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sunama

The hole on top of a hard disk...what is its purpose?

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i just wanna know why hard disks all seem to specify that the hole(s) on top of a hard disk, must not be covered.

(the holes that im talking about are the little small holes about 3mm in diameter, and normally there is a warning next to it saying, "Donot cover")

i want to attach a waterblock to my hard disk but it will cover this hole...so i need to know the function of this hole.

thanx

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Allows pressure to be equalized between inside and outside. Contrary to often popular believe, the interior space of a HDD is not a vacuum.

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so what would happen if i placed a waterblock, tight over this hole, using some thermal compound; would this shorten hard disk life?

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i would cut a small channel from the edge of the block over the hole with a dremel, so that when the block sits on top of HDD, there is a small channel that leads to the breather hole. It doesn't need to be a deep channel, so even if there is a water passage above, the metal will be thick enough to accomodate that (just cute carefully, materials like aluminum and copper are very soft). Also make sure no thermal paste obstructs the channel.

if you haven't purchased this water block yet, I would carefully consider if such a purchase was worth it, especially if the drive is fairly cool as it is.

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i already have the waterblock. ive been using it to cool 2 seagate baracudas (these holes dont appear to be on the seagate), but i am considering buying a wd caviar 120gb se. this drive has these holes, so im wandering how i would handle this situation. its a good idea u have given me, maybe i shall use it.

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If you use the Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler, the hole is completely covered by the blue aluminum heat sink...tight, flush against the drive.

Is this a design flaw?

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Blocking the breather hole is a bad thing. If you don't allow the drive to equalize pressure (i.e. you block that hole), the pressure will travel through any other leak sources, be it through the gasketing, screws, whatever else. At least if air goes through the hole, it gets filtered before arriving inside the drive. If it comes in any other way, it doesn't get filtered and you stand a good chance of contaminating the drive. While this doesn't guarantee your drive will die immediately, it will definitely shorten its life.

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It's worth noting that pressure changes aren't related to elevation or weather--even slight heat changes (i.e, drive powered up/down, heavy I/O, etc) will necessitate the internal pressure be equalized with ambient.

The only other option I can think of is buying a spacer plate (ungalvanized sheet steel is sufficient) and cutting channels through the spacer plate to accommodate the HDD breather holes.

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i already have the waterblock. ive been using it to cool 2 seagate baracudas (these holes dont appear to be on the seagate), but i am considering buying a wd caviar 120gb se. this drive has these holes, so im wandering how i would handle this situation. its a good idea u have given me, maybe i shall use it.

The breather on the Cuda is under the circuit board, not on the top cover

Free

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aaahhh that would explain it then. in other words the holes are under the blue foam that is on the underside of the seagate hard disk.. is this correct?

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aaahhh that would explain it then. in other words the holes are under the blue foam that is on the underside of the seagate hard disk.. is this correct?

Almost, its under the Seashield, under the foam, and under the board.

Free

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cuz it makes much noise. that is why i have spent upwards of US$450 on my watercooling.

to add a noisy $5 fan would defeat the object of spending so much money on watercooling....wouldnt it?

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yes but i dont have "most" power supply fans". my psu fan is on a rheostat running virtually silent (im very strict on the noise that my computer makes...so much so that i find that even the seagate baracuda 80gb drive is too loud, hence ive had to silence it).

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now that both drives are watercooled, i think the max temps i have seen them reach are about 39C. right now they are sitting at 35C & 34C. im using the internal diode that are present on the hard disks. my hard disks are seagate baracudas btw.

ive just installed a new psu 550w (since i think my hd problems might be due to a weak psu (enermax 350w: the 5v rail used to go to about 4.55v)), about 1 hour ago, so lets see if this improves the reliability of the hard disks.

i would rather buy a new hard disk though, and im seriously looking into the ibm 120gxp 120gb. although ibms are reputed to be unreliable the 120gxp doesnt seem to be getting much (if any) bad press, so i view this as a positive thing. the bad point about the ibm is that apparently the rma process on these drives isnt too good (ie. can take too long).

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i would rather buy a new hard disk though, and im seriously looking into the ibm 120gxp 120gb. although ibms are reputed to be unreliable the 120gxp doesnt seem to be getting much (if any) bad press, so i view this as a positive thing. the bad point about the ibm is that apparently the rma process on these drives isnt too good (ie. can take too long).

Actually, I just RMAed my 60GXP, and it went fairly fast. HOWEVER - I DID GET A "SERVICEABLE USED PART!" Not a new drive, a USED one. That is a common occurance with IBM I understand, and not as common with Maxtor or WD...

Like I'm gonna trust a damned used drive with anything of consequence...I think I just picked up 30Gs of p0rn storage...ggrrrrrrrr...

FS

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sunama

what are the specs of your system?

Future Shock

all manufacturers tend to give you repaired drives as replacements if they have any of your model, not just IBM

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specs:

Watercooled CPU, NB, HardDisks | AMD TBird 1GHZ@1.46GHZ@1.725v | Abit KR7A | 512mb Crucial DDR CAS2 | Inno 3D GF4 TI4400 |

Seagate Barracuda 60.0GB & 80GB |

Pioneer 106S| Plextor 121032A | SB Live Value | Sony 19" Monitor

was gonna buy a new cpu but instead just splashed out on a new antec 550w psu (to hopefully protoect my hard disks, which seem as they are both on their way out....strange both of them giving up at exactly the same time).

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yeah but ive done some major testing (but only as far as the cpu and video card is concerned). i was running fsb at around 157mhz, but ive dropped it down to 133mhz now so my pci slots are in spec. still running at 1.466ghz.

i too am wondering if the ruining of hard disks is being caused by the high fsb that many people are running.

anyway from now on i will try and stay as close as possible to the 33mhz speed that the pci bus requires.

it really would be nice if in this forum we could run a thread which lists the hard disk failures and the pci bus speed that was being run at the time of hard disk failure.

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Hopefully, more manufacturers will add locked PCI/AGP bus frequencies to their boards (like Abit and some others) so that they are independant of FSB speed. With all the clocks and dividers on current mobos, to lock them to a frequency that has little or nothing to do with the function of the PCI/AGP buss makes little sense...what do they save, about a buck in manufacturing costs (including BIOS changes)?

Then we can really see if OCing is the culprit to harddrive and other failures...

FS

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Hopefully, more manufacturers will add locked PCI/AGP bus frequencies to their boards (like Abit and some others) so that they are independant of FSB speed.  With all the clocks and dividers on current mobos, to lock them to a frequency that has little or nothing to do with the function of the PCI/AGP buss makes little sense...what do they save, about a buck in manufacturing costs (including BIOS changes)?

Then we can really see if OCing is the culprit to harddrive and other failures...

FS

FSB and PCI/AGP should always be in sync for best performance. Ask the more knowledgeable people on Ace's Hardware; I'm sure they'll be able to explain it (a bit too technocal for me).

A good overclock for me is from 66 MHz FSB to 100 MHz, 100 to 133 and 133 to 166. Anything too far from that (say 133 to 150) or anything asynchronous and I don't like it.

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