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Motorola DCT6412 - loud hard drive  

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Just got my new Comcast service installed this weekend. I have noticed that the hard drive is audible from 10 feet away.

Anyone else experiencing this annoying noise?

I called Comcast and the CSR indicated that I should expect to hear it.

This is annoying as hell, especially when watching at a low volume.
post #2 of 31
if the annoying sound you mention sounds "beepish", then YES, i have experienced it and you're SO right...at times i feel like tossing it into the street...but insight wouldn't like that much...
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Not so much beepish as it sounds exactly like a hard drive in your PC does. I'ts annoying as heck.

I am wondering if this has been experienced with other 6412 boxes or if, perhaps, mine is unique in that way.
post #4 of 31
I got mine installed in a Ikea stand with glass front door's, barely a peep out from there.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
I was hoping this was not unique to my Moto 6412 and that others had experienced it, too. Unfortunately, it appears that mine is like all the rest and we just have to live with the noisy boxes.

That's too bad. I'm going to keep bugging Comcast about it and swapping out boxes until I find one that does not sound like my desktop PC box.
post #6 of 31
You are not alone DrDetroit; when the Comcast guy first turned-on the Moto 6412 during installation yesterday, I commented how loud the hard drive was. He said, "yeah."

Helpful, wasn't he?

I'm guessing they are using pretty cheap HDs to keep costs down, but I am really tempted to return the box and get another TiVO and Comcast's non-DVR HD STB, but the 6412 does have the HDMI port (I think the non-DVR STB has an outdated DVI port).
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Vinnie -- The original box I got from Comcast was a 6412 phase II stb. I now have the 6412 phase III stb. No problem with the hard drive being loud.

The primary difference I see between the the two boxes is that the phase III stb has the HDMI jack, not the DVI. I don't use either, however, from what I have read here, the tuners in the phase III stb do a better job with standard definition and analog broadcasts. However, I don't see much of a difference.

I read here that you could go to your local Comcast location to order a phase III box. Beware! I tried it, but the people at the location didn't know a phase III from a phase II nor DVI from HDMIwhich is I tried to physically distinguish the two boxes for the rep there. I then called Comcast while at the location neither the first-level rep nor her supervisor knew what the hell I was talking about. So, I asked for a new box because my hard drive was loud, get home and open the box and tadaaaa...there's a phase III stb in there.
post #8 of 31
ok...this might be a stupid question but i've wondered this forever...what's the difference between a 6412 phase 2 and a 6412 phase 3 stb? also, how do i find out what firmware i'm running and how to update it if possible?
thanks guys!
~joey~
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Joe...look up.

From what I have read here the primary differences between the Phase II and Phase III boxes are that the Phase III boxes have a HDMI jack rather than the DVI and that the Phase III does a better job displaying analog broadcasts.

Re: firmware -- Press Menu twice, scroll down to and select Setup, select Cable Box Setup, , scroll down to and select Configuration. On the right hand side you'll see your firmware.

You cannot update the firmware on your own, it's up to your cable provider to send the update to your box.
post #10 of 31
I just want to chime in on the noise. The 6412 is the loudest thing in my rack by a factor of probably six !!

Art
post #11 of 31
Wow, I just got a 6412 III today and I can't deal with the loud noise! I hate turning on the box because of the constant hard drive noise; it makes it impossible to watch TV without getting a headache. I'm calling Comcast tomorrow... not that it will do any good.

Just had to vent... sorry. :)
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn
I just want to chime in on the noise. The 6412 is the loudest thing in my rack by a factor of probably six !!

Art

Ditto! but I couldn't live without it ;)
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn
I just want to chime in on the noise. The 6412 is the loudest thing in my rack by a factor of probably six !!

Art

Ditto! but I couldn't live without it... ;)
post #14 of 31
It generates a cubic crapton of heat for such a little thing, I'd be very cautious about sealing it up to reduce the noise. I had a few go bad due to heat issues, and I have a much roomier and free flowing enclosure now.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clepto
It generates a cubic crapton of heat for such a little thing, I'd be very cautious about sealing it up to reduce the noise. I had a few go bad due to heat issues, and I have a much roomier and free flowing enclosure now.
I'm going to try to seal it around the face plate only to see if that might help a little. I could just put it on the back of the rack with the IR running it since front panel access really isn't needed anyway( as a last resort) Not a real big deal but why doesn't the TiVo make the same amount of racket ?

Art
post #16 of 31
Update on hard drive noise from my 6412 phase III stb:

So I took my first box back to Comcast and got another phase III (w/HDMI). As soon as I plugged it in, this turboprop-like fan kicked on! I couldn't belive it -- the new box is even louder than the first one!!! The hard drive noise was a little better, but it's kinda hard to tell with that fan going!! It's a variable speed fan, so it constantly speeding up and slowing down, speeding up, slowing down -- AAAARRRRRGGGGGG!!!! The fan's not on all the time though, and I really haven't tried to determine whether it's perhaps the additional processing required for HD signals that makes the fan kick on. The thing that surprised my though is I noticed yesterday that the fan was on even when the box was "off" (I say "off" because obviously the operating system doesn't actually shut down when you hit the power button).

I guess I'll exchange this box too, but I just recorded all 12 episodes of Firefly, which I have never seen before!!! Maybe I should just buy the DVDs!
post #17 of 31
I was finally able to relocate my 6412 to a closet (actually a walk-in pantry) behind where my plasma is mounted. Nirvana! I don't think I even realized how noisy it was until I couldn't hear it anymore.

However, the thing is a furnace. Be careful about sealing it off too much. I almost can't close the pantry door or I'm afraid the box is going to cook some of the food items stored there.
post #18 of 31
I am an RCN customer and just received that same box. As usual for the cable companies their hotline had "never heard of this before".

I confirm what CyberVinnie said - the variable speed fan is the real downer here. Regular hard drive "air" sound would have been doable, but the constantly whining acceleration/deceleration of the main fan is unacceptable. I watched "Million Dollar Baby" and sometimes it was even audible over the yelling during the boxing fights.

Unless one has a closet with a front door I don't see how people can have this unit in their living room.

It baffles me that Motorola would design something as a home appliance which should really go into a server rack instead...
post #19 of 31
I just had Comcast install cable with the Moto 6412 III. I can't hear much at all. My Sharp 300 as well as my Sony 715 are also not making much noise either. Knock on wood.
post #20 of 31
This thread baffles me. I'm with Jay. I have the HDMI equiped 6412. It dosen't have a fan on it though and I can hear the HDD only if I put my head about 6 inches away from the thing.

I will agree on the heat though, it's definitely a burner.
post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have a phase iii box now and I don't hear anything now. I know what it was on my phase iii box...just a loud hard drive as the hard drive was accessing data I could hear it. The phase iii box is really quiet and I'm pretty sure simply had a bad phase ii stb.
post #22 of 31
....and they dont make much more noise than our kitchen exhaust fan. Consumers are far too sophisticated for this. Motorola has got to be in hot water over these things.
post #23 of 31
The noise you are hearing isn't the hard drive. A hard drive in a PC doesn't make much noise and neither does the one in your 6412. But the cooling fans do! What you are hearing is the cooling fan for the hard drive. If it is really noisy then chances are you don't have a PIII box. I have a PIII 5 feet from my bed and I hardly hear it. PI and PII are noisy. The noise can also be amplified by what you have the box sitting on. The vibrations of the box can make your shelf vibrate making it lowder. The difference between the phases are hardware changes and location of the fan.

Make sure you actually have a 6412 PIII. There are 6208's out there that are very noisy. What I'm reading here it sound like you're all describing a 6208.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by OutofBand
The noise you are hearing isn't the hard drive. A hard drive in a PC doesn't make much noise and neither does the one in your 6412. But the cooling fans do! What you are hearing is the cooling fan for the hard drive. If it is really noisy then chances are you don't have a PIII box. I have a PIII 5 feet from my bed and I hardly hear it. PI and PII are noisy. The noise can also be amplified by what you have the box sitting on. The vibrations of the box can make your shelf vibrate making it lowder. The difference between the phases are hardware changes and location of the fan.

Make sure you actually have a 6412 PIII. There are 6208's out there that are very noisy. What I'm reading here it sound like you're all describing a 6208.
I know the difference between a 6208 and a 6412 (I've had each of them). I also know the difference between a Phase I and a Phase III (I currently have one of each). I also know the difference between what a cooling fan noise is and the sound a hard drive makes (I've owned numerous computers and can distinguish between the sounds).

The 6412 Phase III is noisy, just as the 6412 Phase I is noisy (IMHO).

It's interesting that you can tell what noise I'm hearing from where ever you are (which is not in my house). ;)
post #25 of 31
If I get a phase III besides duping to VHS is there a way to record the content I have on my present unit over to the new unit ?

Art
post #26 of 31
Sheesh, Scolumbo. Are you the only one on this thread? I wasn't taking to you. Many people mistake the fan for the hard drive. Why, because they are right next to each other. I never claimed to know what you are hearing, just from the descriptions everyone is giving it sounds like people are confused about what they are hearing. I was just trying to help out. I didn't know I was attacking anybodies knowledge.

I've never heard a HDD make the sounds described in this thread.
post #27 of 31
Ok, newbie, I'll bite.

In a thread about loud hard drives on the 6412 that I and some others responded, you've given us the following astute observations:

"The noise you are hearing isn't the hard drive."

"A hard drive in a PC doesn't make much noise"

"If it is really noisy then chances are you don't have a PIII box."

"Make sure you actually have a 6412 PIII."

"What I'm reading here it sound like you're all describing a 6208."


Who is the dunce that you are directing your comments toward?
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reynard
This thread baffles me. I'm with Jay. I have the HDMI equiped 6412. It dosen't have a fan on it though and I can hear the HDD only if I put my head about 6 inches away from the thing.
Boy are you lucky! I join the clear majority on this thread to report that my three previously replaced Cox DCT6412s all were really loud even when the unit was turned off.

I'm waiting for a replacement for my just installed DCT6416 which seems real quiet but has a major problem. It reboots continuously.

On well (sigh), maybe five's a charm?

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
post #29 of 31
My 6412 is the non HDMI version is the HDMI version quiet ?

Art
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberVinnie
The thing that surprised my though is I noticed yesterday that the fan was on even when the box was "off" (I say "off" because obviously the operating system doesn't actually shut down when you hit the power button).
The box will not really power off unless you pull the plug pressing power on the box only turns of the outputs. But if the hard drive noise bothers you while you arent watching tv you can tune the box to the music channels. It will not buffer them so the hard drive will stop spinning. I do this at night sometimes when when i cant fall asleep.
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