My brand new WD Black 4TB has a constant ticking every 4 seconds. There are no reads or writes being done on the drive from any software. It is something to consistent, already checked virus scanning software. Any idea what this is and how to fix it before I pull it out to return it? It is ultimately annoying.
It is caused by something they call “wear leveling technology”. It is intended to extend the working life of the drive, it is not a defect. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any way to disable it. While this feature might be appropriate for a server array, it is completely inappropriate for drives intended for consumer desktop applications. Until WD gets rid of this feature or at least provide a clear indication if a particular drive has it, I would recommend avoiding WD drives for desktop systems if a silent system is what you want, because these things are very noisy. So much so that you can even physically feel the vibration in the case each it clicks. You have to think that these constant physical shocks the system is experiencing can’t be all that good for all of the other electrical connections in the case.
My WD Black 4TB is doing the same thing as sspiel’s. I’ve read about PWL (the wear leveling thing) in a few other forum posts. I’ve tried to reduce the vibrations throughout my case as much as I can, with anti-vibration screws and strips of silicone in the drive bay’s mounting tracks, but it can only do so much…when the major source of the vibration is coming from inside the drive.
I’ve considered the constant vibration and what it might do to the lifespan of the other components in my system…I really hope it doesn’t hurt them.
I built this PC about 7 months ago, and I had mostly gotten used to the clicking, or otherwise I wear headphones and can’t hear much of anything with them on. But even without headphones, I had sort of gotten used to the sound, until a friend pointed it out to me, and it started to bug me again… So I’ve been trying for the past few weeks to think of anything I can do to reduce the vibrations. There’s not much else I can do. I wish I’d known about this before I’d bought the drive, or payed more attention to it soon after I’d built everything else.
Pwnstix, after much hair pulling…I pulled the drive out and made sure that ALL of the mounting screws were level and fully tightened. One was not very easy to reach in my machine, so it took awhile to figure out how to get to it without disassembling the whole machine. After all of that…the clicking and vibrations stopped in the drive. I suspect that the drive head, if it is anything but perfectly level, is trying to park and that is the continual clicking. It helped tremendously. I do every once in a while hear the wear level technology, checking the drive, but it is nothing compared to what was happening. I was ready to pull the drive and return it when I gave it one more go with the screws. Maybe double check that the drive is mounted securely and totally level! Hope this helps
Glad you could solve you problem with it. I’ve had my drive out a few times, Fastening and re-fastening all the screws on the mounting brackets. Actually, the last time I had it out, I took the screws out and just used the built-in pins (and even cannibalized some pins from the spare drive brackets that came with my case, so I could put pins in all the holes), because the screws were warping the plastic of the drive brackets, and making it difficult to securely insert it into the drive bay.
I’ve put more vibration damping in around the drive cage, as much as I can, anyway, using strips of silicone and more vibration damping screws in the spots where the drive cage screws to the case.
My drive cage makes it so the drives can only be mounted vertically, which shouldn’t be a problem…but I suppose it’s possible that it’s still not perfectly level, since it’s at a 90 degree angle.
I lowered the frequency of some of the noise by disabling monitoring of my drives with hwinfo64. I just check them periodically now, although I can also lower the S.M.A.R.T. polling rate in that program, as well.
I’m pretty much resigned to the PWL noise now. I think it’s just common for drives of this capacity.
Ask WD for a tool or a firmware to disable this bad function !
A year and a half later and they did nothing… Figures…