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Thread: Looking for the "quietest" hard drive

  1. #1
    stillers Guest

    Looking for the "quietest" hard drive

    Hi,

    I have a HDVR2 in my bedroom that I hacked, but the new 200GB Seagate drive I put in is just way too noisy at night. I've had to unplug the unit to get to sleep. Seagate doesn't support any of the AAM tools to set it to run in quiet mode, so now I'm looking for a new drive 40GB or greater that is super-quiet.

    I'm even willing to just take an old, quiet 40GB from another Tivo if I could find one. Any avail?

    Can someone help? What is the "quietest" hard drive you can get (and still sleep!)? Specific model numbers please if you have them.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
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    The Seagate 7200.7 series are whisper quiet. The 7200.8's are relatively noisy. Take another look.
    Series 2 TCD140060 w/Lifetime, 9.3.2-01-2-140, 2x 250GB Seagate 7200.8 (638hrs), Monte'd, Tivotool, MRV.
    Unhacked TivoHD 500GB (76Hrs HD/638Hrs SD)

  3. #3
    stillers Guest
    Thanks -- the 200Gb one I'm using is in fact a brand-new 7200.7 -- its the one that CompUSA had on sale last Friday. And, I'm telling you, its not very quiet. Maybe other sizes or models of the 7200.7 series are quieter, but this one is kind of loud in a quiet room with hardwood floors.

    What part number 7200.7 are you using?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
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    134
    I'm using a 200GB 7200.7 in a Hughes DirecTivo. I just upgraded the drive last week. I can hear the cooling fan so that may be masking the drive noise you are hearing. The room is also carpeted. I used to 120GB 7200.7s in my standalone Tivo before I upgraded it to 250GB drives. I never heard the 120's.
    Series 2 TCD140060 w/Lifetime, 9.3.2-01-2-140, 2x 250GB Seagate 7200.8 (638hrs), Monte'd, Tivotool, MRV.
    Unhacked TivoHD 500GB (76Hrs HD/638Hrs SD)

  5. #5
    stillers Guest
    Mine is a DirecTV Tivo also. The 200GB Seagate is a ST3200822A model number. What model number is your 200GB?

    And, is your 200GB louder than the 120GBs? If yes, did you ebay the 120's?

    My original drive was a 40GB Maxtor Fireball 3 "Quickview" -- it was definitely quieter than this Seagate, although I think its a 5600 rpm drive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    8
    I have a stack of 200GB 7200.7's. I use them in Tivo and various computers. Some are most definately louder than others. I think it's luck of the draw, but all have been totally reliable.

  7. #7
    stillers Guest
    I'd like to keep my 200GB if I could figure out a way to make it quieter. Seagate has said there are 3rd party tools/software that will allow you to control the AAM, but I've searched here and on google and not found any such tools. The Hitachi Feature Tools disk doesn't work on this drive -- it just says AAM is not available.

    So, I'm probably going to end up replacing the 200GB drive with an old 40GB just to be able to sleep in the room.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    6,413
    Make sure you don't have anything sitting on top of the Tivo. I noticed that my DTivos are fairly quiet but they do generate a fair amount of vibration while they're running. If I set something hard on the top cover it will vibrate and make a noticable racket. It's not all that loud but would definitely be irritating in a quiet room at night. Also make sure the Tivo is sitting on a solid surface with plenty of ventilation. You may also want to check and make sure the fan isn't making the noise.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  9. #9
    stillers Guest
    There's nothing on the cover, and the unit is sitting directly on the floor (hardwood) under my dresser. The noise isn't from vibration or the fan -- the fan makes kind of a nice white noise, barely noticeable. Its the drive doing seek or r/w that makes the usual hard drive clicking noise -- very audible from 10' away.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    34
    I can relate to the noise you hear with your Seagate drives. I also have a 200G seagate drive in my HDVR2, and it is the seeks and read/writes that seem to be making the clicking sounds. The actual spinning of the drive is whisper quiet. I previously had a Maxtor 120G drive in my Tivo and had used the amset utility on it. With that drive I couldn't hear any audible clicking whatsoever. Unfortunately, that drive also failed on me after about 1 year, at which point I replaced it with the Seagate.

  11. #11
    stillers Guest
    I saw a post on another site about a Samsung 160GB drive being very quiet, but I think they were discussing the SATA version, not the PATA drive required by my dtivo. So, I'm still in search of a good replacement.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    I have a Seagate 120GB 7200.7 in the bedroom, and its relatively quiet. But in contrast I have Seagate 300GB 7200.8 drives in the Living Room and they are notably noisy. I have those Tivos behind a glass door, so its not so much of a problem for me, but I'd never use those 7200.8's in the bedroom. The Seagate's don't seem to respond to acoustic mgmt settings.

    Against my better judgement I just picked up a Western Digital external USB drive (cheap at Sams Club) and stripped the drive out of it. A shame, because the plastic external case is rather attractive but it has zillions of hidden plastic latches pretty much destructs trying to take it apart (i.e. not good as a general-purpose external drive case). The drive itself is a WD2500BB with 2G cache and crummy 1-year warranty. It gets really hot, so hot that WD installed massive heatsinks on the drive itself (but also no fan, maybe a plus). And even after using the Hitachi HD Feature Tool this WD drive sounds very "Clickity Clacky", even tucked inside the TiVo case.

    On Anandtech they've done various tests on drive performance over the years. The general trend is the higher capacity drive, the hotter and noisier no matter which make.
    Last edited by Narf54321; 03-21-2006 at 07:48 PM.

  13. #13
    stillers Guest
    I'm looking to keep the cost to a minimum, so unless I can find a real deal on a new drive, I'm probably just going with an old 40GB that I can pick up cheap.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by Narf54321
    It gets really hot, so hot that WD installed massive heatsinks on the drive itself
    I don't think I'd subject a tivo with a HD that gets really hot. Do you notice the internal temp on the sys info screen higher than with your original drive? Mine runs about 46C. It is behind a glass door but the rear panel has been removed from the tv stand to help keep the cabinet from keeping the heat form the components.
    On Anandtech they've done various tests on drive performance over the years. The general trend is the higher capacity drive, the hotter and noisier no matter which make.
    My 120 Gigs are quieter than the 250 and 300 Gig HD.

    Quote Originally Posted by stillers
    I'm probably just going with an old 40GB that I can pick up cheap.
    PM me I'll give you one of my original Tivo HD

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpl
    I don't think I'd subject a tivo with a HD that gets really hot. Do you notice the internal temp on the sys info screen higher than with your original drive? Mine runs about 46C.
    I'll have to check. This particular one is an infamous NightLite model series2.5, so its more experimental than anything. My Seagate 300G 7200.8 models are rather warm, as well. Reading 50C with the Seagates, but that may be becuase I've been running the Xbox (also known as the xBlast Furnace) in the same cabinet all day.


    Quote Originally Posted by rpl
    My 120 Gigs are quieter than the 250 and 300 Gig HD.
    Mine too. I guess what I was trying to say is that even if Seagate claims to be the most quiet in the same class (say, all 250G drives), they're still louder and hotter than the old 120 and 160G units. My Seagate 120 is quiet enough in the bedroom to read and sleep without a problem. The Tivo case fan makes more noise than the drive.

    I suppose one solution (for a bigger Tivo) is a couple of the quiet 40G or 80G 5400rpm drives from old Tivos "married" into stiller's DTivo unit.

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