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I'm not sure if it would turn it off though, unless you have heat sensors on the motherboard and something in the BIOS set to power down if anything exceeds a certain temp.
Have you looked at your BIOS settings?
That's why it is essential to have a good chassis fan blowing over it. Some 120 mm fans generate about 16 db. That's very low noise and you won't notice it. Add one of those to be on the safe side.
AFAIK, there is no automatic turn-off for hard disks.
Some newer IDE disks can detect it and slow down spinning, however I would not count on that -- having active cooling is essential, and don't forget about backups on disks from different brands!
Lard Majestic, I've never heard of IDE disks like that. Could you point me to any info? Thanks.
The drive is WD Caviar SE 320GB... or so I thought: I stand corrected now that I have re-read the site and realised that they don't throttle rotational speed (a la Intel's SpeedStep), but just as heat efficient as older 5400 rpm drives. Apologies for posting misleading info and thanks for querying me!