I swapped out my Roon core a few weeks ago. For no other reason than to switch to a solution that didn’t use external USB drives. Every now and then Windows would lose visibility to the external USB drives. I’m pretty sure it was due to insufficient power on the USB bus. I had an enclosure with two SSD drives. They were very low power but I think the combined load of two drives was causing the issue.
Fast forward, I decided to do whatever I could make the environment better. I mean the high dollar proprietary servers do it, so why not? I’m a tinkerer through and through. The below are some of the things I did based mostly on “best practice” and then I threw in some esoteric voodoo cause audiophile reasons.
In the BIOS, I disabled a lot of unnecessary h/w. Disabled all USB ports except for the keyboard/mouse Thinkpad compact keyboard I use. Disabled the on board audio, BT and Wi-Fi. Really anything that I wasn’t physically using is disabled.
In the Windows OS, I made as many services as I could get rid of manual so they won’t run on start up. Removed ALL unnecessary software from the OS and made the video settings as utilitarian as possible when it came to anything graphic while still maintaining a compatible screen resolution to the 4K TV screen its using as a monitor.
In the h/w front on the NUC itself I did a few things. For starters I disconnected the Bluetooth antenna. I mean physically disconnect the antenna cable from the MB. I did the same thing with the Wi-Fi antenna. Disconnected both, wrapped the RF cables in a foam sleeve to make sure they didn’t short anything and tied them away. Additionally I lined the plastic “top” of the NUC with copper foil tape.
That’s it. Cost was zero dollars since I had everything laying about already. A roll of copper foil tape is something no self professed tinkerer would be without. After all that, I simply closed it back up. I also bought a 19V LPS for the NUC which was the reason the whole experiment started in the first place as I found a great deal on a used one through Audiogon. Now the last h/w thing I did is make an RF shielded sleeve for the Ethernet cable as I’ve got a bunch of other crap in the vicinity for the Apple TV, the Cable modem and the Mesh router. They’re all running on LPS but you know why not, the less chance to have the Ethernet cable pick up noise, the better. I’ll document the process as I want to make another one of these sleeves and they’re very low dollar spend but that’s it in a nutshell.
Whether or not any of this made a difference, I don’t know, and it’s too late for me to A/B test as I’ve changed so many things in the network portion of my system. (A fiber isolated EtherREGEN with a SBooster PSU being the main change going to my DAC which did improve things) That I wouldn’t want to go back to test as there would just been too many changes. That said, it’s all best practice stuff, didn’t cost me anything or didn’t cost much I should say and it’s really good for the mind. So clearly it’s working GREAT. lol
Another aspect of my system that I’ve stopped worrying about now.
One tangible benefit to all of this, not a single loss of visibility to the music library drive since now instead of it being an external USB drive, it’s an SSD drive in the NUC. So that original problem is resolved.