by Rick Stephens
Like all mechanical devices the Burly can use a little tender loving
care. Open her up, blow out the dust and power up to check out the fans. Unless
you care to plant some seeds and farm the inside, all your computer gear has
need of this on a regular basis. Regular being defined by the conditions of the locale
your equipment resides in.
Burly enclosures are made to be opened up and worked on. Usually
there are 3 to 5 screws on the back panel holding the cover on. That cover lifts
up and rearward
to gain access. I advise removing all drive trays and setting them aside while
working inside. Having the trays out opens things up considerably and allows
cleaning and inspection of internal fans from both sides.
with cover off you can see the individual drive fans on the left side of
Personally I like to use a high pressure air hose off of an air compressor
to quickly plow through the built up layers of fertile soil. However, care must
taken when using high pressure as you can spin the fans up far higher speeds
bearings can handle, and even break delicate parts. Use a pencil eraser or similar
spinning up and use care how close you come to lightweight parts and components.
Or best, just
and won't damage anything.
After getting the dust bunnies out, or prehistoric dinosaurs as
check out fan operation. Plug the enclosure in and power it up - with the cover
spin right up and those of similar size should run
at similar appearing speeds.
If you have one or more fans making a racket, now is the time to
deal with them. Know that bushing fans make noise when they are cold. It
is normal for that type of fan to rattle a bit for the
first few minutes after cold startup until they warm up and tighten up - especially
when dust is stuck to the blades unbalancing them. If they don't settle down
quickly enough, now is the time to figure out exactly which
so you can do something about it. Use your pencil eraser and stop each fan
for just a second, while listening for
Once you identify a noisy fan, try blowing that one out again -
paying particular attention to the bearing area. If this doesn't help then a
silicon lubricant spray on the bearing can also aid in both silencing the fans
and increasing longevity. I get my silicon lube
from NAPA, most auto parts stores carry CRC or other branded silicon spray.
WD40 is unacceptable. WD40 is not a lubricant, it is a solvent, and is also,
unlike silicon, a partial conductor.
Do not use any lubricant except a silicon spray around your electronics.
If all else fails, replace the noisy or inoperative fan. Most fans
are easy to get to, easy to replace. In some cases it is far easier to replace
entire component part that the fan is attached to - in
this is true of the individual internal drive bay fans. These are best replaced
swapping out the bay component itself. Removal/Replacement is easy. Pull the
4 screws, 2 per side, disconnect the power and data wires from the back and
slide the bay out the front. Slide the replacement bay with its new fan in
reattach screws and wires. The large case fan in the rear is held in with
4 screws. Most of these have a connector you can easily pull to disconnect
In the 2 bay enclosure the large case fan's wiring
connector is on the power supply printed circuit board requiring you to disassemble
both bays and then remove the cover from the
power supply at the bottom of the enclosure) This is a half hours job with
a philips screwdriver and not complicated at all. Still, care must be taken
not to damage any components by getting in a hurry.
In 4 bay and larger Burly enclosures the power supply
fan is actually inside the power supply case itself - good news is these seldom
have a problem. The bad news is the
from the Burly
to gain access to its innards.
Note of Caution: Power supply's have capacitors which
store up a charge. Be very careful when working inside to not touch electrical
connections on the printed circuit board. You can be shocked.
First question you should ask before
jumping inside the power supply of 4 bay and larger Burlys is if it is still in
want to replace the entire power supply and not break the seal on it. Contact
us and we will set you up. If out of warranty then power supply removal
to get to the fan is next. To do that, disconnect all wiring harness connectors
from fans, drives, and lights. The front panel of the enclosure also has to
be released to
get to the screws holding the front panel mounted power switch in. That switch
is hardwired to the harness and has to come out with it. Sounds much harder
than it really is to accomplish, and it goes back in very easily in reverse
order. Again, the only tools you should need are a philips screwdriver and some
staff of support techs are here to assist you with answers should you have
Reinstall the cover on your Burly. Use a little 409 applied to a
soft cloth to wipe off external fingerprints, smudges and the odd dusty nook
or cranny. 409 won't leave streaks like
other cleaners. Do not spray ANY cleaner directly on your computer gear. The
smallest drop inside can damage, corrode or short things out.
With a little care your Burly will last indefinitely. The availability
of relatively inexpensive individual replacement parts means there is no reason
tough duty for a decade or more. A little care to keep the insides clean will
extend the life of wear parts like fans, and keeping the dust off electronic
components allows them to run cooler - extending their life spans as well. Don't
to roll your sleeves up and get inside. That's what they are made for.