WD Elements Desktop 4TB - Spindown Sound (WD40EMAZ)

I recently purchased two desktop 4TB WD Elements drives and although they sound fine when spinning up and running, there’s an odd screech sound when spinning down. I have a few other 4TB desktop Elements drives (purchased last year) and they sound fine, but they’ve got WD Blues inside. I don’t recognise the model CrystalDiskInfo reports on these.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Audio link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lefubtovlt1v7b0/Spinup-Gap-Spindown.mp3?dl=0

Edit: I’ve run Data Lifeguard Diagnostics and the short test test passes. I’ll be running the long test soon.

Hi, same here, i bought a Western digital element desktop 4TB and i found a WD40EMAZ Inside, there is the same noise… .Im wondering how long this hard drive will works.
BTW i was a little bit sad to find a kind of white label hard drive inside, i havent tested it on my computer as an internal hard drive yet, i just hope there won’t be a 3,3 VOLT pin issue. I usually shuck hard drive of their enclosure to make faster copy in my computer and then reset the hard drive in the enclosure because i have a lots of small files of a few KiloBytes and the transfert rate can fall to a few ko/s when you do transfert in VIA usb3. even if for the larger file the transfert rate is 180mo/S.
When you own Millions of small files on your drive, shucking a drive is normal for data transfert otherwhise it will takes weeks of data transfert.
Tell us if your drive still works. bye

Hi, I’ve just bough a WD40EZAZ internal hard drive, this one’s with 256MB cache. I have the same spindown sound. I would love to hear about your drives how they perform a year later.

Hi ventusz,

The drive is still working fine but still makes the strange sound when spinning down. It’s only used occasionally and so it may not be the best drive to decide if it affects the performance or reliability in the long-term. The current SMART readings are as follows.

Interestingly, I did ask the very same question on the Data Hoarder Subreddit all those months ago (Link). One reply stated that they too had the same problem. In case the link doesn’t work in the future, here is a quote from Remcroft in that thread.

'It’s not a nice sound is it, mine is now a cold backup drive and I won’t buy another. It’s RZ or reds from now on.

All the AZ drives seem to do it, another one here (see link on Reddit) I RMAed mine, you can hear the one I RMAed here (see link on Reddit) the replacement was a refurb and is exactly the same so was a waste of time returning it.

The AZ drives are helium filled SMR drives, note the TRIM support. All of them seem to have this noisy spin up/down. The RZ versions of the same drives are non helium PMR and don’t have the same noise issue. I’ve got several WD60EZRZ that don’t do it.

The helium drives seem to have some sort of motor braking when they shutdown to bring the platters to a stop quicker, for some reason it’s noisy on these blue AZ drives. Maybe they get the noisy motors/bearings and the reds got the quiet ones. That’s my guess anyway but it appears to be normal as far as WD are concerned and Red helium drives don’t have the same issue.’

I did contact Western Digital support. Initially I received a standard stock-response asking to check the connections but after requesting that they listen to the audio clip, they recommended replacing the drive. I didn’t return it, mostly because of experience outlined in the Reddit reply.

I hope this helps.

I need a WD40EMAZ to use for a data recovery project, can you please give me the P/N of the WD Element Desktop 4TB so that I know which external drive I have to buy in order to find a WD40EMAZ inside ??
it should be something like, WDBWLG0040HBK-XB ? , or -??? ,

There appear to be two part numbers.

  • External Enclosure Label as ‘Drive P/N’

  • Retail SKU for 4TB Elements Desktop

Hope this helps.