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"If you think with your emotions, slight glandular changes are sufficient to revise your entire outlook."

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Monday, June 13th, 2005
I found the computer at right being thrown away, and rescued it. It's an outdated but still useful system (AMD Duron 900 mhz), and I plan to use it as a server. The immediate problem I encountered was when I put a more modern hard drive in it, as the newer hard drives throw off a lot of heat. In this case, the drive's temperature exceeded its safe operating range. Rearranging the ribbon cables for better airflow didn't help much. Computer Case - Overview
Inside of Case This particular case has no provision for mounting the hard drive near the front fan to keep it cooler. You can buy a fan that's made especially for keeping hard drives cool, but since I got the computer for free, I was curiously obstinate about spending any more money on it. (I did blow ten bucks to replace the CPU fan, but that's another story).
I opened the front panel to see if removing any decorations might help the airflow. As you can see to the right, not much can be done this way unless I cut holes in the case with my Dremel. But this would be tedious and the result would likely be ugly, not to mention that I've had my fill of motor tools that try to eat my hand when I work on a computer. Then I noticed that if I removed some metal and plates from the front of the drive bays, I would get a large enough hole to readily admit air, and gain room to move the front fan up so it would blow directly over the hard drive. Now I just needed some sort of bracket to hold the fan in place and keep it from rattling... Inside Front Panel
Plate Hanger ...And I found it at the hardware store, in the form of a spring and wire bracket meant for securing art plates so they can be hung on a wall. Cost: $2.00 - and I also get a nail and hook I can use for hanging a picture some other time. (In the picture to the left, I've already removed the plate hanger.)
I stretched the springs around the fan, hooked the wire brackets into some handy holes in the case, and I was done. Note that this fan has a plastic grille on it; this is not standard equipment on most case fans, but I had it lying around and decided to put it to use.
Here's the case with the fan in place and the front cover remounted; the drive has remained safely within its temperature range, despite usage during a hot muggy New Jersey night... I could have taken further steps to cover that hole in the front (say, by hollowing out some plastic bezels and gluing some netting or screen material over them) but I was lazy and decided to stop here... Just as I'm deciding to stop here right now. Until!

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