Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just had the weirdest problem: I installed two new fans (Zalman ZM-F3's) in my Antec Sonata II case, one as a replacement (at the back) and a new one for additional airflow (at the front). The weird thing about the Sonata is that the 120mm front fan is installed behind the harddrive cage... Like so:

alt text

As soon as I installed them, however, my harddrives started messing up big style. My RAID1 array broke (one drive just said it had an error in BIOS) and the other had a corrupt Windows installation (kept hanging on boot).

After many hours with SpinRite and ChkDsk things finally seem to have sorted themselves out (ChkDsk found lots of errors), but during that time I unplugged my new front fan (damn thing wasn't turning anyway)... And it struck me that it might have been to blame?

Thinking about it, we're talking about putting an electromagnet very close to magnetic media... Surely things are better designed than that, right?

(Note: This isn't a picture of my rig, it's just very similar.)

share|improve this question
I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out that the new front fan that is directly attached to the drive cage, introduces vibration through the metal drive cage to the drives sharing it. Possibly that vibration is giving you the issues. It would be a new one - but... – user476691 Aug 1 '15 at 21:34
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unless it interfered with the airflow (such as being installed the wrong direction and fighting the existing airflow) and causing overheating, it shouldn't have caused a problem. A cable could have been bumped loose as well. The magnetic field generated by little fan motors like that just isn't big enough to impact modern drives. The power of the magnetic field required to flip bits on high density media is surprisingly high.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .