Strange noise coming from 10TB drives (WD100EFAX)

Very interesting, thanks for investigating the issue.
We have probably one piece of the puzzle.
It might be because most people use some kind of raid in NAS devices? If I’m not totally mistaken, I believe using JBOD doesn’t trigger this process, whatever it is. But my memory may fail me, the thread is so long :sweat_smile:

Hello together,
I think I have the same problem as you:
Hard disk (WD100EMAZ-00WJTA0, Firmware 83.H0A83),3 month old, is installed in a QNAP NAS TS-453BE and is used for home automation and torrent. As long as the hard disk is under full operation: No problems. But when it is not being stressed, then this strange sound every 5-10 Seconds.
Have any of you opened a support case at WD?

I believe the WD100EMAZ came from a shucked USB MyCloud product.

These disks are not very good for NAS use.

Better off with WD Gold series which are better suited.

Yes, I have. Was told to run the usual diagnostic software, it didn’t find any errors. And that was that, didn’t receive any more support regarding the issue.

Normal Red drives that are sold as raid drives have this problem also, so it has nothing to do with shucked drives.

I had bought the WD EFAX 8Tb and had the same phenomenon with a QNAP 253Be in raid mode and therefore came across this treat. The support did not want to help me and claimed that it is a normal noise. I have therefore returned the hard drives. Then I bought from HGST HW HGST Ultrastar He10 HUH721010ALE604, which unfortunately have the same problem but much quieter than the EFAX. Despite all this, the noise is so annoying. I hope so much that there is a solution soon, I can not stand the noise.

My two cents…

Synology DS212j, RAID-1. Replaced two WD40EFRX (4 TB) with two WD80EFAX (8 TB) to increase capacity, and here you go! The sounds seem to begin around the same time every day, provided the NAS run continuously, and go on for about an hour or two (or maybe less than an hour, not sure). Then they stop. Last time it happened around 4 a. m., and kept me from falling back to sleep for a while, but that will probably become less of a problem as I get used to them. Other than that, I don’t find these sounds particularly annoying (but the NAS is like 3 meters away), but I was worried they might be a sign of a hardware problem. But reading this topic (OK, not reading, skimming, as 226 posts are a little bit too many), I get the idea that even though it is experienced by many people, nobody actually have experienced these drives failing?

My NAS is used for A LOT of things, if that is of any help, but the most HDD-intense applications would be a torrent client (constantly running, mostly seeding) and nightly Acronis backups (10–50 GB worth of writes 6 nights a week, 200–250 GB once a week).

I’m not sure if I buy any WD drives in the future. They are quiet most of the time, and the previous two drives ran for 7 years without a single bad sector, which is something. And if this is due to some new technology, then there is no telling whether the other vendors will or won’t use it. But then again, in 5–10 years, maybe it’ll make more sense to buy SSDs instead, so I’d rather not worry about it today.


I have the same problem with D720+ and three 12TB WD120EMFZ.
Low-bass beep noise. Around 5 to 20 beeps per time, rarely over 100 beeps.
Since last November, I heard the noise everyday at the same time, the NAS boot up time.

I read this topic carefully, but didn’t find any resolution.
How did you resolve the problem?

I contacted the support teams several times.
Synology said it’s not NAS problem, but could be a hard disk issue.
Western Digital said no problem from three supporters and
later the fourth guy said getting RMA.

I tried several hard disk tests with Western Digital DLGDIAG, HD Tune Pro, and HD Sentinal.
Many Extended self-test, Surface test - Read test, Surface test - Reinitialize disk surface, and so on.
Unfortunately I didn’t find any error messages. All tests reported no problem.

There are no error and no notification from the D720+.
None in Reason for current Beep. No abnormal operation. A little load.
Nothing special. Only the beep noise.

I think I did everything I can do. Nothing to do any more. It took too much time and effort.
Now I am waiting for a noticeable problem to arise.

If you find any resolution, please let me know. Thanks.

In my case, I heard the noise everyday same time, the NAS boot up time.

I didn’t, sadly.
Just like you I contacted WD support, to no avail. It seems like it’s a design flaw, the drives are working fine, no errors. But the noise persists.

Hi there,

I recently purchased (late November/early December 2020) a Synology DS920+ with 2x 12TB WD Red Plus (WD120EFAX-68UNTN0).
I setup both drives as a SHR-1 volume (BTRFS) (so equivalent to RAID-1 with two drives) and I also face - among other - the same issue regarding that “humming” sound as heard in various audio files from this thread.

For now, it is mostly used as Plex server (for both local and remote streaming) and for extra storage space instead of my PC. I didn’t take note, but it seems that this sound runs at approx same time (8/9pm so very annoying as I’m always around at that time), although not every day, maybe 2 or 3 times per week.

SMART tests indicate 0 sectors at fault, and performance-wise, I absolutely have nothing to complain about, it seems to do the job perfectly. I thought about disabling RAID setup but reading some comments here, it does not change anything.

Also, -slight offtopic - my main issue is definitely about that systematic seek noise (every 5-10 sec when not hibernating), apparently common for all hellium-based drives now, wish I knew about it before buying, it’s only indicated hidden in one of their suppport FAQ post, which they gladly sent me in my support ticket.

It’s my first NAS setup ever so I don’t have any comparison data myself but I’ve been able to compare with two friends (both having WD 4TB drives in their Synology NAS), their drives are absolute silent with no humming nor “bop” noises every couple seconds …

At this point, it seems to be “designed” this way for all helium-based drives (>= 8TB ?) so I’m seriously considering switching to 6TB to get rid of all these annoyances. It seems WD support won’t risk to achnwoledge this nor do anything about.

@BDDam, if you’re considering 6 TB drives, be advised, that WD60EFAX are rumored to be SMR drives, at least according to this list:

I’m no expert in CMR vs SMR, but I’d rather avoid using SMR in RAID1.

Back on topic, my noise seems to have changed. I think it’s two times a day now (drives went out of sync?), and it’s not that regular any more, so instead of


I now have something more like


The drives seem to be working fine, though, and the sound doesn’t bother me that much, so I’m leaving it as is.

Hey there,

came across this thread while looking for answers to the noises I’m experiencing.
Just wanted to add to the findings.

I use two 8TB Gold (WD8004FRYZ) in RAID1 config in a QNAP NAS.
Those produce the same sound as in the videos and sound files posted earlier.
The pitch is a tad different, but that might be due to the recording environment.
I used older WD40EFRX before which didn’t produce anything similar.

In my case the noises appear on a pretty regular basis.
I didn’t track every occurrence, but it happens for sure each morning at around 8:30.

I don’t mean to spur any speculations, but this is about the time the RAID initially finished building for the first time. I was assuming a somewhat ‘hidden’ scheduled task so far.
I disabled Plex for a day and re-scheduled tasks like backup, malware & antivirus scan and SMART.
This did not change anything, the sound still occurred at around 8:30 in the morning.


If you mean a task scheduled by the NAS, that’s pretty unlikely, given all the evidence so far. NAS from different vendors have this issue. And if you power off your NAS for a while, you’ll probably notice that the time has shifted. So whatever causes these noises, it must run on some kind of internal timer/counter that ticks only when the drive is powered on, being completely unaware of the real (system) time. Most probably some internal housekeeping by the HDD’s firmware. So it is a kind of a hidden scheduled task, just scheduled by the drive itself.

Mine consistently beep at about 15:00 and 22:00 every day since the last power on, for example. Pretty sure that after I power the NAS off on the upcoming weekend, the times will be different again…

guess that make sense, yes

Oh, and one more thing: my WD80EFAX is actually a “new” WD80EFAX-68KNBN0, and it’s not helium-based, unlike “old” WD80EFAX-68LHPN0. So this issue apparently has nothing to do with helium.

Oh well that makes it even more interesting, so air-based 8TB do exist, that could at least address one of my concerns. I always assumed 8TB were now all helium… I was wrong.

Now if this also applies to air-based drives (same-ish firmware also used for new 8TB drives ?), I might as well at this point to just switch to another brand. I went with WD RED drives for their lower noise and consuption, but I’d rather opt in for a constant louder noise than facing random “activities”.

Funny enough, I might have found the sweet spot regarding that scheduled activity. I had to reboot the NAS after a system upgrade (rebooted around 8 / 8.30 pm) and I didn’t hear that noise in the last week since my initial post here. My guess it happens during night time now, hoping it’s gonna stay this way at least.

Thanks also for the drives list above, I never realized EFAX lineup was mixing SMR for lower storage vs. EFRX. Another good point … :man_facepalming:

There’s yet another thing… Apparently some of these 5400 drives are actually 7200:

So what do we have now? Mixing SMR and CMR within a single line of products, silently changing helium to air, weird noises (this topic) AND confusing RPM specs? This list is a bit too long for my taste already.

I don’t experience loud noises or heating, though. Mine are about 35–37 C (95–99 F), and are quiet enough when not emitting the topic noise. Although they are a bit louder than WD40EFRX, maybe that’s why?

I just hope the next time I need to expand my storage capacity, there will be an option to just buy large SSDs instead. Finding an honest HDD has become a little bit too hard.

Hello friends! My disk is WD Gold 8tb. The problem of this noise occurs 1. in idle 2. When lifting the T to the operating level (from 37 C), this problem disappears when disconnecting the SATA from the disk (I disconnect the SATA connector, leave the power on and turn on the computer). The disk I have is used as an audio storage, linked to SQL+audio streamer.


same story here: exact the same strange noise.
I am astonished that this is not an isolated problem and that there is no solution.

I have 4 x WD100EFAX in my Nas, all batch nr. 68LHPN0, but only 2 of them do have this problem:

  • 1 x WD100EFAX datestamp 01 MAR 2019 => has this strange noise
  • 1 x WD100EFAX datestamp 04 JAN 2019 => doesn’t have the strange noise
  • 1 x WD100EFAX datestamp 01 MAR 2019 => doesn’t have the strange noise
  • 1 x WD100EFAX datestamp 04 JUL 2019 => has this strange noise

I’m using these drives in a RAID5 setup.
As I understand from all stories above, there is no hope for any solution.

The reason for my reaction here is that I would like to ask this community which drives are truely silent as an alternative?
I recently bought a new WD RED plus 10 TB (WD101EFAX) and a new WD RED pro 10 TB (WD101KFBX), but both drives make so much noise.
This noise can best be described as a fan-noise of an old laptop, even when idle.
So I returned them.

Recently I also bought a WD mybook 18TB where I shucked the drive out (the drive inside is a white label called WD180EDGZ-11B2DAO).
This one is much quieter than the new WD RED plus or the new WD RED pro (it doesn’t make that fan-noise, although it’s also 7200 rpm).
This 18 TB drive is quiet when idle, but when reading/writing it makes more noise then the WD100EFAX.

Sofar I was always loyal to WD drives, but due to all the negative stories, my next HD does not have to be necessarily one from Western Digital.
As long as it is a quiet drive, I would be very happy.
Any recommendations here? (I prefer drives not smaller then 8 TB)