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Several years ago I bought a new computer casing which is very weird. Its small and compact. Normally, we have the PSU in the top. But in here, the PSU is on the bottom and right below the hard drive. Recently, two of my hard drives started to show problems. Read errors and bad sectors. Can it be the PSU and the design of the casing?

Here's an image of the PSU and the hard drive :

Here's an image of the PSU and the hard drive :

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2 Answers 2

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My PC (which is a cooler master which is, IMO a good/respectable make) has the PSU on the bottom and I've not had any issues. Also, at the bottom of my case (under the PSU) is a grill to allow air flow.

I think the key thing is if the box is well ventilated (or not). Ensure you have fans blowing on the hard drives (mine are at front of case) and that it's not hot inside. If you have a small factor case, you may be limited on how many fans can be powered (and also the motherboard will limit this due to how many headers you have for fans).

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My PSU fan is facing the floor. The case have a gap for it to pass air. But its not possible to place any fans below the disks because there's only a very small gap between the disks and the power supply unit. The rare vents of the PSU are directed at the disks! –  EApubs Nov 2 '12 at 9:28
    
Just attached an image of the PSU and the hard drive. Does you one also look like this? –  EApubs Nov 2 '12 at 9:50
    
No as my fan blows out into the grill. If you're worried, buy a smaller factor PSU to increase the gap between the PSU and hard drive. –  Dave Nov 2 '12 at 9:53

Lots of cases do it these days. The 'traditional' layout with the PSU on top was designed to draw in air and blow it into the processor to help the processor heatsink and fan (as counterintuitive as it seems) - modern systems run cooler, have additional fans, generally, cool the system efficiently enough that the warm PSU air isn't really needed.

The bottom PSU simply draws in air and blows it out to cool itself.

Now, working out why your drives are failing isn't that hard. You're already looking at the SMART information on the drive I hope - check what the maximum heat on them is - overheating can cause problems. Look at the age of the drives and age related variables. And well.. drives fail.

I'd guess overall its probably not the PSU

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To further this, I would suggest you download acronis.co.uk/homecomputing/products/drive-monitor as it is free and will let you know disc live etc, and temp. –  Dave Nov 2 '12 at 9:34
    
Thanks :) Just downloading it... –  EApubs Nov 2 '12 at 9:35
    
Just attached an image of the PSU and the hard drive. According to smart data, One drive is 33 C and the other one is 36 degrees Celsius. Seems to be normal right? –  EApubs Nov 2 '12 at 9:51
    
It would alert you if it was too hot! –  Dave Nov 2 '12 at 9:52
    
ya, mine run in the 40s. That is the strangest case layout I've seen I'd say –  Journeyman Geek Nov 2 '12 at 10:05

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