hardware setup

I got woken up this morning at about 5:30 because my server’s fan was so loud.  Seriously.  Actually, I think I had trouble sleeping anyway, but it was unusually noisy, and when I woke up, the first thing I thought was, “what the heck is that noise?”  The rear fan in the ATX case of my server is precariously placed, and if the elements don’t align quite right, it rattles quite a bit, and that’s what happened here.

This is the server that houses all my media files, so I can’t really just rip it out and replace it with something else.  It has two 750 GB drives right now which make up my entire library space.

I shut the sucker down for a bit so I could pop it open and see if I could adjust the fan and blow out some of the dust in there.  While it was powered down, it was so quiet in the room, I couldn’t believe it.  I forgot how much noise these things make.

Since I was already up, I decided to look into some ways to either reduce the noise pollution or find an alternative storage setup.  I’ve got a spare Mini-ITX system and a spare external SATA drive enclosure, so I decided to fire that up and see how good my transfer rate would be if I just used external drives with a fanless low-powered Mini-ITX.  By the time I left for work, I was in the middle of transferring a bunch of media files over to the new harddrive, so I guess I’ll find out later.  But the transfer rate was at about 8 MB/s, so I think it’s safe to say that it’ll work out pretty nice.

I’m hoping that this setup will work in the future for my dream scenario: a quiet file server.  I figure if I can buy a few 1.5 TB harddrives, and plug them all into external SATA enclosures, then I should be good to go.

I went ahead and bought a Western Digital Green 1.5 TB harddrive this morning, too, to replace my other drives in the server.  I know the Green line of harddrives isn’t the fastest of the line, but I think that, for my circumstances, it’ll run just fine.  They run between 5200 and 7200 RPM.  Less speed should mean less heat, which would make me worry not as much about having it as an external drive being passively cooled.  I’m not gonna be using it as the OS, for the Mini, I’m already running that off of a 4GB USB drive, and that runs plenty fast.  The only thing it’ll do is just be serving up media over the wired network.  As long as the read speed is decent, I probably won’t have any complaints.

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