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Thread: Noisy rackmount servers




  1. #1
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    Does anyone out there have any ideas to quiet down some real noisy Compaq rackmount servers. A friend of mine is in the web hosting business and he has 2 Compaq 2U servers. problem is he runs his business out of the basement of his house and his servers and office are in one big room. The servers in PC cases were starting to take too much room, but he could talk on the phone in the office over the little noise they made.

    he recently bought a cabinet from a compaq reseller that was going out of business on ebay for under $500 [US], including 2 servers. The 2 servers in the cabinet are C4000 series and each is 2U in height unfortunately when you turn them on you can't even hear the phone ring in his office/server room.

    Any ideas on how one might quiet them down? We tried lining the cabinet with some sound dampening material but we couldn't cover all the openings in the cabinet or the servers would over heat so it made very little difference.

    The one thing we know will work may cost big money [divide the basement into another rooms and just put his servers in there].:?:

  2. #2
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    Replace the fans... What else is actually making noise?

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    I agree with zeradul, replacing the fans with quieter ones could be one of the angles to pursue as well as checking all mounts to and including the cabinet (vibration) make sure everything is nice and tight.

    My 2 cents :wave:

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    everything is nice and tight. we even have rubber spacers on all the metal/metal connections on the rack..

    problem with replacing the fans is my friend doesn't want to attach the fans via bare wires, and the compaq case uses some proprietary connectors.

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    He sounds whiny to me... hahah. jk

    Replacing the fans would do the trick, compaq skimps on anything they can possibly get away with, and so after a few years of use, I'm sure the fans are completely ****. (which they probably were when they were installed)

    If he really doesn't want to hack up the wires, then all he needs is some ingenuity. Find an old AT Power supply, and install all the nice fans you want, and then just run wires to the fans from the AT Power supply... You might have to run them through vents in the sides of the cases, but none the less it will work, and the original fans and connectors will be in place when he decides to try to get some re-sale money... (re-sale value is the ONLY reason i can think of for not wanting to modify the wires...)

    I suggest an AT power supply because it already has a built in switch, and so it will be easy to turn on and off... If you want to use an ATX power supply, then you just need to find a schematic of the large ATX plug and then just hook up a temporary switch to the two wires that turn the PSU on.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeradul
    He sounds whiny to me... hahah. jk

    Replacing the fans would do the trick, compaq skimps on anything they can possibly get away with, and so after a few years of use, I'm sure the fans are completely ****. (which they probably were when they were installed)

    If he really doesn't want to hack up the wires, then all he needs is some ingenuity. Find an old AT Power supply, and install all the nice fans you want, and then just run wires to the fans from the AT Power supply... You might have to run them through vents in the sides of the cases, but none the less it will work, and the original fans and connectors will be in place when he decides to try to get some re-sale money... (re-sale value is the ONLY reason i can think of for not wanting to modify the wires...)
    Ouch the servers have only 2 60mm [real thin an cheesy ones from KiWi] fans in them, plus the power supplies. the fans were filthy so i cleaned them and the noise level went down slightly but not enough, its the damn SCSI - RAID drives making all the racket..:eek:

    i was also thinking of trying a fanbus if there were actually a lot of fans. but that won't work with just the 2 fans

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    Well, you can't do much about that noise then with that method... If you are somewhat construction oriented, you could just build them a cabinet and make the walls out of construction grade sound board... (3/4" thick, smells faintly like molasses)

    For ventilation just make an intake near the bottom, and exhaust near the top, and make sure that any noise doesn't have a direct escape route...(make it bounce a few times to get out) and it will passivly cool itself, and be very quiet.

    I'm sure you can find some scent free stuff though if you don't like the sound of molasses...

    Thats what I'd do.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeradul
    Well, you can't do much about that noise then with that method... If you are somewhat construction oriented, you could just build them a cabinet and make the walls out of construction grade sound board... (3/4" thick, smells faintly like molasses)

    For ventilation just make an intake near the bottom, and exhaust near the top, and make sure that any noise doesn't have a direct escape route...(make it bounce a few times to get out) and it will passivly cool itself, and be very quiet.

    I'm sure you can find some scent free stuff though if you don't like the sound of molasses...

    Thats what I'd do.
    thats the expensive way. If he wanted to spend a lot of money we would've already done that.. The cabinet idea might not work because the a/c in the office would have to get into the cabinet to prevent overheating.

    Each server has 2 SCSI drives.. noisy ones.. right now i'm recommending replacing the drives with quieter ones..

    thanks for the ideas, they do help figure out what the next step should be..

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