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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently added a 3rd HD on my 3 Drive setup in a Thermaltake Icage and recently it makes this weird "Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring" noise that dies down after then starts back up again. I was hoping one of the drives did not fail so I ran 2/3 drives to see which one was causing it. Turns out none of them made that particular noise until all 3 are plugged in. I am running a Nexus Case fan in the front and mostly everything is quiet and all I can hear now is the drives. I do not hear any clicking sounds so I doubt the drives are dead. Could it just be the design of my case? I have a Coolermaster Centurion 5. Should I look into an alternative into dampening the noise of 3 drives? I have screwed all the drives in tight.

Currently I have a

Western Digital 320gb (WD3200KS)
Maxtor 200gb 6Y200SO
Seagate 80gb (Slimline)

They are arranged in that order from Top to Bottom.
 

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try moving a drive to a new location in your machine...tighten all screws (don't over torque!), check out how all the wires are routed and if that might be the real culprit...sounds like a resonant frequency is being created by the addition of another drive, and this should be fixable....by moving a drive you will be changing the dynamics of how energy is transferred through the case and hopefully that will work...I assume you have a cd/dvd burner, and if you need to move it to put a HDD in its place, then do so....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
try moving a drive to a new location in your machine...tighten all screws (don't over torque!), check out how all the wires are routed and if that might be the real culprit...sounds like a resonant frequency is being created by the addition of another drive, and this should be fixable....by moving a drive you will be changing the dynamics of how energy is transferred through the case and hopefully that will work...I assume you have a cd/dvd burner, and if you need to move it to put a HDD in its place, then do so....
Presently all my drives are under my burner under the 5"25 drive bay. I had plan to use the Icage to give steady airflow to my harddrives via a 120mm fan as my case uses a 80mm front (cursid Coolermaster). It shouldn't be my wires. They were a mess before my upgrade and I actually took the time to tie them all up and organize them. I guess a sensible thing to do is to move one of them back into the 3"5 bays since it works fine with 2 drives on. Any other ideas/thoughts?
 

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Could be a power issue, the third drive overwhelming the power supply and causing a fan to rev up and down as it receives enough power then not enough. check your power supplies capability and the load it is under psu calculator then see this sticky for more information
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Could be a power issue, the third drive overwhelming the power supply and causing a fan to rev up and down as it receives enough power then not enough. check your power supplies capability and the load it is under psu calculator then see this sticky for more information
Don't think so. I have a Zalman 9500AT, an Enermax 500W Liberty PSU, 2 Nexus 120mm fans. I used that calculator before and I am in the middle as it said 420W was what I needed on 100% utilization. Haven't had a chance to move my drive yet. Will do tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok I solved my Noise issue by moving the drives around. Now for some reason, my idle temperature is over 50 Degrees Celsius. This has never happened to me before when I had my P5GDC Deluxe. I am currently running a P4 530 3.0GHZ on a Zalman 9500AT with Artic Silver 5 Compound. Followed Artic Silver's directions on applying and I remounted it twice and still high. Should I switch to like an OCZ Compound and see if that will make a difference? Could it be the sensors on the BIOS thats making it read the idle temperature high? Usually I get about 40-45 before. I organized my wiring with velcro/plastic cable ties. It doesn't make sense. I know the Zalman 9500AT is not compatible with the Asus P5B motherboard I have but I went on the Q&A support on Zalman's site and they said it was compatible. I am thinking of getting their 9700 model with a whopping 110mm fan. Would that help? I am not willing to use another HSF Brand unless it runs as quiet as the Zalmans would. I don't know if I should have made another thread for this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It seems when I thought the Noise issue was solved it wasn't. I am to suspect whichever drive I put on the top of the Thermaltake Icage, it seems emulate that "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring" noise. I tightened all but my motherboard screws and added a few more on the righthand side of my case due to the fact the left side is tooless. I tightened all the screws in the icage as well. I really don't know whats wrong.
 

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you originally mentioned these drives are in the 5.25" bays....which means you had to use a set of 'adaptors' to mount them..they also make sets which are made to dampen vibration....perhaps trying some of those would solve your issues...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
you originally mentioned these drives are in the 5.25" bays....which means you had to use a set of 'adaptors' to mount them..they also make sets which are made to dampen vibration....perhaps trying some of those would solve your issues...
Yes they are mounted onto a Thermaltake Icage. I was planning on getting the Zalman HD coolers to fully dampen my HD noise. Right now, all I can hear is the HD Vibration and not my fans. Should I tweak my screws a little maybe? Currently they are all tight, maybe I should loosen some and do a trial and error?
 

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While it is difficult to describe a noise in printed words, I can’t imagine vibration making a rrrrrrrrrrrrrrring sound, which to me brings to mind a sound having a varying pitch and if vibration were the cause, the sound would be a constant pitch. I would think that the tightening of screws would only resolve a sound caused by vibration. In addition, if the sound was caused by a drive vibrating, in most instances, that could be diagnosed by touching the vibrating part (s) as your touching the part would dampen the vibration and hence the noise to some extent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While it is difficult to describe a noise in printed words, I can’t imagine vibration making a rrrrrrrrrrrrrrring sound, which to me brings to mind a sound having a varying pitch and if vibration were the cause, the sound would be a constant pitch. I would think that the tightening of screws would only resolve a sound caused by vibration. In addition, if the sound was caused by a drive vibrating, in most instances, that could be diagnosed by touching the vibrating part (s) as your touching the part would dampen the vibration and hence the noise to some extent.
Well think of it as a vibrating sound that is loud for a few seconds and dies down after. I have tried touching the HDs to what I suspect is making the vibrating noise and I still hear it.
 

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To me, it still seems like a fan or power supply issue, especially if the noise is constant - if it were a drive issue, it wouldn't be constant, rather the noise would coincide with hard drive activity. If you still believe it's a drive issue, there's an old trick auto mechanics used to listen for bad bearings. Using a steel rod as a stethoscope, they would put one end of the rod on say an alternator and cup the other end with their hand to their ear. the rattle of the bearings would resonate through the rod. you might be able to do the same thing. obviously, you'd have to use a smaller rod, and be careful it doesn't slip and damage something
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To me, it still seems like a fan or power supply issue, especially if the noise is constant - if it were a drive issue, it wouldn't be constant, rather the noise would coincide with hard drive activity. If you still believe it's a drive issue, there's an old trick auto mechanics used to listen for bad bearings. Using a steel rod as a stethoscope, they would put one end of the rod on say an alternator and cup the other end with their hand to their ear. the rattle of the bearings would resonate through the rod. you might be able to do the same thing. obviously, you'd have to use a smaller rod, and be careful it doesn't slip and damage something

You mean a PSU/Case fan could be the problem as well? Is it possible to put some type of rubber on the end to reduce the noise other than the short rod? My current setup goes like this:

Asus P5B
P4 3.0GHZ 530
2GB Corsair DDR2 667mhz RAM
Enermax Liberty 500W PSU
2 X Nexus 120 120mm Case Fans
1 X Zalman 9500AT CPU Fan
1 X Pioneer 111D DVD-RW
1 X 320GB WD SATAII HD
1 X 200GB Maxtor SATA HD
1 X 80GB Seagate SATAII HD (Slimline)
1 X Coolermaster Centurion 5 Blue
1 X Thermaltake Icage
 

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You misunderstood the steel rod. It's not used to correct the problem, only diagnose where the noise is coming from. For instance, if it's a drive making the noise, if you press one end of the rod to the drive and cup the other end to your ear, the sound will resonate through the rod to your ear and help you determine exactly where the noise is coming from.

My own wrong opinion (post #4) is based on the following:The noise occurs only with the third drive installed. If it was the way the drive is mounted, the noise would be because of vibration. Drives don't spin at a constant rate - as such the noise would correspond to drive activity and that would be easily noticed. In addition, you would have been able to dampen the noise to some extent merely by holding the drive. The only other mounting issue would be whether the drive were mounted horizontally or vertically. Ordinarily, a noise could be experienced only when it's vertical or only when horizontal, but again that noise would correspond to drive activity. That pretty much rules out vibration.

What's left? The only other thing changed by the addition of a third drive is power use. Despite what the power calculator says and what the psu specs are, you could still have a power issue as those values are nominal not actual. The scenario I see is that with the third drive added, power is reduced to a fan, the resulting sound being a surging type sound, That could be from a case fan, cpu fan or a fan in the power supply. That power reduction could be overall in nature (power reduced to all devices)or if the third drive and a fan were powered off the same lead with a y adapter, either the fan or the drive could be making a surging sound as it labored under the load. Yet another possibility is the power supply itself laboring under the increased load and making the noise. For the most part, any electrical part will labor under increased load and that will manifest itself in increased noise
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You misunderstood the steel rod. It's not used to correct the problem, only diagnose where the noise is coming from. For instance, if it's a drive making the noise, if you press one end of the rod to the drive and cup the other end to your ear, the sound will resonate through the rod to your ear and help you determine exactly where the noise is coming from.

My own wrong opinion (post #4) is based on the following:The noise occurs only with the third drive installed. If it was the way the drive is mounted, the noise would be because of vibration. Drives don't spin at a constant rate - as such the noise would correspond to drive activity and that would be easily noticed. In addition, you would have been able to dampen the noise to some extent merely by holding the drive. The only other mounting issue would be whether the drive were mounted horizontally or vertically. Ordinarily, a noise could be experienced only when it's vertical or only when horizontal, but again that noise would correspond to drive activity. That pretty much rules out vibration.

What's left? The only other thing changed by the addition of a third drive is power use. Despite what the power calculator says and what the psu specs are, you could still have a power issue as those values are nominal not actual. The scenario I see is that with the third drive added, power is reduced to a fan, the resulting sound being a surging type sound, That could be from a case fan, cpu fan or a fan in the power supply. That power reduction could be overall in nature (power reduced to all devices)or if the third drive and a fan were powered off the same lead with a y adapter, either the fan or the drive could be making a surging sound as it labored under the load. Yet another possibility is the power supply itself laboring under the increased load and making the noise. For the most part, any electrical part will labor under increased load and that will manifest itself in increased noise

So your saying that possibly my Enermax Liberty cannot handle 3 drives at once? I'm thinking about moving the Seagate to the top of the Icage since it is the lightest of the other 2 drives and see if that makes a difference. Is it possible the drives can become offbalance which would make that noise?
 
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