How To Tell If The Noise or Sound An Internal Drive Makes is Normal

Current drive technology dictates that some noise will occur during normal drive operation. The type and volume of noise is dependent on whether the is drive performing a read/write operation or idle with the heads parked. The environment where the drive is functioning may also influence noise. For example, loose drive mounts, fan noise from case ventilation or the power supply, even where the enclosure is placed or mounted may produce or enhance the noise heard. It is important to recognize which noises indicate trouble or normal drive operation.

This article addresses internal hard drives noise. If you are trying to determine if the noise or sound an external drive or device is making is normal, please see Answer ID 197: WD hard drive makes a repeated clicking sound and Answer ID 14920: How to check if a WD drive is damaged or defective for more information.

Normal drive sounds include:

  • Whirring noise during drive spin-up when the computer is starting up, waking from sleep, or the drive is transitioning from idle to full speed to resume normal operation

  • Occasional drive clicks occurring at 4 or 5 second intervals, and the drive is functioning normally and passes diagnostics

  • Hard clicks during a head park operation during shutdown or entering sleep mode

Abnormal drive sounds include:

Troubleshooting & Solutions:

  1. Make sure it is not a case fan or another device:

    • Turn off the system
    • Remove both the power and data cables from the drive
    • Turn on the system to see if the noise continues. If the noise is still present, the drive is not the cause. Search for another device such as a case fan or power supply. If the noise is no longer present, please continue to the next step

  2. Determine if the problem is the drive or the data cable:

    • Turn off the system
    • Connect only the power cable to the drive, and turn on the system
    • If the noise occurs the problem is with the drive. If the there is no noise, the drive may not be at fault. Turn off the system and connect the data cable
    • Turn on the system
    • If the noise occurs now, the data cable is likely faulty and it is best to further test with a known good cable. If there is no noise, the cable was likely faulty. If the noise continues, the cable may not be the cause, please continue to the next step

  3. Try the drive in a new location:

    • Turn off the system
    • Install the drive into a different drive bay, a different system or place it securely on an anti-static surface if available
    • Turn on the system
    • If the noise follows the drive, the drive should be replaced
    • If there is no noise, the original drive bay was not properly supporting the drive and will require taking steps to mount the drive properly

  4. Test the drive for problems with Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows or Disk Utility of macOS:

Please see Answer ID 8: How to Get an RMA to Replace a Defective Product, Obtain a Power Supply, or USB Cable for a WD Product for information about warranty and replacement options available.

In case the answer did not answer your question, you can always visit the WD Community for help from WD users.

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