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Software options for reducing disk noise from 7200rpm drives?

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
42
Hey all,

I just bought a Freenas Mini as an upgrade for my old HP server, and I've immediately made a mistake. I ordered 4 7200rpm hard drives, and the noise level is not great. It is easily twice as loud, if not louder then my old server. Now it's not the Mini itself, which was pretty quiet with no drives in it, I think it's because I went with 7200rpm instead of 5400rpm drives. I'm not rich enough where I can get rid of 4 freshly bought hard drives, but my desktop machine is right by my Nas, and I am looking for options to reduce noise.

I went in and did the obvious stuff. I set the hard drives to standby after 5 minutes, set the APM to level 1, spindown on standby. I also set the acoustic level to Maximum (which I think is maximum noise reduction, but there is an entire thread about that question). Everything is still pretty loud, unfortunately. I hear disk access noise (it's pretty distinctive) about once every minute, even when the server is idle.

Anything else I can do to reduce noise?

At this point, I am willing to reduce performance to lower noise. If I could throttle my 7200 drives down to 5400, I would.
 
Last edited:

Heracles

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
1,200
Hey Free,

Know that what you did will push you to buy new drives sooner than expected... The settings you used will destroy your drives in no time. A hard drive can go to sleep and wake up only so many times. By forcing the drives to go sleep hundreds or thousands time per day, they will reach their end of life in months instead of years.

Sorry, but to keep these drives operational, you have to keep them spinning all day long. Even powering your FreeNAS On and Off everyday would be hard on the server. And because your objective is about noise, even doing that would not help much.

So I advise you against what you did. Your drives will all fail together in no time, putting you at higher risk to loose your pool and your data.

SSD drives are silent. To move the FreeNAS server in a different spot would be another option. But to stop and start your drives all day long is not one in my opinion.

Happy new year,
 
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
42
Thanks for the advice, I was reading something similar when combing through the forums. I honestly don't think the drives were ever spinning down based on the noise profile, but I still changed it over standby with no spin down.

Still at a loss for how to get this noise down.
 

Apollo

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
1,265
You could build a case with a inner walls covered with layer of foam or fiber to act as a soundproofing enclosure. You would have to leave proper ventilation.
 

Tsaukpaetra

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
215
I did the "enclose the case" idea. Ventilation is crucial in that situation, but if you design well it works great!
 

Constantin

Vampire Pig
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
1,445
Way back in college I banished a computer to the adjacent attic space, ran the relevant wires through a hole in the wall. Kept my room quiet but likely boiled the computer alive. Spackled the hole shut at the end of the school year.

The beauty of a NAS is that you can literally put it anywhere indoors provided it gets adequate ventilation / cooling. If none of that is possible, bite the bullet and exchange drives. My He10’s are quiet compared to the rest of the CPU... but I have a lot of blowers.
 
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
42
I may see if I can return the drives, Seagate Iron Wolves seem super loud.

I wish I had watched this video beforehand, https://youtu.be/Uq4BOGMzy2Y.
 

Apollo

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
1,265
I may see if I can return the drives, Seagate Iron Wolves seem super loud.

I wish I had watched this video beforehand, https://youtu.be/Uq4BOGMzy2Y.
I don't know if this video is really depicting an accurate picture. From the Spectrogram, the WD RED isn't working too hard compared to the Ironwolf.

I have several HGST 10TB drives and those are loud by my standard, however, I have 2 of them on a shelf running horizontal flat on a shelf and I can't hear them. The ones I have standing on the side sound definitely louder.

I would suggest playing around a bit with their orientation before returning them.

I have also 10x 4TB WD RED in an enclosure and I do hear them distinctly.
 

sretalla

Wizened Sage
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
5,436
WD reds spin slower (5400 rpm) and are by that fact, quieter.
 
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
42
Just a quick update. I ended up buying some ssds and moving my system dataset to a new pool. It's definitely quitier but still louder then my old server.
 

virusbcn

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
89
I think you should try adjusting the noise to minimum not maximum, do the test little you have nothing to lose

On the other hand, using SSDs as NAS disks is not a good idea because of their limited write time

For NAS the best WD RED 5,400 rpm drives, if you need more speed better put more drives than go to 7,200 rpm, anyway a good case makes miracles
 
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