Replace.IT – Upper fan for Antec 1100 computer case

I am a little down with the flu, so sitting at home, it is always a good idea to do some writing, or is it blogging – to clear the backlog of R.IT articles.  The Antec 1100 is a great computer case, since it has lots of fans, and space for hard disks, and lots of expansion slots.  That’s a lot of lots – right.  It had started its life as a case from my scrypt (think – cryptocurrency) mining computer, and was eventually repurposed for my VMware ESXi server.

My ESXi server needed six hard disk drives so this case was ideal for it. After a couple of years of operation, I started hearing a bit of rattling sounds from the server which would come and go.  Eventually I noticed after removing the side panel, and by looking up, that the top exhaust fan, was sometimes stopping and if it would spin, would spin with a wobble or slight rattle.  This was the cause of the sound.

The fan was a 22cm fan, but it was a slightly longer shape – and checking on some forums found that others had similar problems, but had replaced the fan with a standard 22cm computer case fan. I found a Bitfenix 22cm case fan from a local supplier who had it in stock, so bought that one.

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Here is the original fan from the Antec 1100 case. The mounting holes are not as standard as I thought.  When I compared it with the Bitfenix fan, I found that the Bitfenix followed the standard mounting radius and that the Antec fan, had a slightly smaller radius.  After some consideration, I noticed that there were other spots where mounting holes could be available, so used a 4.5mm drill to enlarge the holes adjacent to the standard mounting holes.  It is a bit hard to describe, so here are a few photos.

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This shows the new holes nearby, and the next one is a closeup to clearly show the new mounting hole that is away from the corner.

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So, after this, it should be a small matter to reinstall the fan, however since the server was still running, I decided it would be best to shut it down to make the job easier.  I don’t want to accidentally drop a metal screw onto the motherboard and cause a failure to occur.  Another Replace.IT done.  Now what should I write about next, maybe something of an electronic nature – except those haven’t come up very much lately.

 

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Replace.IT – FSP Aurum Pro 1000W Power Supply with Corsair HX650W

The last day and a half was quiet as our internet had been capped until this morning. During that time I have been having a struggle with the FSP Aurum Pro 1000W power supply unit that I installed into my new VMware ESXi 5.5U2 server.  I was using the VMware OVF Tool to export virtual machines from my old server to the new server and large machines would take a long time to copy – so I left it running overnight.  I was finding that the new server would be off.

It seems that after running for a time the power supply shuts down.  I remembered that I had faced this problem before during my cryptomining phase, but now I am not running that sort of power – my power meter indicates that power consumption of the new server is only 120W – low enough that the power supply should be able to handle it with ease. Unfortunately, that is not the case – it kept tripping out.  I know that it has tripped because the power button on the case does nothing until the switch on the power supply is turned off then turned on after a few seconds.

This power supply had been working so what has changed.  Then I had a hunch – the power supply also has two dedicated fan connectors for attaching fans – I do have a couple of fans on one of those cables – could they be the cause of the problem.

The Antec 1100 case has a fan power hub, that takes a molex connection and spreads it out to four 3-pin fan power connectors allowing additional case fans to be run.  I disconnected those fan cables and the power supply started running consistently.  That is until I thought I would test whether the fan cable can handle just one fan – I connected a single fan while everything was running and immediately – everything off.

Bad move!  After doing this, no matter what I did, removed all fans, removed the modular cables going to the dvd drive and the hard disks, leaving only the motherboard connected – the power supply was not going to work this time.  After resetting the power supply, press the case power button – the cpu fan would start spinning, then everything stops.  It happened more than 10 times in a row last night so I was ready to just throw the FSP power supply into the pool.  After calming down a little – I decided to “replace.it” with my Corsair HX650W power supply that I have in my Compaq Presario desktop.

I got out the original Compaq power supply from the Presario that I had put into the Corsair box – it was a 300W unit.  I had bought the replacement as I had previously upgraded to a nVidia 8800GT graphics card that needed more power, but have seen gone to an AMD Radeon 7850 which uses less power.  I removed the Corsair power supply – ever notice how much dust computers accumulate?  Also noticed a blown capacitor on the motherboard – that might explain the occasional blue screen that I had been getting recently – another story.

Now with the Corsair HX650W installed in the server – it powers up and I am happy to continue with my exporting and importing of virtual machines.

One thing that I do think of, is because of the multiple times that VMware has crashed due to the power supply shutdown – some of the data on the hard disk could be corrupted.  I don’t have a battery backup for the Adaptec 5805 array controller so any data that is going to the hard disk will not be stored.  It might be a good idea to buy the battery – it is about $150 or so and would allow data to be stored in the array controller cache then written to the disks on the next power up.  Also the Corsair power supply being a professional series – has a 7 year warranty, I will need to find the receipt and keep it handy, just in case.

[Note] Due to the multiple unintentional shutdowns, it might also be a good idea to reinstall the VMware ESXi to ensure that all the data is valid – I might do this after I get the battery and enable all the write caching, now that I have a good reliable power supply in the server.