External HD fan very noise... can I disable it?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Borjan, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Borjan macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Hi there.

    I have beautifully silent Mac Mini set up right now that is being ruined by a very loud fan from my external HD enclosure. I bought it off ebay btw..

    So I'm thinking, can I just unplug the power cable to the fan and disable it? I know that my drive will get hot, so I'm thinking, since the enclosure is aluminium, would it not be possible to divert that heat to the case?

    The drive sits just away from the outer case thanks to the plastic caddy mount that it is in, so I am thinking about stuffing some conductive material around the edges (perhaps aluminium foil?) to transfer the heat to the casing...

    Final question: Am I mad? ;)
  2. vandozza macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2006
    do you have any means of testing the drives operating temperature?

    ie. does it show up in something like iStat Pro/menus? (total guess on this one, as it's not something i've tried/considered.)

    BUT, if you can monitor the drives temperatures for a few hours, and they don't exceed it's operating specs, then *probably* it would be ok?
  3. Borjan thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    iStat can't get temp readings from externals sadly, as many enclosures don't support S.M.A.R.T... I think thats the reason anyway.

    I will be attempting my 'upgrade' this weekend... anyone have any other comments?
  4. XianPalin macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2006
    I'd recommend against this idea... I had some external drives that even had a fan, but the fan messed up or something... long story short my hard drives fried themselves quickly. If a case has a fan it's there for a reason, definitely don't depend on the case to do its job without it. You're better off buying a better case with a quieter fan or one that is designed to run fanless.
  5. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
  6. Borjan thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Well, been looking into things, and from the sounds of it, your previous case probably had a poor fan. I think mine are pretty poor too, not only because of the noise, but because I can hardly feel any warm air when I stick my hand by the exhaust port. If hot air isn't coming out, then the heat is staying in (part of that is because there aren't proper air flow holes. Just the one for the fan).

    Its all about heat dissipation. This can be done either with air flow or through physically transferring the heat. I'm going to put the layered aluminium foil in tomorrow, and hopefully packing it thick enough to not get pockets of insulation appearing in the case. I will be placing the casing on a metal shelf, which will further transfer the heat away from the HD.

    Oh.. and backing up. Just in case. ;)
  7. Borjan thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Okay.. well I've gone and done it now.

    Going too try stress the drive, then pull it out of the case. If its a lot hotter than the outer casing, then I know its not working..

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