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Hard drive running hot

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Mark Harriss, Dec 2, 2003.

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  1. Mark Harriss

    Mark Harriss Guest

    I recently bought a Western Dig 120 gig hard
    drive and installed it in my PC. Yesterday I noticed
    a warm spot on the case right above the new drive.
    After pulling the cover off, the drive proved to be
    almost too hot to touch at what I'd estimate was a
    50 deg case temperature.

    My older 5.1 and 6.4 gig WD's had a few hot chips on
    the board so I fabricated a heatsink holding bracket
    that pressed small heatsinks with thermal grease against
    the offending parts to cool them, but this new disk
    was of a whole new order, they must use the housing
    as a heatsink for the motor FETS or something.

    I ended up fitting a cooling fan on a bracket
    over the circuit board and it now runs cool to touch.

    So it looks like a modern disk has a slightly
    underspecced drive circuit so it will expire shortly
    after the warranty runs out.

    Kind of reminds me of those Connor 40 meg IDE drives
    with the lubricant fluid on the disk platters that
    turns to glue after a few years and rips the heads
    off when powered up from cold.
  2. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Its likely hotter than that if it feels like that.

    Unfortunately for you, WD drives are the last of the
    drives that dont have an internal SMART temperature
    sensor. With a drive with one of those, you can
    measure the temperature properly with a decent app.

    Can be an eye opener with a drive that feels that hot.
    For much of the heat being generated, actually.
    Yeah, thats a viable fix if you dont mind the noise.
    Thats one hell of a leap of 'logic'
    They never ever had that.
    It wasnt only those drives that got that result.
  3. KLR

    KLR Guest

    It seems to be the trend to having hotter and hotter drives.

    just got a maxtor 200 gig drive to replace a 150gig I had had for the
    last 18 months (also maxtor). I still had the old one in the case -
    so I plugged both in and let both run for a couple of hours.

    the new one almost burnt my fingers where the old one was comfortably

    Not a good thing.
  4. FWIW, a rough guide, (for males!! women have asbestos fingers) is that if
    you can only touch it for a couple of seconds thats about 60deg C.
  5. KoRRupT

    KoRRupT Guest

    | On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 00:36:26 GMT, Mark Harriss
    | It seems to be the trend to having hotter and hotter drives.
    | the new one almost burnt my fingers where the old one was comfortably
    | warm.

    why is that HD's are getting hotter? is it because they are running faster
    and more power is consumed?... hence more heat is generated?

    or is it just bad design? and like the OP wrote... to cut out around the
    warranty expires?
  6. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Yep, thats the main effect.
    Utterly mindless conspiracy theory.
  7. the friction from the platters causes the most heat because you are talking
    about spinning a disk or 2 at 7200 turns per minute, the units are going to
    get hot, poor design / ventilation makes it worse, strap some heat sinks to
    it if you want. crouded cases are bad for hard disks due to heat. above
    50deg' is getting to the 'too-much' point
  8. "amstereo - matt2" <wrote

    the friction from the platters causes the most heat because you are
    about spinning a disk or 2 at 7200 turns per minute, the units are going
    get hot,

    ***** More unashamed public wanking from the northern moron,the mind

    Brian Goldsmith.
  9. an insault without backing support, typical - anyone ELSE spot a fault i my
  10. Brian, He's on the money here.

    In the 'good old days' when hard drives were still called winchesters,
    they went at a maximum speed of 3600 rpm and were 14 inches in
    diameter. The friction of the air meant that it took 1/4 horse power
    to keep them spinning. (and friction makes heat) They couldn't spin
    them faster than 3600 rpm because the temperature changes between the
    inside and outside tracks would cause the disks to warp.

    So we can scale things differently these days due to the different
    diameters, but for fun calculate the speed of the disk at the outside


  11. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    Well no, I hate to argue, but tell me how a vacuum sealed drive platter is
    going to encounter air friction? The heat is due to the motor. Motors were
    bigger back then because platters were too - the 'bad old days' of one
    horse-shoe magnet per bit of data (well, it seems that way looking back).
    The warping on old platters was certainly due to the effects of spin and
    heat, but not air.

  12. Please show proof that a modern hard drive platter spins in a vacuum.


    Adrian Jansen
    J & K MicroSystems
    Microcomputer solutions for industrial control
  13. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    They were never vacuum sealed. They have atmospheric
    pressure in them and the heads fly using that.
    Yes, but the motor is obviously overcoming what friction there is.
    Some did have a head per track.
  14. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    Vacuum-sealed, not in a vacuum. There is air present, but not enough for air
    friction to be the principal cause of heat.

  15. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    It isnt even vacuum sealed. There's a
    pressure equalisation hole in the chamber.
    Just as much as outside it in fact.
  16. jerry

    jerry Guest

    To add fuel to the fire(!) years ago IBM Hard disk assembly's (HDA's)
    where under some significant degree of vacuum. These where 120 lb 1Gb
    things about a foot in diameter. they made an interesting popping sound
    if dropped - don't ask me how I know this...

    I've had the opportunity to dismantle a couple of failed (logic, not
    mechanical) IBM 40gb and 80gb desktop drives and they're not under
    vacuum, there was a vent hole of some sort covered by an inspection

    My question is what speed do the disk's need to running to produce the
    amount of heat being discussed here?

    If its a 10,000rpm 3.5" drive we're talking about

    (3.5*Pi*10,0000*60) to give a speed of 6598200 ins per hour or 104 mph

    A 7200 drive is about 74mph.

    If I can assume there is air in there then 104mph doesn't sound fast
    enough? What do you think? Also wouldn't the air rotate withe the disk
    platter to some degree soe the friction effect such as it may be would be
    spread between platter and housing at some reduced speed.

    The 7200 scsi drives I have draw [email protected] just to run. I'd have thought
    theres far more heat being produced from that than is possible from
    friction. ?
  17. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Plenty of 3600 rpm 5.25" hard drives got stinking hot.
    There isnt a lot of clearance between the rim of the platter
    and the housing. Presumably there must be some effect on
    temp, but I doubt its a very significant source of the drive temp.
    Yes, but those surfaces are also quite close to the
    static inner surfaces of the rest of the drive too.
    Over not much distance.
    Yep, thats my gut feeling too. Specially when the platters
    do spin down relatively slowly when the drive is turned off.
    There cant be all that much total friction involved.
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