I meant to reply to this yesterday, so just in case any of my own adventures of installing Axoloti has put you off a bit, really, don't let it. Axoloti was actually quite painless to install on my other machine, and even then, I was one of the unlucky ones cause I had to flash it before it would work. When you come to install it, chances are it will just go as easy as installing any other peice of hardware - you pessimist
Sounds like you have a faulty fan then, mine's nice and quiet, I can hear it but it's just a whisper! I've not got a hard disk in mine, in fact a hard disk is the only feature I haven't bothered with. I was extremely lucky when I got mine, She's completely 100% mint condition, not a single mark anywhere, still has the proctective film over the display even. It's an official V2 ROM version as well, has every expansion board fitted, and the maximum amount of RAM. I chose not to go for a hard disk when I saw those Floppy Emulator drives you just mentioned, much better, silent and no moving parts! I just haven't gotten around to buying one yet.
That sounds exactly like the one I was going to buy, so please let me know how you get on with it, and if it works, please post a link. Here's the one I was thinking about (says it's Yamaha compatible):
Yup, it's definitely a weirdo sampler, lol, but it's power makes up for it (it's crazy powerful). When you consider that it has a Parametric EQ for each individual sample, then a bunch of Parametric EQ's in each of the Multi-Effects blocks, three completely independent Aphex Aural Exciters, a Master Parametric and 24 Digital Filter types, it's quite a beast!
Here's a little tip to help you out there, one that will prove it's the OS and not the encoders (they're actually very high-grade encoders). When it appears to go to sleep and stops responding, just stop twisting the knob and count to two, then try again and it will work perfectly. Like I said, I'm pretty sure it's because the OS is doing something (probably some sort of house-keeping), but that's the best way to deal with that annoying encoder thing whenever it happens.
You got a bargain, and it would be crazy not to use it as a sampler. I actually paid double that amount but like I said she's completely mint, V2, and has all the boards etc. Other than me not installing the hard disk, she's "fully loaded" as they say
A strange beast, super-powerful but at the same time often cryptic and frustrating (but I still love her)