Periodic Noise from Head Movement WD Black 4TB


I returned my drive. In a near-silent computer, it was driving me crazy. This kind of thing should be configurable.

It’s the first time in 10+ years that I’ve had to buy a Seagate drive, as it seems all the WD drives (and also their subsidiary, HGST) now exhibit this issue/‘feature’. I’ll gamble on the reliability of the Seagate rather than try to put up with unnecessary noise every 5 seconds.


Could not agree with you more… Based on all the reviews and comments here I think a replacement will be a waste of time. Hopefully not but I will post back after I get the New Drive.


I just contacted WD again due to not wanting to change out my drive unless absolutely necessary. The WD rep. told me that the drive should not be making any (not normal sounds every 5 sec and should just be normal sounds like my 13 other HD’s) and recommended I proceed with the replacement. He also said that if the new drive is making this noise I should contact them again about it. I made him aware of this thread on the forum and he said he would escalate the issue and hopefully we will get an official response from WD on this.
I hope this helps and we do get an official response.


I just forwarded this to the Level III guy I spoke with last year. I have doubts that it’s a defect – I mean, what are the odds of 8 drives having the same exact defect? I have a feeling I’m going to regret asking that question :wink:

I’ve got 8 of these things in a RAID (4 each on two machines) that are constantly being monitored by the RAID controller. Haven’t had any issues (it’s only been 6 months) but the SMART data all look fine. I haven’t seen any movement from that.



Dobster, Any word back from the Level III guy?

I found this today, not sure when it was published, but it confirms what both of the WD techs. told me about the 5 sec noise.

Abnormal drive sounds include:
•Clicking or clunking sounds that occur repeatedly


No word back yet. I actually have a direct line phone # too. Just called but got voicemail, but I will try again in a bit. I left him an email that basically said that there’s still much confusion on the PWL topic and that there really needs to be “sticky” post or FAQ on this periodic noise from PWL.

As far as your issues, I honestly think it’s routine and I wouldn’t bother sending the drive back, but that’s me. I have 8 of them and they all do it (my machines are in a rack in a computer closet so I can’t hear them). I have seen a few other threads online. Just search “WD PWL” or some variant and you’ll find some info. One guy mentioned that he had several drives from different manufacturing dates that all do it. So unless the sound is an annoyance, I’d probably just let it go.


New drive arrived with same Firmware as listed above. So far no 5 second seeks or ticks. Time will only tell as it took 20 days for it to show up before.
So far I am only hearing normal head movement sounds like my other drives.

I will post back if this changes as I am now in a new 30 day replacement window if needed.


My new drive is def. not making the same noises.
dswv42 just had 2 of the 4TB Golds replaced due to my findings and he is currently running diags on both but said the new drives have a totally different sound…
Here is a link to our posts on the forum:


I just viewed that “Post 6” video and my drives definitely don’t sound like that. Mine sounds like a short little (normal) head-movement sound…It just happens every 5 seconds when the drive is idle.



I have a Gold and it doesn’t make this noise. But that’s a different line of drives. The ones I documented were 4tb Black drives.
I’ll try to contact Level III guy again today…



Thanks, Hopefully the Level III guy will shed some light on the issue.

In my case the 1st 4TB Gold was doing the 5 sec ticks but none of my Black drives are doing it.
2 2TB Black
3 3TB Black
So far the replacement 4TB Gold drive is not doing it.


May I ask which Seagate drive you bought and is it quiet. I have returned three 4TB Gold drives and am actively looking for a 4-6TB drive.


Not 4TB, but I went with a Barracuda 3TB (ST3000DM008). Much cheaper, too.

I’m not holding my breath on how long it lasts, but there’s nothing too important on it that I don’t have a copy elsewhere.


Why in the world would tech support not just say what the problem is with the thumping noise, instead of letting me run a test that takes over 8hrs for a 4tb drive?

Obviously the guy in tech is either new, or wants to avoid their customers complaints. I have the Be Quiet Dark Base Pro 900 Case with Silent wing 3 fans and Noctura DH-15 Cooler which comes with excellent and very quiet fans.

Also I have tinnitus and still hear the bloody noise thump… thump… thump as if someone was in my backyard hammering on something. Not impressed as all my drives over the years (since window inception) have been WD when purchasing new drives and none of them made this stupid sound.

Any advice on dampening the sound?

WD Red WD3001FFSX - 5 second click/tick when idle

I just purchased two 6TB Black (WD6001FZWX drives and experienced the same periodic head cluck sound about every 5 seconds. Over the years have owned a lot of Hitachi and HGST drives and not experience this behavior. Called and found it was evident that the tech support does not read this blog and had me do all kinds of test with different enclosures, computers, and cables. Find it hard to get to use to in my “quiet” creative computer room with its barely audible cooling fans in the background.


The last reply was in Jul 2017. Is there anything new?

I’ve bought a 10TB red. It makes the clicking sound when idle.

My 3 TB Red, 8 TB Red and 3 TB Green don’t do that annoying sound so nobody can tell me that it is normal.


WD Gold 4Tb with the same exact “issue” here. Can I be sure it’s actually not an issue but just a (f… annoying) feature?


According to WD its normal on newer HDD’s, my 2016 Red do not do it but the 2017 Red Pro’s did so I got rid of them, far too hot and loud period.

I replied here and my own post on topic (zero feed back here) is in the link in my post.


I get the 5 sec clicks too, the cause was the smart tool hddhealth. i install it to see how much temperature the harddrive get. and then i notice later this clicks with my wd
-red. I try boot my win on a small win 10 64 usb install and here was no click hear. so i disable in services the start of hddhealth for a test and i notice no clicks, maybe there are other smart check tools for drive health that cause clicks on some WD drives. I have many WD drive but only the WD red do click. the click is hear so constant because i use a system ssd. the WD is only for images videos and downloads. mostly it do no access


4tb black - I am so sick and tired of the “chunking” noise every 5 seconds or so. Its annoying as heck. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Banging…Head movement noise…chunking noise.