Hardware - How many hardrives before problems start?
shame - 28.10.2006, 02:27 Uhr
Titel: How many hardrives before problems start?
When I got my new comp, I connected both my old hard drives to copy stuff over that I needed then removed them.
Well I was thinking it's a bit pointless having 2 hard drives sitting there useless so I thought I'd reconnect them.
I plan to use the new drive for my linux distros and general stuff, one drive for storing my photos, music and videos (thought the new drive is 300GB so I probably don't need this, may use it as another backup drive instead) and the other for backups.
I have never run more than 2 drives, can I expect problems or could this damage the computer in any way, cause it to overheat or anything?
The new drive is sata (sda) and the old ones are both ata (hda, hdb).
Here is how my drives are displayed in the bios.
Channel 1 Master hda
Channel 1 Slave hdb
Channel 2 Master DVDRW
Channel 2 Slave CDRW
Channel 3 Master sda Main drive and 1st boot device, though by default it
was set as 3rd boot device in bios before I changed it.
h2 - 28.10.2006, 02:47 Uhr
Titel: RE: How many hardrives before problems start?
if you have 3 or 4 drives stacked ontop of each other they generate a lot of heat. So putting a fan in front of or behind them really helps cool them down.
It takes very little air flow to cool drives down by the way, but with no air flow they get really hot, and really hot drives fail much faster, like any other electronic component, they don't like heat.
Better cases have space for a fan either in front of or behind the drive cage, but cheaper ones often don't.
shame - 28.10.2006, 03:22 Uhr
The main drive is fixed in the drive cage thing.
At the moment he other two (because it was meant to be temporary) are stacked on small plastic frames (1 frame on floor of case then 1 drive on top of that then another frame and finally the other drive on top. This way the first drive is about
half an inch off the floor of the case and another half inch space separating the drives.
I haven't really noticed much about where the fans are placed, all I know is I've noticed at least 3 fans. One at the back, one at the side and one in the middle, I think the middle one is attached to the graphics card.
h2 - 28.10.2006, 03:43 Uhr
It's easy to see if the drives could use some cooling, just put your hand on the top of each one as it's running, after having run for an hour or two. If it's hot, it can use cooling. It takes very little air flow, as I said, to keep drives cool, and the difference is quite striking when they do get this air flow.
shame - 28.10.2006, 03:52 Uhr
Thanks for the advice. I've been on the comp about 3 hours so far and I'll be turning off shortly so I'll check them then.
John - 28.10.2006, 08:21 Uhr
apt-get install hddtemp
shame - 28.10.2006, 10:11 Uhr
They didn't feel particularly hot after I switched off last night.
Tried hddtemp today.
This is about 10 minutes after booting up -
/dev/hda: no sensor
/dev/hdb: ST310211A: 30°C
/dev/sda: WDC WD3000JS-60PDB0: 31°C
This is after about an hour or so -
/dev/hda: no sensor
/dev/hdb: ST310211A: 38°C
/dev/sda: WDC WD3000JS-60PDB0: 36°C
What is the optimum running temperature?
The other drives, hda and hdb weren't mounted during this time and generally wouldn't be except when making backups or copying other stuff to them.
slh - 28.10.2006, 11:26 Uhr
<40 °C (but the vendor's technical data is authoritative of course).
hubi - 28.10.2006, 12:10 Uhr
Is there a possibility to get data of a drive in a USB enclose through hddtemp? It reads:
When I used this drive through IDE on my old desktop, smart was working.
/dev/sda: IC35L120AVV207-0: S.M.A.R.T. not available
tinker - 28.10.2006, 18:05 Uhr
As well as the heat generated by the hard drives, which other posts have covered, there is also the consideration of sufficient current available from the power supply in case all the drives are spining up at the same time, while you're also drawing lots of power for video and a maxed out CPU. Just ensure you have a good quality PS capable of delivering the maximum power your system ever requires. More than enough, is usually a good idea. Since your system seems to boot up and run okay, it's probably okay.
As to heat, it's probably worth considering the lmsensors package and monitoring the CPU and mainboard temps to get an idea of what's going on inside the case in real time. Your new computer may even have a sensor for PS temp or an empty header to add an external one.
slh - 28.10.2006, 18:52 Uhr
As soon as you (feel to) start to depend on near real time sensor data there is something seriously wrong with your setup - it just has to work within safe parameters at all time, if you're in doubt add a fan or a bigger PSU - testing the limits will just end in desaster.
h2 - 28.10.2006, 19:22 Uhr
well put slh. There is no case where keeping your hardware cooler is bad that I am aware of.
Disk will fail faster if they run hot during their lifetimes than if they run cooler. If you have any doubt at all about this, simply remove all the fans from your system and power supply and turn on the box.
I always cool hard drives if I can and if it's practical.
I recently bought one of those crappy aluminum usb drive enclosures, the kind that claims that the sealed aluminum shell 'transfers the heat'. I could not believe how hot the shell got within only an hour or so of operation. Clearly this newly created claim is complete nonsense, just marketing speak for: A: save some pennies on the enclosure by not creating enough space for airflow, and not including a fan, and B: create a silent mechanism by comromising the long term durability of the product. Both case A and B rely on consumer ignorance to create this completely false claim, that the shell 'transfers heat'.
this is not unlike saying that a sealed oven or cooking pot cools the food you are cooking by transferring heat to the outside of itself.
Since the case was clearly too hot, I drilled a bunch of large holes all over it. Now, while still not cool, it's at least not as hot as it was. So much for those nonsensical claims.
shame - 28.10.2006, 22:02 Uhr
The temperatures didn't actually rise much more than when I last posted so I think everything will be ok.
When I think about it though, since the drives are not being constantly used and may only be mounted for maybe an hour or so at a time to transfer stuff/make backups etc, there's no reason why things should be any different to only having one drive connected.
The concern is still there though and I will probably get another fan to be on the safe side.
I have no intention of pushing the computer to any limits at all and would prefer to stay on the side of caution.
tinker - 30.10.2006, 12:15 Uhr
The only thing I would "depend" on real time monitoring to do would be to alert me to a condition that had occurred. For example, system starts to get hot really quickly, I probably would consider glancing at the fan speed and closing whatever application I was using, probably also shutting down to investigate. I would never even think about trying to run a system at it's cooling limits. For me, monitoring is like watching the gauges on a dashboard, they alert me to "error" conditions, that need further attention. When one builds a system they should add sufficient cooling capability, after that, one has to make sure it keeps working because hardware fails.
A exception might be overclockers, but they generally pay close attention to what they are doing and constantly tweak.
slh - 30.10.2006, 12:36 Uhr
Use the BIOS thresholds for that (usually the lowest possible setting will do) to power down in case the system is overheating that's the only almost reliable option anyways.
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