My first managed GigE switch, the Linksys SRW2008, was a dream, until it started randomly chattering on various ports. That started while I was on the road all the time, which made it take forever to diagnose, but that's a different problem. When I finally determined that the switch was bad, it was still covered by warranty by Linksys/Cisco, so I opened an RMA ticket and returned it. Unfortunately, Linksys/Cisco "upgraded" my replacement switch to a SRW2008P, which has Power over Ethernet features I never planned on using. That by itself wasn't so bad, but it's my guess that the inclusion of PoE functions in this model required a tiny, super-loud internal fan to keep everything cool. This wasn't something I wanted or asked for, but, now that I am stuck with it, I am investigating options for replacing that little internal fan with something far quieter. For example, if I attach a larger fan to the outside of the chassis, I think it could push enough air to replace the stock fan that is currently there. Any advice on carrying this out? I have no interest in melting my switch due to insufficient ventilation.
Quite a few Linksys customers are having the same problem with other models in the SRW managed switch family, so when I broadened my search to include the SRW2024P, I finally found some helpful advice on how to open the switch and replace the fan. After reading the forum posts and looking at some pictures of a disassembled SRW2024P, I used a nylon spudger and a few plastic gift cards to gently pry apart my SRW2008P's case. Wedged between a clip and a notch in the metal was a standard 40mm x 20mm 12V fan. It was hardly a surprise that the fan's data sheet listed a 20dB noise rating, which I presume gets worse after it's been running for a few years and the worn bearings are growling with resentment.
The good news is that significantly quieter fans are available in the same size for as little as USD$10. The IXP1314 iXtrema Pro from SilenX is a 40mm x 20mm 12V DC case fan that snaps nicely into the same notch where the old fan went, so there is no need to rework anything with a Dremel just to install a replacement fan. The noise level dropped quite a bit with the new fan, but I think I can make it even quieter by installing a "noise reduction" cable that uses a resistor to throttle the fan speed. I'm only considering this additional step because I never use power over ethernet or any other feature that would generate very much heat on the switch.