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~ $>  Cool down your Acer EasyStore H340 Windows Home Server (full article)

I have recently “relocated” to a new office where sunlight seems to beam in constantly during the latter half of the day. My H340 Home Server was running quite hot because of this, and I had found some tips that helped to decrease the temperature by almost 20C! Acer’s Home Server has suffered this problem as many users have noted, however you can’t really blame them because the box is a Micro-iTX implementation with 4 hard drives squished into a very neat (and small) cube design.

Acer provides a 120mm fan on the exhaust port near the hard drives, however it uses a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) circuit to control the fan speed based on CPU usage. With the fan throttled back, it spins at a quiet 900rpm, however I had never seen (or heard) the fan spin up the entire time I’ve had the server, even though the current temperatures were up to 70C for the CPU! Definitely much hotter than I’d prefer to run at, especially having connected all of my 9 hard drives with priceless data on them.

So I went to work. I cracked open the H340 (for the second time – first was to install a PCI-X eSATA controller for my JBOD array), then located the fan header on the rear-top of the chassis. I unplugged it, then used a really small ‘poker’ to depress the metal contact for the blue wire that was within the harness/connector. After depressing it, I simply slid it out and wrapped it up with electrical tape. Put everything back together, then also threw the server + JBOD disk array into a spot in the basement where I’m sure it would stay cooler, especially in the summer heat.

I booted up the box and let it warm up for 15-20 mins, then started giving it some tasks to do. Checking the system temperatures revealed that the main system temp dropped 15C, and the CPU dropped about 20C. Also the 120mm fan rpm gauge was now reporting 1900rpm, double what it was before. I think that the combination of these fixes were a considerable factor in lowering the heat of my Home Server. Now that this has been fixed, I’m going to have to be patiently waiting for Home Server v2 – Code Name “Vail” to be released, which I’ve heard is “sometime in 2010”. Oh really? Great.