Mod (with pics): HDD Heatsinking and Suspend

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by Daveee, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Daveee

    Daveee Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    I was tired of my two Seagate 7200RPM HDD's vibrating my case to all hell and so I decided to suspend my HDD's. After doing a bit of research I came up with a few ideas and got stuck in. This is the result.

    I mounted the two drives in my 3 free 5 1/4" floppy bays. An important part pf the design was to make up some heatsinks for the sides of the HDD's to try and get rid of some excess heat. HDD's typically get rid of a lot of heat this way and I saw temps climb by 5 degrees when I first suspended the drives without any way for them to get rid of excess heat.

    Here is image from when they were first suspended.

    That HDD wasn't actually in proper position. I actually had them with a piece of elastic over top and bottom to hold it in place. However, it still wasn't that secure and that clothing elastic is prone to sagging.

    So cue the new ingredients;

    • 25 x 20 x 2.5mm aluminium channel from Bunnings. Of the 2m length I had about 80cm left (which would do a third drive!)
    • 6mm black 'shock cord' from Bunnings also. Of the 2m length I had about 30cm left.
    • Some 15mm nuts and bolts to bolt the channel together to make it wider. Need 4 per drive.
    • Some small cable ties.
    • Some flat washers might be needed to secure the elastic into the drive bays.
    • Having a HDD probably helps too :p

    As far as tools went it was the following;
    • Mitre
    • Hacksaw
    • Drill press
    • Vice
    • File
    • Screwdrivers and spanners.

    All the fabrication was pretty easy, just time consuming. Mainly drilling lots of holes with the drill press.

    Step 1: I had to cut the aluminium channel to 16cm lengths. I measured up the 5 1/4" drive bays so that I could mount the drives and have enough room in front to add a 120mm fan for cooling later on. Each drive is going to have a heatsink on each side which is 2 bits of the channel bolted together. See pic below.


    Step 2: I had to bolt the channel together. There was a bit of work measuring and drilling here to make sure everything lined up properly. I ended up drilling the holes a little bigger than the bolt so I had room to manipulate the two pieces and ensure they were sitting flush where they would bolt to the HDD. I actually put the two piece in the vice and held them together while I tightened them up, otherwise the twisting force of tightening them causes them not to be flush.

    Step 3:With these bolted together I had to drill a couple of holes in the side to bold them to the HDD. I positioned these so that the drive was sitting pretty much right in the middle of the heatsink (heatsink is about 50mm high whereas drive is about 25mm). This allowed room on top of and below the drive to drill some holes for the shock cord to go through. See the pic below.


    I decided to do it this way (feeding the cord through the holes) so that the drives couldn’t slip forward and back at all. I am not so worried about side to side movement because the elastic holds that pretty firm, but a bit of a jolt could have knocked the drive out of the old elastic. This way I won't have to disconnect the drives at all to move the PC as they are really in there well.

    Step 4:Time to mount the drives in 5 1/4" drive bays. This is where I took a little shortcut, not that it really matters. Instead of drilling some nice holes in the side of the drive bay to feed the cord through I just opened up existing holes with a screwdriver. I don't plan to use the drive bays ever again so that really isn't a problem. That and it is my old Sonata II.

    It was a huge pain feeding the elastic through, but I managed. I actually fed it through one side and back ground so both ends are on the same side of the case. I thought about going 'over and under' with the shock cord but it is just too big. I'm sure it is stable enough the way it is. Pic below.


    I tied the elastic off by folding it over itself and putting a cable tie over it and pulling it really tight. I also had the shock cord pulled tight at the time so the drives are really held in place and not sagging. You can see for a couple I put a washer over the cord to hold it in place.

    All finished now.

    You can see the drives are nicely held in place now. As tight as it looks none of the heatsinks touch the case so it is still super quiet. I have noticed a 5-10 degree drop in HDD temperature too. I think this will decrease exponentially when I get a Scythe Kama Bay to put in the front of the drive bay.

    What would I do different next time?
    • If enough people were interested I would get the heatsinks CAD drilled so that they were all spot on and nicely finished. It would make life much much easier and look a heap better too. Would probably even be possible to use anodized aluminium.
    • Drill holes in the side of the 5 1/4" bay to mount the shock cord. Doesn't look the most professional the way I have done it.
    • Use a little bit smaller aluminium channel (20 x 16mm).

    I'm interested to hear people’s thoughts on this mod. Hope you enjoyed the post.
  2. Glide

    Glide Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Was: Sydney Now: USA
    cool post. My raptors vibrate the hell out of my case, it drives me nuts.
  3. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

    Jun 2, 2006
    ADL/SA The Monopoly State
    i dont have vibration noise problems at all, and my case is a lian li o_O

    (aluminium is bad at this)

    but that shit looks BEEFY :D
  4. TMM

    TMM Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Looks good :thumbup:. I have a similar setup in my PC(s0 and would never go back to hardmounting them now :)

    A word of warning, i wouldn't use the kama bay fan if your temps are already low. HDDs last the longest at 30-35C~
  5. Liquid-69

    Liquid-69 Member

    Apr 25, 2005
    nice. im about to attempt something similar in my p180 though i think its going to be trickier cause theres hardly any holes to put the shock cord through.
  6. hotsuma

    hotsuma Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Melb, CBD
    dam thought he said heatshrinked now that would have been cool
  7. Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Central Coast
    I like it, I like it.

    If I ever get 10000rpm drives and have vibration issues, ill consider this option.

    At the moment, the HDD cage in my pc is quite sturdy and so I dont have vibration problems.
  8. HAVIC

    HAVIC Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    You read it that way 1st time too huh? :)
  9. OP

    Daveee Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Have now put a Scythe Kama bay in front of the drives. They are now running around 30-35 degrees with about 20-25 ambient temp. Very happy now, I can relax in summer knowing my drives are safe :)

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