I’ve have a 3TB My Book Studio FW800/USB 2.0 external hard drive for about 6 months. It now makes a consistent clicking or “knocking” noise when spinning but idle. It seems to have gotten louder for the last few months. It sounds very similar to the loud noise older hard drives would make when you would write or read to them. Its really loud - not something I can stand having on in my studio - in which I sometimes record music.
Activity monitor and another app called MBBench that shows disk activity show no reading or writing to the disk when I’m hearing this noise. And spotlight is not indexing.
Oddly, when I copy large amounts of data to or from the drive it actually gets quieter while copying the data - which means the noise i’m hearing is not the normal write/read noise. It’s as if the head is constantly moving around spastically when the drive is idle or something. When the drive is powered, but not spun up (ie unmounted) the noise does not happen.
It makes the noise when connected via Firewire or USB, on both of my macs - which are 3.5 years apart in age.
Is this normal? Reviews of the drive i’ve read don’t mention this sound at all. I ask because of this situation:
So - I figured my drive was going to die soon and I ordered an advance warranty replacement - so now I have a 2nd one to copy my data onto. The new drive was beautifully quiet - at first. After a reformat and partitioning into the two partitions I want using disk utility, and then an overnight copy of all the files from my old WD drive, I come back in the morning and the new My Book Studio warranty replacement drive is making the same horrible noise when idle!
Just because i am curious, I tried reformatting the new drive - that did not help.
The new drive has up to date firmware (old one does not anymore). I did quick drive tests on both drives with the WD utility and both passed. Both drives also pass disk utility verification.
Is this warranty replacement drive bad also? Have I such bad luck? or maybe is something else going on?