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Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
06-30-2014, 09:59 AM (This post was last modified: 06-30-2014 10:09 AM by andyjstormont@gmail.com.)
Post: #1
Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
Hi,

I've been a Drobo customer for many years. My first Drobo was an FS and it was very noisy. I had the power supply replaced to fix the whine it produced but the Drobo itself was still noisy - so much so that it was relocated to the other side of the house. Eventually it was replaced which a 5N which was much faster but not much quieter.

Today I received my GEN 3 and I'm very disappointed to see the same levels of noise. It's totally unacceptable for something that's billed as DAS (Desktop Attached Storage). I can learn to deal with excessive amounts of noise from a NAS but from a DAS I expect better.

The noise seems to be down to two things: first that fan on the rear - if I put my hand over it the Drobo is much quieter, and second: lack of noise insulation. The sound really resonates around the Drobo's metal enclosure. If I put some weight on it it's also a bit quieter but nowhere near silent.

Why hasn't Data Robotics sorted this out?

EDIT: PS. That's for changing my username to my email whoever did that!
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07-09-2014, 01:24 PM
Post: #2
RE: Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
hi, try a search for rubber feet or cork in these forums and you might find some useful info to help reduce the noise a bit,

it might not reduce it as much as you would like, but might be useful

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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11-11-2014, 05:33 PM
Post: #3
RE: Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
I would agree the Gen3 is louder that I expected (I got one yesterday, which reminds me I need to register it against my account. The Dashboard wasn't letting me) though its more a gentle but constant whir. There is a bit of a whine as well but it is at such a pitch that I only hear it from one of my ears; though thats the ear pointing towards the Drobo.

I had hoped that 5 years after I got my Gen2 that they'd be using silent fans in the newest version, or that it would be quieter than it is. I've also not heard it power the fans off which the Gen2 did seem to do. Otherwise it seems to be a great improvement. Previously I used the Firewire connection as it was faster than USB 2, but with the Gen3 the USB is significantly faster Smile

(I do have a thickish rubber mat under the Gen3, same one I had under the Gen2. I've also noticed that putting some pressure onto the front of the unit reduces the noise a little, likewise applying gentle pressure on the grill at the back)
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11-23-2014, 06:26 PM (This post was last modified: 11-25-2014 09:57 PM by slb.)
Post: #4
RE: Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
I hope this does not break any forum rules.

I found my Drobo gen 3 a bit too noisy. The culprit appears, to me anyway, to be the fan which has a humming sound. The sound is louder than the combined 4 hard drives (WD reds.)The Drobo Support people were very good to and I was able to try out 2 replacements but they all made about the same amount of noise. I ended up keeping my original unit.

The fan noise simply got to me; I decided to change the fan in my unit. This, even if meant voiding the Drobo warranty. I found these instruction at this site http://mimbler.blogspot.de/2008/04/how-t...http://mimbler.blogspot.de/2008/04/how-to-take-your-drobo-a Note that they say it takes an hour, but with my skill level it took two!

The Drobo Original Fan: Y. S. TECH
YW09225012BS
must be 92mm since it was the same size as my NOCTUA but that is my guess
40 dB (A)
66.3 CFM
DC12V
0.36A

Replacement Fan: NOCTUA
NF-B9 redux-1600
92mm
17.6dB/A
64,3 m³/h (37.8 CFM?)
12V
0.11A

What is the end result? Two words: GREAT! AMAZING! I am about 4 feet (a bit more than meter) away and I can barely hear the unit. I think that the sound that I hear come from the hard drives. I simply cannot hear the fan. I gave, on Amazon.com, only 4 stars because I felt the unit was too loud. If it would of had this fan to begin with, it would of been a 5 out of 5. It would also avoid Drobo sending me two units to try.

If any one (any Drobo engineers out there?) has some advice on a better choice for a fan, I would be curious to know. I selected this fan because I had it as surplus from another project.

Knowing the result, would I do it again? Yes! Was it a big risk? Yes! Since I was going to pack it back into its’ box and not use it anymore, I gambled.

Now, I will see if the new fan has long term implications (is the fan adequate?)
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11-29-2014, 08:10 AM
Post: #5
RE: Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
Not only is the unit's fan already loud in its perfect working condition, the unit I bought had a faulty fan that was so loud I cannot be in the same room without having my headphones on playing something really loud. I would be in a different room 7 meters away, and would not be able to sleep due to its loudness. Drobo - thankfully replaced the unit for me and sent the new one internationally!
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05-11-2015, 06:41 AM
Post: #6
RE: Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
Had the same fan problem in my gen 1 unit but the new gen 3 fan noise was not really that bad. Does any one else's gen 3 fan stay running on low when it has been on standby for more than a day? Mine does. Also the noise from the outer case, I folded a small piece of paper and shoved it between the outer shell and drive cage. This stopped that noise in its tracks. You can't see it unless the face plate is removed.
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05-19-2015, 11:03 AM
Post: #7
RE: Unacceptable levels of noise for a DAS
Keep in mind that modifying the unit in any way automatically voids the warranty - if your unit is covered under DroboCare or Standard Warranty I would recommend contacting Support.
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