum that is.

    You've got a screw loose? Well not you, but one lurking in the bottom of the case, maybe behind the whatchacallit.

    Try these things for now
  24. yippeeyayay

    yippeeyayay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Is the surface that the computer is on sufficiently sturdy?
    Yes. it was on the bottom of the computer desk (there's a section where you can put your HD)

    Are one of the fans loose or out of balance?
    No. I checked, cleaned, etc.

    Some HDD cages have rubber grommets to mount the drives. (notably Antec). If so, are these in place?
    I checked all the HD, made sure the fasteners were tight, that HDs weren't moving, they seem secure.

    Did this occur only when the new drive was installed? Although it's highly unlikely, the drive could be bad.
    it only occurs when the new drive was installed. but the sound isn't coming directly from the HDD, it's like a vibrating noise everywhere, more so from the power supply.

    Is any of the wiring contacting a fan or the like? Nope.

    Are you sure you tightened everything correctly? Yes.

    A couple of thicknesses of electrical tape could prevent a side cover from rattling against the case proper.

    When you speak of "humming" I automatically think of the power supply. 60 cycle hum that is.
    I don't know what that is (60 cycle hum). I first thought it was my power supply, but from what Rik was saying, i think the sound is coming from the case.

    You've got a screw loose? Well not you, but one lurking in the bottom of the case, maybe behind the whatchacallit.
    No, i checked. i feel like pulling my hair out!!!!!!!!
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,681   +880

    Huuuummmmm.......

    60 cycle or "line hum" is the noise you would hear if you tried to plug say a cassette deck or turntable into the input of a receiver which was already turned on. The buzz you might hear when somebody plugs a live mike into the PA. Very low frequency. I hope this explains that, my best shot. Sometimes a PS transformer can vibrate in sympathy to the line AC frequency.

    Is it possible that you knocked loose a sound card or something?

    Is this drive recognized by BIOS?

    You could try booting up the computer with only the new drive attached. To be sure, it won't boot since there is no OS to load, but power will be supplied to all the fans, boards and the HDD. (The computer will stall and give the error message "no bootable device" (or similar)).

    A HDD only draws about 20 watts, so I'm having trouble envisioning that the PSU is now overloaded and making noise with only this one new drive added, but I suppose that's possible also.
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