Power Supply Noise

I’ve had my Drobo S for about 24 hours, and the noise is driving me nuts. OK, the fan is a little louder than that in my Mac Pro, but I can live with that.

I’ve just realised where the annoying noise is coming from. It’s the power supply. It sounds like fingers being scratched down a blackboard - high pitched scratchy noise.

At first I wondered if it was the noise from multiple hard drives all running at the same time, and couldn’t understand why it was so much more prominent than the noise from the drives inside my Mac Pro.

Holding my ear to the Drobo power supply it’s definitely coming from that. I’ve tried it through my UPS (APC BackUPS RS 1500VA) and through a normal surge protector, and it’s the same.

Is this (unbearable) noise considered normal? I remember my old PowerMac G5 made similar noises under certain graphics intensive situations - and I was glad when I finally replaced it.

Please open a support case.

Thanks - I just did that.

[quote=“bilbo–baggins, post:1, topic:1287”]
I’ve had my Drobo S for about 24 hours, and the noise is driving me nuts. OK, the fan is a little louder than that in my Mac Pro, but I can live with that.[/quote]
Is it your first Drobo ?
I have a Drobo-V2 which is rather quiet (although the fan still runs when sleeping), and I was trying to get some information how much worse was the Drobo-S.
Data Robotics specifications show a +11db increase (best case) from Drobo-v2 to Drobo-S.
From what you say, it looks like the noise increase is definitely an audible issue, even assuming you have a partially faulty power supply. I have a Mac Mini which is almost totally silent, so “noisier than a Mac Pro” is certainly not what I want…

It is my first Drobo. Now I’ve had the Drobo S for a week or two I’d say I virtually never notice the fan, and probably the Mac Pro is noisier - and for a desktop computer the Mac Pro is fairly quiet. The noise coming from the power supply was a particular problem because compared to the low hum of the fans, it was producing a high pitched noise that stood out.

Strangely enough the replacement power supply seems exactly the same - though as I type this I cannot hear it. It seems that the activity of the Drobo influences the noise produced by the power supply.

In terms of fans, I think it probably depends on background noise levels, type of surface, location (on floor or on desk etc). With my Drobo S under my desk I don’t notice the Drobo fan at all, but at time I do notice the power supply noise.

@bilbo: Can you also hear tube TVs when they’re powered on? I can. Most can’t. Some folks just have better (or less-damaged) hearing than others.

I just received my Drobo FS and my power supply has that same issue. The Drobo FS unit itself is ultra quiet but the power supply is making a high pitch annoying sound that just stands out. The first thing the wife said when she walked into the house… “what’s that annoying high pitch sound?” I have a Drobo Firewire 800 and it’s power supply is completely quiet. I opened up a support case and hope the new power supply will do the trick! I like the analogy of the nails on the chalkboard… it could also almost be like a squeaky wagon wheel that just won’t stop.

Does anyone know if it would be bad to use the power supply from my Drobo Firewire 800 on the Drobo FS just for comparison?

They have different wattages, so I would not recommend using a PSU from a 2nd gen drobo with the FS.
The FS requires more power.

That’s what I figured… hopefully a new power supply will fix everything and my wife will accept the Drobo FS into our family!

Mine is doing this also.

The noise is driving me crazy!

How do I open a support case?

To Open a Support Case: http://support.datarobotics.com/app/utils/login_form

Thank you.

Also, here is an update to my noise issue.

I ahve found - which is really strange - that the power supply will make the screeching noises only when the drobo goes to sleep, is turned off or has three or fewer drives in it.

If the unit is on with 4 or 5 units in it, the sound goes away.

Usually marginal power supplies behave in an opposite fashion where they make no noise at low load, but start screeching at high power loads.

Just an interesting observation.

Yep, I’m quite prone to hearing TV tubes and the like. Sometimes I can even tell what a PC is doing without looking at its screen just by the changes in the screeching noise it makes.

As for drobo PSUs, I’ve had a Drobov2 for over 2 years now and have just gotten a DroboFS and both PSUs screech!

I actually RMAd my first Drobo due to PSU issues that weren’t fixed when I got a replacement. It turned out to be some wiring oddities in my house that only effected the Drobo and would result in random disconnections and file corruption, every other bit of equipment was fine.

I run the Drobov2 through a variable powersupply now and it’s been rocksolid for 2 years so if my DroboFS starts to misbehave, I’ll be doing the same there.

You mean there are people who can’t? Wow, I never knew that…

I thought my hearing was pretty damaged from going to concerts over the years, and I can still hear tube TV’s. Not to the point where I am significantly bothered by them, but I can hear that high-pitched sound.

My old power supply (before being replaced under warranty) was enough to be bothersome (but strangely enough, only under light load).

It wasn’t nearly as bad as the ultrasonic welder we used to use at a place I used to work. I used to cringe - almost in pain - whenever I heard it. Noone else even seemed to notice or care.

Guess we’re just still younguns :slight_smile:

BTW I’m in my 30’s, but my wife will definitely attest to me still being immature, LOL.

I can definitely hear the 18khz sound in that test.

Its a little bit more faint than the others, but definitely still audible.

You can call Tech support at (866) 426-4280 or see the link in my signature to open a case via online.

I’m 38 and can still clearly hear the 18kHz sample. Given the nights out clubbing I used to do, I’m honestly very surprised :slight_smile:

First day owning a drobo s, and yes I hear the noise. It’s horrible.

I had an older WD external hd (500gb), 2-3 yrs old that made a similar noise.

I only have 3 HD’s in there now (3x1.5 tb WD green). Maybe it will go away if I had more, as someone hinted at. But don’t understand why it would… just hoping.

You wonder who is in charge of quality control at DRI…
May be they would not pass the hearing tests at all…
This power supply noise problem has been going on since the introduction of the Drobo S one year ago.
Hard to believe it is so sophisticated only one Chinese supplier can make it…
Or may be DRI is stuck with a large bunch of noisy supplies they cannot afford (?!) to destroy, and they keep pushing them to new customers, hoping enough of them are old/deaf enough, or working in a noisy environment, not to notice and complain.
Considering the price of the Drobo S, this is definitely sub quality delivery :frowning:
Especially if you add that power supply noise issue to the Drobo S fan noise issue, a definite regression compared to Drobo Gen2.