Author Topic: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped  (Read 13674 times)

n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
on: September 05, 2012, 10:04:25 AM
Carrying on from another thread, I have just built (well, I am in the process of building) a HP n40l microserver to be used as a media centre which will be connected to my TV in the living room. Whilst reasonably quiet, the machine is not as quiet as I had hoped, and given that the server does not have the ability to go into any kind of sleep mode, when the TV is not on, we will always be able to hear the machine whirring away.

I 'may' try and replace the case fan, but it isn't as simple as it should be because of the pin arrangement. My thoughts are that a good portion of the noise is coming from the PSU fan.


(incidentally, I can hibernate the machine, but even with an SSD OS drive, resuming the machine seems to take ages. Its almost as quick (if not slightly quicker) to just shut down the machine completely and reboot it when needed. Is this normal? I thought hibernate would be quite quick to resume)

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 10:38:32 AM
when it's going into hibernation, make sure it's dumping the ram to the SSD and not the normal HD

that's the only reason I can think a fresh boot would be quicker than hibernation.... hibernation should be pretty damn quick :o

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 11:53:37 AM
There are no normal hard disks installed yet - just the SSD for the OS. I do have 3 normal HDs inserted, but I haven't yet initialised them in windows so they don't show up in my computer.

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 12:26:45 PM
It could be driver issues. Incorrect / out of date / driver conflicts can cause slow hibernate resumes.

Search in the start bar for "Performance Information and Tools", open it and select "Advanced Tools" on the left menu. Check to see if you have any info or warnings under the 'Performance Issues" heading.
Formerly sexytw

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 19:36:18 PM
Weird. I have set the button to go into hibernation. When It has gone into hibernate mode, the only way I can power it back on is by pressing the power button again. It then boots up through the BIOS (after showing the HP Proliant splash screen) andafter about 35 seconds, it gets to 'Resuming Windows'. It then takes a further 1-2 mintes to get to the 'switch user' screen where I canclick my button to get back into the desktop.

Surely hibernate is faster than this?

(no performance issues detected)

    • Tekforums.net - It's new and improved!
  • Offline Clock'd 0Ne

  • Clockedtastic
  • Posts: 10,472
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 20:02:46 PM
Hibernation does do that I think, it completely powers off but stores a local copy of everything that was in memory. To get a 'standby' type power down you would need to use sleep mode (not hibernate) - if there was a power cut the machine would effectively crash and need a reboot though.

Also you could consider swapping out the fan for a quieter alternative, I'm not sure what size you would need though.

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 20:27:11 PM
I didn't think there was a sleep mode on the n40l. I will look for it.

I've taken some photos of my bios settings. Do these look correct to you?

...yikes...can't seem to add photos in this forum. What a pain....

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 20:31:15 PM
Hibernation does do that I think, it completely powers off but stores a local copy of everything that was in memory.

I plan to use a combination of WMV and XBMC on this system. With regards to hibernation, if we were to have a TV show set to record in the middle of the night, but we click the hibernate button when we go to bed, will the system resume to record the show or not?

    • Tekforums.net - It's new and improved!
  • Offline Clock'd 0Ne

  • Clockedtastic
  • Posts: 10,472
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 20:54:28 PM
I doubt it, usually you need some type of hardware input to force a PC out of sleep (like a mouse movement, Wake On LAN packet from your network, etc). I don't think software can do it and I'm not sure its even possible to resume from Hibernation in such a way, I could be wrong though.

    • Leons Lost
  • Offline Leon

  • Posts: 3,154
  • Hero Member
  • Bah Humbug!
Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 09:43:21 AM
Hmmm problem is that the sort of setup we are working with isn't really designed to be slept or even turned off/on a regular intervals. The issues arise when you are doing so without 1st shutting down the running apps (SAB/CP/SB)... because they run as processes and do all their work in the background if your not careful you can try and sleep/turn off the machine while SAB is unpacking files/moving files or CP/SB are doing database updates, while most of the time it won't cause too many problems you may find corruptions appearing.

I think your best bet is to try and quieten the machine down instead, I'm sure there is info on the net from people that have already done it. I have mine attached to my TV at the base of my bed and tbh I don't even notice it anymore except it something finishes downloading as I'm half asleep and notice a drive spinup.... doesn't happen often ;)
.::. www.leonslost.co.uk .::. Media Server Guide .::.

PC: i5 760 .::.  GA-P55-UD3 .::. 8GB Corsair 'Dominator' DDR3 .::. 1GB EVGA GTX 460 SC .::. Win7 Ultimate  .::. Dell 24" Ultra Sharp
Netbook: HP Mini 311c-1101sa .::. 3GB Ram .::. ION Hack .::. Win7 Ultimate
Server: HP MicroServer .::. 3GB Ram .::. 4x 2TB Storage .::. 512MB nVidia 210 .::. Win7 Ultimate, XBMC 11 (Aeon NOX), Sick Beard & Couch Potato
Phone: SE Xperia Mini Pro .::. MiniCMSandwich Lite (Android ICS Custom) .::. OC @ 1.6Ghz
Tablet: Asus Transformer TF101 w/ Dock .::. EOS JB Nightlies (Android JB Custom) .::. OC @ 1.6Ghz

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 09:58:30 AM
I think your best bet is to try and quieten the machine down instead, I'm sure there is info on the net from people that have already done it. I have mine attached to my TV at the base of my bed and tbh I don't even notice it anymore except it something finishes downloading as I'm half asleep and notice a drive spinup.... doesn't happen often ;)

I think it will be fine once the box is moved in the cupboard beneath my TV. I am just sensitive to it at the moment because it is new and right next to me on my desk whilst I set it up.

n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #11 on: September 09, 2012, 02:52:15 AM
Hibernation does do that I think, it completely powers off but stores a local copy of everything that was in memory.

I plan to use a combination of WMV and XBMC on this system. With regards to hibernation, if we were to have a TV show set to record in the middle of the night, but we click the hibernate button when we go to bed, will the system resume to record the show or not?

Depends there are "wake on events" that wake my computer up from sleep.

I.e. av scans, updates, etc...

That said, that's from standby. Hibernate is a full shutdown just with current state cached to hdd.

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 17:06:05 PM
My N40L has been running for a few weeks now and still seems pretty good. Only a couple of odd crashes when I have restarted whereby it hangs just as the desktop is loading up. Haven't quite figured out what the problem is but will keep an eye on it.

Anyway, back to sound. I am still annoyed that it is as loud as it is. I've ordered the Scythe fan and a replacement PicoPSU which will hopefully make it near silent. Its a bit of a risk as I haven't done this kind of modding before. Also, my machine has 4x 2TB SATA drives, 1x SSD drive (for the OS), an optical drive and a passive GFX card. I just hope that the 120W PicoPSU is capable enough to keep all these running. Any ideas if I'll be OK (prior to pulling my machine apart and actually trying to fit it all together again)?

    • Tekforums.net - It's new and improved!
  • Offline Clock'd 0Ne

  • Clockedtastic
  • Posts: 10,472
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #13 on: October 05, 2012, 18:39:21 PM
You should be fine I think, the actual board/CPU are not power hungry and drives don't really consume that much power. The graphics card is probably the biggest single drain I'd imagine.

Re: n40l microserver louder than I had hoped
Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 23:14:48 PM
Not much success with my picopsu I'm afraid. With the main SSD OS drive and the DVD, it was fine and 100% beautifully quiet. I finally found the cable that would allow me to split the spare molex into 4 and connect the power to my 4x 2TB drives and then I started getting boot problems.  The system would get into windows desktop, but then would freeze up.  The mouse cursor still moved around, but I couldn't click on anything.  Only thing to do was hold the power button in and reboot, but the same problem occurred.

Disconnecting e 4x sata drives allowed the system to boot just fine.


So, it seems the picopsu isn't suited to a fully loaded n40l.  A real pity - it was sooooo quiet! I guess I will just have to get used to the drone!

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.