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Gen 8 case resonating


mannyo1221
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I purchased the entry level (in the UK) Gen-8 microserver with the Celeron CPU and 4GB of RAM from ebuyer taking advantage of the cashback deal.

 

The server was purchased to replace my aged but still working MediaSmart EX495 which I upgraded to 4GB Ram and was running Server 2012 R2 Essentials.

 

The server is currently fitted with two WD Red 2TB drives and two 1.5TB Seagate 7200RPM drives, the 2TB drives are quiet new but the seagate drives have a few years behind them. The two WD reds are stripped together and the same with the two 1.5TB drives. Data loss is not a problem as I have a good backup regime comprising of on and offsite copies of data. Primary use is to run a Plex Media Server and to get to play with ESXi 6.

 

I first added a 8GB RAM module (Kingston) to increase the memory to 12GB, but decided I had to have the maximum so today installed another 8GB kingston in place of the 4GB one it came with.

 

I am running the free version of ESXi 6.0 patched with all the updates, installed from the HP specific install disc, and it seems to perform pretty well. I rolled back the HP B120i driver as many have due to performance issues, it was truly horrid with the latest driver.

 

Now, when I ran the server with 12GB of Ram, I don't recall any case resonation and the server sat running quietly in the corner (except for the HDDs which I can hear spinning) and was hardly noticeable. After replacing the 4GB with an 8GB module the case is now resonating, producing a low frequency drone which is very obvious. I've shutdown the server, removed and replaced the lid again but still the same. If I place my hand on the top of the server the sound stops, so as a stop gap I've placed something on top.

 

Fan speed in the ESXi console is 6%, before and after the upgrade of memory.

 

I am adding a SSD into the ODD bay next week when the power adapter turns up from eBay (FDD>SATA), so I'll have the cover off again. Looking for ideas on if there is anything I can place inside perhaps to solve the problem. Would it work if I placed some sticky foam feet on the inside of the case, perhaps to make contact with the top of the SSD?.

Edited by mannyo1221
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If you put your hand on top and it stops, it means something is in a position where it's just loose enough to vibrate, causing the sound you're hearing.  It could be that removing the cover, moving a few things around, and replacing it securely will fix it.  While it is off, you might want to undock and re-dock the drives too.

 

One other note:  If those Seagate 1.5TB drives are the 7200.11 models, I would ditch them as soon as you can.  They have a much higher than normal failure rate.  I had three of them back in the day for my HP MediaSmart EX490; two failed within ten months.  In addition to having firmware issues early on (which Seagate botched badly before recovering), the design just wasn't up to snuff.  While not scientific, I believe Backblaze also reported an abnormally high failure rate (double digit percentages).  Seagate dropped 1.5TB models fairly quickly, so I'm guessing those are the ones you have.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

The Seagate drives are indeed the 7200.11 models and have seen 5 years service in my Mediasmart server before being moved over to the Gen8. I had three of them in the mediasmart, and one failed about a year ago, the other two still seem ok for now although I researched their reliability when the first one died.

 

I've now fitted the SSD in the ODD bay, and configured ESXi to use it as host cache and it's now the default for the VM swap files, I've also maxed out the ram at 16GB using another kingston stick.

 

However after reassembly the case still resonates, i've added some sponge feet to the SSD so that it applies pressure to the case from the inside which has reduced the sound but I still need to place something on the top towards the rear to completely silence the resonation.

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try some thin self adhesive foam tape that you can get from the likes of eBay or cpc-farnell with free delivery if you are in the UK, you can put this along mating surfaces, the 1-2mm thick by 10mm wide should do the job.

 

This sort of thing http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5m-Black-Single-Sided-Foam-Tape-Closed-Cell-10mm-Wide-x-1-5mm-Thick-/270700990096?hash=item3f07094e90:m:m7hXqsgq70k3LrRghTK64DA

Edited by GoNz0
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