WD Elements 16TB - Unidentified start up sound


Here’s an audio of the WD Elements 16TB drive starting up:

Between 15 secs & 18 secs there are 2 distinct “drilling” noises.

I haven’t heard a drive make them before and am trying to figure out if they are a sign of a faulty drive or are normal?

And if they are normal, what is the drive doing?

As for the rest of the audio, I assume the sounds prior to that are normal?

I now know that the repetitive clicks following it are probably due to "a feature used to prevent disturbances in media lube due to prolonged dwelling at a single location”.

I need to copy a mega ton of data to this drive, but don’t want to start that process until I know it’s ok, so your help would be much appreciated.

A friendly note to WD Staff:

The following posts are also referring to the same start up noise, and you have directed those users to WD articles explaining hard drive noises.
Unfortunately none of those articles address this particular noise, and I can’t find any information about it anywhere else, therefore I, and I’m sure others, would be grateful if you could address it here.

(apologies for the formatting, I have a 2 link limit)

Many thanks in advance


We recommend you kindly refer to the following KBA article (Why Does My Hard Drive Make Noise?)

Ha ha very funny, but seriously, all joking aside, I and others really do need a proper answer on this one please.

Unless of course you are being serious, and we have somehow overlooked the answer in those KBAs.

If so, can you help us out by copying & pasting the specific information relating to this noise here in this post.

Many thanks

I haven’t looked through all the other threads mentioned, but the noise recording you posted sounds completely normal - the noise is just part of the seek test / initialization on this model of drive. There are numerous recordings on YT with exactly the same noise, like this one (turn the volume up as the recording level is very quiet):

I actually think it sounds kind of cool :wink:

Thanks Iwhh.

Customer Services listened to the sound and said:

“it appears that your drive is producing unusual sound and I would recommend you to get your drive replaced under warranty”

As it was still within the timeframe to return for refund I decided to do that instead as I didn’t want to risk going back and forth with the same issue.

Since then I have heard your drive and opinion, as well as feedback from reddit users, resulting in the overarching opinion that the sound is perfectly normal.

Why WD representatives don’t know this, and why it’s not included in any of their documentation/help articles is beyond me. Surely it would save everyone time and money.

Anyway, now I know it’s normal (as is the drives performance that I queried in sep posts) I have gone ahead and purchased another one.

Hopefully this knowledge will ease the minds of anyone else having a similar concerns.

All the best