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  • DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

    Hi,

    I've inherited a DELL 1600SC PowerEdge Server which is pretty cool except for one thing ... it's really noisy!

    So I thought, I should be able to buy some silent fans for it and probably forget about the front case fan (the CPU's have fans anyway). MY first question then is, is there anything inherently problematic about replacing one or both fans with silent ones? Looking at one of the fans one thing strikes me ... there's something (looks like a transistor or something) sticking out inside the fan and it may be some kind of sensor which means, of course, I will get errors on boot leading to the "Strike F1 key to continue ... " after POST, before OS load; which is my second question ... is there a way to stop that happening?

    Kyu
    J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
    The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

  • #2
    Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

    1600SC is bordering on the ancient. but here are some pointers anyway:
    1. it is a SERVER, and it is not designed to be used anywhere but a server room, where it can emit all the noise it needs to emit
    2. changing the original fans to something else might cause the server to overheat and burn
    3. changing components like this in a brandname server will probably void any warranty that you might have on it
    Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

    BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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    • #3
      Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

      Originally posted by DYasny View Post
      1600SC is bordering on the ancient. but here are some pointers anyway:
      1. it is a SERVER, and it is not designed to be used anywhere but a server room, where it can emit all the noise it needs to emit
      But quite a step up from an IBM x206 with bog standard P4/2.8

      Originally posted by DYasny View Post
      2. changing the original fans to something else might cause the server to overheat and burn
      Possibly but I was planning on putting in very similar fans, just quiet ones.

      Originally posted by DYasny View Post
      3. changing components like this in a brandname server will probably void any warranty that you might have on it
      Well that's not really an issue (beggars can't be choosers)

      EDIT: The server will be situated in my office cellar, currently my other server (an IBM x206) is situated in a home built wooden unit (almost but not quite rack like) so, I was thinking, a possible solution might be to keep the current fans but built a noise-reducing door on to the front of the server space ... you could maybe fit 3 of these Dell servers in to the space side by side (2.5 at least) and the space is a little deeper (front to back) than the server and 1.5 times the height so the issue, assuming I keep the original noisy fans, becomes what kind of stuff do I need in there for noise reduction and would the air-flow in there be adequate (there is a gap to the to and back of the space that vents into the cellar proper).

      Kyu
      Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 10th October 2008, 10:38.
      J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
      The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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      • #4
        Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

        If you're going to enclose a server in a box, you absolutely MUST have air extraction and flow. Otherwise it will simply overheat ALL the time. Far better is to try to get high-spec modern fans with low noise and install them in the machine. Bear in mind, however, that a lot of the noise might be the hard disks. It is worth powering up the server with no hard disks connected and see what the noise is like then... the older disks did seem to whine an awful lot. If you install new fans, make sure you have a similar amount of airflow within the case as you had with the current fans; use a hand-held anenometer at the air's exit point. (You can easily make one of these if you c an't buy one cheaply - all you need is something that will turn in moving air, a magnet, a coil and a sensitive current meter... and a variable resistor (potentiometer) to adjust the output so that it matches the meter's scale).


        Tom
        For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

        Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

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        • #5
          Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

          Or do away with the fans and air completely.

          Click image for larger version

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          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

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          • #6
            Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

            Ah, the latest Damien Hirst.....
            "Motherboard and Child Divided"
            Tom Jones
            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
            IT Trainer / Consultant
            Ossian Ltd
            Scotland

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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            • #7
              Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

              Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
              If you're going to enclose a server in a box, you absolutely MUST have air extraction and flow. Otherwise it will simply overheat ALL the time. Far better is to try to get high-spec modern fans with low noise and install them in the machine. Bear in mind, however, that a lot of the noise might be the hard disks. It is worth powering up the server with no hard disks connected and see what the noise is like then... the older disks did seem to whine an awful lot. If you install new fans, make sure you have a similar amount of airflow within the case as you had with the current fans; use a hand-held anenometer at the air's exit point. (You can easily make one of these if you c an't buy one cheaply - all you need is something that will turn in moving air, a magnet, a coil and a sensitive current meter... and a variable resistor (potentiometer) to adjust the output so that it matches the meter's scale).
              I'm not sure that's entirely true when you're talking about 1 server in a box (with a ceiling vent) that is maybe 8 times its volume ... bear in mind the server is in an unventilated (outside of the door up the stairs) cellar anyway and runs perfectly well in that scenario with 5 or 6 other systems. Seems to me, especially if I build a vent into the front of the door (the server has a front fan that pulls air into the system), it wouldn't work so bad ... still only time & testing will tell

              It definitely isn't the disks ... and indeed I have tested it (upgraded to 2 Xeon CPU’s @ 2.8GHz, 2Gb memory and 4 x 36Gb HD’s) without fans running for 15 mins, easily enough time for the system to overheat I would think, and was still apparently able to run AOK (granted with it’s side off and not in the proposed “box” and it was only running a DELL build disk) and I was still able to do things without any apparent difficulty. It’s worth bearing in mind that each CPU has its own fan (fairly quiet) rather that the static heatsink entirely reliant on system airflow that some of these servers have.

              Obviously, in use, system heat will increase but the server is going to be used as a home network server with a maximum of, say, 6 users so shouldn’t get anywhere close to the kind of temperatures it might have experienced were it a proper company server.

              Kyu
              J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
              The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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              • #8
                Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

                Obviously, in use, system heat will increase but the server is going to be used as a home network server with a maximum of, say, 6 users so shouldn’t get anywhere close to the kind of temperatures it might have experienced were it a proper company server.
                Don't you believe it. In an office environment there is usually air conditioning and this factor cools the air to a workable level for humans. At home, when you go out, do you leave the air conditioning on? Me neither. That is why I had to install a temperature controlled exhaust fan that will provide and extraction of the rising hot air and provide some sort of air flow over the Server componets. In addition I have extra case fans and cooling fans on each HDD. All of the above is still NOT enough to keep the temperatures down on machines that are free standing n an open room and are not enclosed up inside a coffin.

                The air will be heated, flow over the server and be heated again, flow over the server (hotter this time), be heated again, flow over the server (even hotter this time), etc etc.

                I would strongly suggest you read Stonelaughter's post again and rethink your setup.

                I now have 2 options. Remove the Servers from the room or install an air conditioning unit just for them. (In winter time this room has no heating directed into it a the servers provides enough heat to suppliment that end of the house).
                1 1 was a racehorse.
                2 2 was 1 2.
                1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                2 2 1 1 2

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                • #9
                  Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

                  Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                  At home, when you go out, do you leave the air conditioning on?
                  Air conditioning? I'm in the UK

                  OK on the rest.

                  Kyu
                  J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
                  The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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                  • #10
                    Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

                    Regarding of what people say:

                    I've ripped off the entire front of the Dell 1600SC box and installed much bigger fan, which I connected with potentiometer 100 Ohms/2W

                    The back fan I replaced with a quiter one and again with potentiometer.

                    For both CPUs - replaced the heatsinks with twice bigger with 90mm fans running on 2000rpms. I've tried with 1000rpm fans, but the motherboard was alarming for faulty fan, otherwise it would work Ok with the massive heatsinks.

                    For all fans I had to modify the connector to the motherboard.
                    The PSU replaced with Enermax ultra quiet - cant remember the model (got it of E-bay)

                    So at the moment there is no noise from the box whatsoever, and yet it is running smoothly for already 173 days..... http: //pimmy.homeip.net/ scripts/ phpsysinfo/

                    Sorry havent got any pictures but I am happy to give a hand to anyone who wants to modify his box.
                    Last edited by Ossian; 10th December 2008, 12:26. Reason: Removed live URL as per forum rules

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                    • #11
                      Re: DELL 1600SC Noisy Fans & F1 Disable

                      Are you the topic starter? *confused*

                      Also, why did you install potentiometers? Surely it's best to leave the fan turning at the natural speed (or let the motherboard handle speed control)?

                      Either way - well done.


                      Tom
                      For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

                      Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

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