WB Black makes a lot of strange sounds

Hi there

My WD5001AALS-00L3B2 (WD Black 500 GB SATA) makes a lot of strange sounds.

Every once in a while, seemingly quite random - sometimes repeatedly for minutes, sometimes hours in between - the drive starts to make a stuttering sound.

First some smattering with a frequency of some 4-5 Hz or so, followed by a “durr durr”. Repeated over and over again for a different amount of times. It sounds quite a lot like a flock of pigeons

Ticka tacka ticka tacka durr durr.

Ticka tacka ticka tacka durr durr.

Ticka tacka ticka tacka ticka tacka durr durr.

*long silence of random length*

Ticka tacka ticka tacka durr durr.

Ticka tacka ticka tacka durr durr.

I have ran the gamut of LifeGuard Diagnostics, S.M.A.R.T tools and observed Process Explorer and process monitor, and I can’t for the life of me find an error or discern the reason.

All processes are idle when the sound appears, and it does not seem to come from antivirus or other application activity. Indexing service is disabled.

I run XP64 SP2 on a Phenom II on an ASUS M3A78-EM.

The harddrive is filled from end to end with a TrueCrypt container file, as this is a workstation that I move between locations from time to time.

Anyone have a clue as to whether this drive is dying or something? It is not very old and it runs flawless otherwise.

Thank you


Did you verify the SATA cable? Also if possible test your drive using a different computer.

lol please try to record the sound

ticka tacka its good for a song :stuck_out_tongue:

HDD will die soon. Backup your data ASAP.

Really? Because the drive performs flawless and is not very old.

SMART says it’s in good shape. WD test utility says it’s in good shape.

The only thing strange about it is the periodic fluttering sound.

I’ll get a new one just to be sure, but I generally don’t much like “Waah! Shoot it!” solutions.

I brought a good recorder to work to see if I could capture the sound, but I have had noisy coworkers around every day.

Anyway, thank you for taking time to give advice.

I don’t think you’re the only one experiencing this. My Black also makes unusual sounds sometimes, and have heard of other people experiencing this also. The thing that every case seems to have in common is that the sound only appears when the drive is IDLE. If I make the drive do anything, the noise instantly stops, only to return after the drive returns to idle state again. Could you post a recording of the noise so that I could compare it to mine?

Unfortunately I don’t think anyone has found a solution to this yet. I don’t know if the problem is serious or not, but it’s somewhat annoying because the noise is much louder than the drive normally is. Like your drive, mine also passes all tests 100%, and I have not noticed any other problems with it except this noise. It’s been doing this for about 4 months now. I don’t think the noise can be caused by software, because some people have reported hearing it even when a drive is not plugged in a computer, only the PSU.

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I put another drive next to this one and moved over all my data.

It still makes that clucking noise now and then, even though it is formatted and empty and just idling along.

Formatting and scanning for bad clusters gave no indications of fault.

I can post a sound clip if anyone can suggest an appropritate place to store it?

Change it while you can. I just lost 2 drives in RAID 1 configuration. They where bought 6 months ago.

You could use a service like SoundCloud to upload, if you like.