Clicking noise on MyPassport Air 500gb


I have a 500gb WD MyPassportAir that I use witn my 2013 MacBook Air to store my iTunes media collection.  I notice that when I am playing music in iTunes, the drive emits a loud clicking sound every so often.  I would normally not think anything of it because the drive never disconnects or shows any signs that it is not functioning properly.  However, the clicking sound is loud enough for me to notice it so I wanted to see if this might be normal for this drive or if it could be a sign of failure.  The drive is only a couple of months old and it passes the S.M.A.R.T. and quick disk check tests in the WD Utilities app.  I am running OS X Mavericks on the MacBook and the drive is connected directly to one of the USB 3.0 ports with the original cable, not through a hub.




Clicking noises could relate to lack of proper power distribution, or head parking stress. I would recommend testing if your unit produces the same clicking sounds when connected to other computer systems. If it does not, then your system may not be providing enough power for fast energy distribution. If it does, then it could be a sign of head parking stress, and it would be best to replace the unit.

I previously got the Air 500GB and it worked good! No noise, very,very low heating, fast copying.

(I also got WD My Passport Essential SE 1TB once it has appeared on store shelves years ago. It is still working perfect.)

Recently, I sold the Air 500GB and today I upgraded to the Air 1TB. To my disappointing, the device is generating metal-clicking sounds. Obviously - sounding heads. Sometimes, the drive heads park with different level of loudness.

When in idle state, head sounds (like during calibrating phase) randomly occur and LED is flashing even if no any access to the file system. Why?

There is also HDD-specific noise when copying files, especially when accessing the beginning of the disk space. During the format process after some space passed this “copying” noise starts to decrease.

In Linux, the GParted is “thinking” a MINUTE when acessing (scanning) this protable device. No idea why.

I updated firmware to the latest build .59 - no change.

Tested with MacBook Air with various OS.

Got this product from WD Online store (WD Logistics, Torrance, CA) with a good educ discount.

Doesn’t such a discount mean that I got a “Stock B” product?

My question to WD engineers:

Is amount of platters per unit of inside disk drive volume same for the Air 500GB and 1TB models? (Actually, this question is about reliability). May be better go with the Air 500GB if longer lifetime is preferred?

Thank you.