WD Black drive executes a head seek every 15 seconds

Got a new WD Black drive, and I’m hearing a loud head seek operation every 15 seconds on the dot. This occurs even when sitting in the BIOS. I’ve read that some WD drives have an issue with excessive automatic head parking behavior, but supposedly the Black drives aren’t affected by this, and why would it repeatedly park the heads when they’re already parked?

Anyway, anyone else experienced this?

Check whether the Load/Unload Cycle Count is incremented in the SMART report. You will need a tool such as CrystalDiskInfo, not Data Lifeguard.

The seeking could be background scanning or “patrol seeks”. If a drive flies over the same area for too long, the platter lubricant may be affected.

CrystalDiskInfo reports a Load/Unload Cycle Count of 200/200. It does not change every time I hear the head movement sound. The sound is somewhat louder and deeper than the normal head movement noise when the drive is reading data.

No, they’re the normalised Current and Worst values. You need to watch the raw value. You can switch from hexadecimal mode to decimal mode to make it easier to understand.

Okay, here you go:

ID Cur Wor Thr RawValues(6) Attribute Name
01 200 200 _51 000000000000 Read Error Rate
03 186 182 _21 000000000E4A Spin-Up Time
04 100 100 __0 00000000002C Start/Stop Count
05 200 200 140 000000000000 Reallocated Sectors Count
07 100 253 __0 000000000000 Seek Error Rate
09 100 100 __0 0000000001FC Power-On Hours
0A 100 253 __0 000000000000 Spin Retry Count
0B 100 253 __0 000000000000 Recalibration Retries
0C 100 100 __0 00000000001B Power Cycle Count
C0 200 200 __0 00000000000F Power-off Retract Count
C1 200 200 __0 00000000001D Load/Unload Cycle Count
C2 110 105 __0 000000000025 Temperature
C4 200 200 __0 000000000000 Reallocation Event Count
C5 200 200 __0 000000000000 Current Pending Sector Count
C6 100 253 __0 000000000000 Uncorrectable Sector Count
C7 200 200 __0 000000000000 UltraDMA CRC Error Count
C8 100 253 __0 000000000000 Write Error Rate

Load/unload count pretty low. Definitely not ticking up every time I’m hearing the drive head move.

Okay, so apparently this noise is caused by a “feature” called Preventive Wear Leveling. Would have been nice if they’d implemented this feature to be quieter, but I guess WD just doesn’t care.