Spring Cleaning: Hardware

By: -=LRK=-  
Web Site: www.subdiv.net
Date: Pre-2005

Every 6 months or so, I realize that my once nice, neat, and organized case, has become a total and complete mess. I don't remember exactly when I happened, but I'll have wires everywhere, cable that go nowhere, and an itch to fix something that really isn't broken.

It's time to clean up the mess and do a little light modding while I'm at it. This article doesn't go into anything in much detail, just an overview of things you can do to streamline your case a little bit more.

I never intended to do this cleaning, so I didn't take any pictures of it before hand, but rest assured, I ripped it's guts out all over my floor for a reason. Behind the computer was a wire graveyard. I straightened out the wires, and took some out.


I vacuumed out the inside of the case, and gave the fans a good scrubbing. One of the worst ones got a dremel cleaning with a brush head.

One thing I had been wanting to do was cut out a hole in the back to get better airflow out of the fan.

I moved all the hard drives down into the 3 1/2" bays. Since that was where I had 3 fans blasting, I figured It would keep them all cool. I also wrapped up some loose cables, and moved them out of the way.

I purchased a Styrofoam mat, cut it up, and covered the inside of the case with it. The noise level of the drives inside have dropped considerably. For the outer case (on top) I used hot glue to attach it to the metal. Inside (lower) I used Velcro, so I could access the screws and drives.

The idea of putting all the drives into the 3 1/2 bay worked like shit. They were too close together, had no airflow, and my 7200 rpm drive in the middle took some serious write errors, and even refused to boot the machine. I moved them all back up to the 5 1/2" bays. This worked out better anyways, since it was so cramped down below, I couldn't get to anything. It was also 3-4 degrees hotter when they were on the bottom.

One last trick, notice I spun the drive around on top, so it's facing the wrong way. this allows for the cables to be moved out of the way. I would have done this for the 2 bottom drives as well, but the IDE cable wasn't long enough to make the jump.

If you found this article helpful, you can find plenty more back on the main page.