Whirring noise on new drives ONLY at shutdown?!?

i recently got two new wd drives. both identical 2tb blacks. they both make a “strange” noise ONLY when shutting down desktop pc. this sound is new to me, and i have been using wd drives for decades. over that time i have never heard this sound - ever! these are the latest drives i got, with the newest last one being abut 2 years ago, so maybe it’s normal? but i am still concerned. i don’t want to start using them only to have them fail later.

i have read a couple of existing threads here and it seems, if i read and accepted them at face value, the noise may be “normal”. i also read the official noise article here; support-en.wd. com/app/answers/detail/a_id/16309 – the “Whirring noise” part kinda somewhat puts me at ease, though it does not mention “at shutdown”, only the opposite. so kinda worried still.

here are both drives making the noise. you may want to temporarily increase your volume by a bunch to get the best results;

the longer one you can hear the fans and pc running and then the power button being pushed and THEN the drive making that noise. there is no confusion. the second clip is the other drive doing the same, but i kept the clip shorter with just the drive sound.

obviously i “tested” the drives with programs like crystal disk info and such, and everything seems fine. but to me, thinking “old school” and comparing this noise to my brain’s hdd database, it would seem to be a heads / arm “issue” where maybe the drives are physically damaged and as it shuts down and the arm retracts it “hits” the spinning platters and produces that noise. that’s how i interpret that noise and will continue to do so unless wd staff says otherwise. if new mechanical drives (2018 and later) truly all do this and it is normal, maybe best to expand the front sticker of the drives to include a short blurb about it. ie:“a short whirring type noise is normal during this drive’s shutdown”. it would get rid of most such tickets and put users at ease from the get go.

i would really prefer a WD staffer to reply about this so i can perhaps rest easy. ie: community.wd. com/u/tech_wanderer/summary – if not, i might have to swap out both drives (3 year warranty and just 2 weeks old, so my local store WILL just outright swap them out no problems.) and see if two new ones do it too.

finally, why is this official WD site using let’s encrypt? really? major companies should use digi cert or similar not a free CA that is meant for the “poor” public. does not bode well as optics!! on top of that it’s not even covering the site properly. the above user link (the wd staffer) shows that - unsecure!!

finally, the two non clip links i spaced out the domain so that i could post them. you see, in case you don’t know, this silly scrolling type forum only allows two links from “new” users… yeah…

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The hard clicks due to a head park operation during shutdown or entering sleep mode produce this sound and considered normal.

Run diagnostics using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows tool to ensure optimal drive health.




The hard clicks due to a head park operation during shutdown or entering sleep mode produce this sound and considered normal.

Run diagnostics using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows tool to ensure optimal drive health.

hi. thanks for replying - that is good to see.

i see what you wrote, i get it, but right now i am at a stage (after spending some time reading more, “researching” hdd sounds, and “web chatting” to others) where even an official reply is a little “fuzzy”. you say it’s normal to have a “sound” during head park or entering sleep mode, but you do not explicitly say that you are talking about MY sounds. the two (identical ones) i uploaded and linked to.

did you listen to MY recordings and are saying those are normal? because you may be thinking of something in your head that is not what my drives produce. could you reply one more time and confirm that you listened to my sounds (above) and that those you consider as normal? PLEASE!!!

i played the sounds to one of the “tech” guys at the the store i got them from (linked above, PLE) and he instantly said those are not normal. here is the easy way i will be able to “prove” it. if i get two new replacements and those do not make ANY sound like my two current ones, then what? …and again, the guy at the store selling them did not deflect or try and claim they are normal, he outright just said that is not normal and “bring them back”.

i know, everyone is a “genius” on the net, but still, other people seem to also concur about those noises NOT being normal. Reddit - Dive into anything

i am now “confused”. in the same pc i have other WD drives, namely, 5tb black hdd from 2015, 8tb datacenter gold hdd from 2018, 2tb 2d black x2 from 2012. (not to count the m2 and one ssd) the system is “silent” and there is absolutely no mechanical noise of any kind at shutdown.

no, i’m … not happy… if you reply after listening to my sounds (or if you have, and you mean those sounds “are” normal) and re-confirm that they are normal, okay, but since the store will also “check” (and hopefully replace on the spot) and if the replacements will not make any sound, then what would you say?

my plan now is to return to store and just get store credit. (i don’t need those two 2tb drives s such, i was just gonna “refresh” them since i “can” but now i’m scared off somewhat.) if they insist on only replacements, okay, i’ll also try to get the ultrastar range instead, as those seem to have some “better” specs anyway. and if i am forced to accept replacements and only other black ones, so be it, but whilst there, i will ask them to check them. if they two make sounds then what? if they accept those noises are not normal and are willing to swap out, surely if the replacements “squeak” too whilst there, with them testing, then surely they accept that we keep swapping until they don’t or that “sh!t, maybe our whole box is bad” and agree to let me try two datacenter ones, priced identical so no drama about that - even if they were more, i’d pay the extra. (or just give me credit, so they still keep the same money) or maybe they will try and “play” me and say they will send to WD HQ or whomever and do the “long” road version. i can play that game too as i do not need the drives. i was just “refreshing” two 8 year old ones because i could so i will not be “hurting” waiting 1 month or so. of course going that route i will “review” the store and WD all over the internet (not lying!, just stating facts and opinions)

i truly appreciate your “official” reply, but am not sure if you are talking about my noise or a softer “click” type one that you’re imagining i’m talking about if you did not hear my ones.
PLEASE LISTEN TO MY RECORDING AND REPLY ANEW WITH A NEW STATEMENT OR A RE-CONFIRMATION THAT THOSE SOUNDS ARE NORMAL. (and again, i sound like a broken record i know, but if so that means any replacements of the black kind should also have that sound. is this a new “feature” implemented after a certain year? my last black one from 2015, a 5tb one does not do this, or any of my older ones from even before.)

i’m babbling on, i know… so i better stop.

Did you get to the bottom of this? I installed a pair of 2tb Red drives last year, and they make a short whirring/screeching sound on shutdown, as if something is hitting something spinning and acting as a brake. They are still working fine, but the 1tb Reds that were in there before never made this sound.

Seriously, in June 2020, Harry_who spent an incredible amount of time getting an explanation for the sound being mentioned. I am now here in May 2022 another (usually happy) customer who has run into this problem. I have also spent really many hours calling around, writing and researching online, all the time I have spent equals a value where I could buy 15 new hard drives if I had spent the time working.

The only thing that Harry_who and I, as well as many others want, is to get a sensible explanation of exactly these drives (WD Red Pro 2002FFSX), what is physically happening in the drive, that generates the sound with accompanying vibrations when the drive shuts down.

Speaking in general with support they refers to WD general information with sounds describing normal operation and noises at a faulty drive, it does NOT solve this issue. Why has this not been described exactly what it is, what is the reason, so customers can feel safe, and not have to worry as we see over several years.

It is shameful that WD can not answer correctly and informatively about this.

It should not just be an explanation like “it’s ok it says so when it shuts down”. The answer must contain information about which part creates the sound, and what is the reason why this particular type of drive works that way. And all the other information that can create an understanding of why this type of drive stands out that way.

This is what another user has written, which again proves we are missing exact information about what exactly is going on in the drive, is it that hard WD?

”That is NOT normal “whirring”, that’s vibration. It sounds like failing spindle bearings. The heads are parked literally as soon as you hit the power button. The instant it loses power, the drive activates what’s called an emergency retract - it has to instantly snap the heads into the landing zone before it loses the air cushion from the platters slowing down (it also increments SMART attribute 192 when you do that, it is a hard wear event). That is what the loud click is.”

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Jonty.S (WDStaff) wrote in June 2020 “The hard clicks due to a head park operation during shutdown or entering sleep mode produce this sound and considered normal.”

Now that the topic/problem has been brought up again, there should be a responsible “Staff” person who could investigate it further, and enrich us with an explanation that is useful, rather than the above which is not worthy, and decidedly wrong, as there is no documented information that supports the information provided.

I can state that several drives have been sent back to our dealer as an RMA case, and the new drives we get have similar problems, so we are in an endless exchange process, as the dealer is convinced they are faulty.

So the question is, is it a bug, or is it a normal sound for just that type of drive. We spend a lot of time, a lot of money, on deleting data, sending drives back, and getting new ones with the same “error”.

So “WDStaff”, come into operation, and help the customers, that’s what we have such a forum for, is not it?

After turning off my PC, a short squake sound caught my attention.
This week I had bought a WD Elements of 6 TB at a webshop. And a WD Blue 4TB (WD40EZAZ) at another webshop. The WD Elements is already sent back and accepted by the webshop as not ok.
The WD Blue will be sent back tomorrow. That webshop asked me to send this HDD back to get a new one, after the webshop has listened to the sound I had recorded during shutting down of this HDD.
The sounds of both HDDs can be heard here:
Normally you don’t expect any extra noise when turning off the HDD, only turning off the spindle motor.
I have outstanding questions about this sound at the Western Digital Company and I hope to get clarity soon.

It has surprised me a lot (it is actually very worrying) that we cannot get a definitive explanation from WD as to what is the cause of the sounds that appear when the drive spins down in speed. The phenomenon has been written, and asked about since 2020, and only guesses or arrogant remarks have emerged. We responsible loyal WD customers are missing a concrete professional explanation of what physically causes these sounds to appear.
Such an explanation would be worthy of WD. But now, after 3 years of dialogue, no useful answer.

yellow, I feel for you, and by the way your links to the sound give the following: 404 Not Found

im here because i have the same issue. I listened to the sound clips, and the noise experience is the same. Brand new WD 2TB black drive.

im going to investigate ASPM settings in BIOS.

There is no way im gifting this build with that noise.

I tried another PC, I tried ASPM settings. These didn’t help. I’m sorta depressed about it all.


We have reached out to you via direct message, so we request you kindly check and reply to your DMs so that we can assist you further.

Hi, I have a similar “problem”, that seems not to be according this thread.

What do you think?


I’ve got the same problem – same sound exactly – than the person who reported the issue in the first place.
Would it be possible to get the information to get to the bottom of this?
I’ve got it when a WD Gold 1To shuts down when I turn off my computer.
Actually, if the drive has a problem, it’s not a big issue. The issue would be not knowing the drive has a problem and losing data.

Best regards

I have exactly the same sound on my WD Black 2TB…The disk was fine for a year and a half… completely normal operation until I’ve build a completely new PC and the guys in store installed this disk in the new PC. Then it started to do the same sound on shut down…I still had warranty so I got a new 2TB Black which I installed personally and it had exactly the same sound just a tinny bit quieter…I returned it and asked to exchange for an ssd. So we’ll see. Very weird

Exactly the same noise when shutting down like harry_who (first post, btw.: TY for the audio-clips) - i thought defective bearings - with two WD Black 2TB (WD2003FZEX), one renewed (made in Malaysia 2022), one new (made in Thailand 2023).

Spend hours for to erase all data from the renewed one, bought a brandnew as replacement, and again, the same noise, only a little less loud.

I firm every word from Wilfred_Knut´s post what matters the point that there is no answer to the question. Let´s see if there comes an answer now. I will wait some days and if no answer comes, i will return the new HDD too and change for Seagate (since i have in my old PC two Seagate Barracuda that are 12 years old, still run, no strange noises) or another brand.

Yes, defective bearings, that is too what i thought (see my post, Nov.4, same prob like harry_who).

Same problem here, with two WD Black i just bought. I would say a defective bearing (see my post in this thread from Nov.4). Me too, I would too like to receive a precise answer what is the cause of this noise.

Me too hear. My new Red Plus makes me cringe when shut down. It can’t be an intended sound (IMHO)