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Topic: Harddrive heat?

  1. #1

    Harddrive heat?

    Recently whenever I compose, my computer shuts down after a short while all on it's own. Before it happens though, there are very very minute clicks and pop sounds that I hear in my speakers. I also felt my harddrive that carries all my gig files - it was piping hot. Is it supposed to get that hot?

    *sigh* When will the problems end!?!?!?!?

  2. #2

    Exclamation Re: Harddrive heat?

    It should definitely NEVER be piping hot. If this is the case, you have a serious fire hazard, and should stop using this machine until you know why this is happening. Make sure your drives are all spaced in a way that they can dissipate heat. Is your computer case small, or large? Check your processor heat also. If your system is re-booting, your mainboard may have a protection circuit built-in, causing the computer to shut down before any serious damage occurs.


  3. #3

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    This only happens when I'm using gigastudio. There is plenty of ventilation to the PC's.

  4. #4

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    My guess would be that it has something to do with the HD having to access data constantly for the disk streaming capabilities of Gigastudio. But, the drive(s) should still never get "piping hot". Anone else have some ideas about what is going on here?

  5. #5

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    aaron, is there also plenty of ventilation to the drive itself? i noticed a series of drives (especially IBM and WD) running very hot only when copying data on them. permanent random access like from samplers might produce even more heat caused by heavy movements of the heads.possibly ball bearing is just dying ...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    Hey Aaron,

    To an extent, this comes with the territory. Streaming samplers are the ultimate torture for a hard drive. Even when someone is copying massive numbers of files, the file system is trying its best at all times to make things "easy" on the drive, and to place data in large contiguous locations so there's a minimum of head motion. Ditto the act of defragmenting, which places files in a manner where they are most efficiently read off the platter.

    But with streaming samplers you have two problems unique to the technology. First, you're always "changing your mind" about what file the disk should be reading at any given moment. Second, the more polyphony you're playing, the more that arm assembly is moving around, literally jumping from file to file trying to stay at least X-number of buffers ahead of the stream into the mix engine. When the arm can't jump any faster, that's when you start either dropping notes or getting gapping, depending on where in the chain you're starving the system.


    This is what my advice was about earlier to you, on hard drives. You need to set up a rotation, where you're buying new drives--the biggest ones you can get--on every job, and move your GIG files to those. Then cycle the old GIG drive into being a data drive for production.

    Why is this a good strategy?

    Well, provided you're not burning up your drives needlessly, what running them as a GIG drive will do is IMMEDIATELY kill a bad drive. So, you're essentially doing a several-month burn in. If you try to rotate them out no more than six months, then you have known dependable drives with several years life ahead of them. And best of all, with your sample files you are not risking anything, since you have these backed up on the original install disks. The worst thing that can happen is that you'll need to reload some libraries. You can even avoid this if you get a few drives ahead, so that you've always got your library duplicated on other drives at all times.

    Hard drives will break your heart. They're more dangerous than women.

  7. #7

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    Mount the drive to a bay in front of a fan (incoming fresh air) - usually at the bottom front of a case or some also have fan slots in the side panel. If no fan availible (the cheap are sometimes noisy) there also try the bottom position if your case is ok cooled this perhaps could help, but better with a fan. If nothing changes this is not the harddrives problem but perhaps a CPU fan problem (cheap are not always doing within specifications)...

    Hope this helps,

  8. #8

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    Yea, the piece that I'm writing consistently maxes out on the polyphony. Everything else on the PC is fairly cool (closet is thoroughly ventilated), but the harddrives are very hot - hotter then I think they should be.

    *sigh* More harddrives here we come.

  9. #9

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    I'll add to this topic, HDs can generate tons of heat. I've had a few die because of a poorly ventilated case. I now moved my main system into a big Antec tower case, which has a 2 big 120mm fans, one in front blasting in right over the HDs, and another in back blowing out. The big fans run slower and quieter while still moving lots of air. Hot drives WILL die, quite ungracefully, so u gotta get a fan blowing on that thing. One day they work, next day, completely dead, no gradual death with bad sectors appearing, giving you a warning.

    An audio drive (be it for a sampler like Giga or recorder like Sonar) should basically be treated as a plan-to-be-replaced-someday piece of hardware.

    Good luck

  10. #10

    Re: Harddrive heat?

    Okay, thanks for the tips.

    Thing is, I'm just ASSUMING its the harddrives that are causing my computer to shut down. I'm not an expert by any means - thats just my ignorant guess. For one thing, whenever I have a lot of instruments playing, there are very-almost-inaudible pops and clicks. This has never happened before. Do you think bad ram could cause a computer to just shut down like that when using gigastudio (ram is practically new)? Whenever the computer does shut down, the only way I can start it back up is if I unplug the power cord OFF the machine, press the power button, put the power cord back ON the machine, THEN push the power button to boot it back up.

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