I had the same problem with my WD 500GB caviar SE blue drive. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what was causing the whole case to vibrate. It was an extremely annoying cyclic vibration that only happened once in a while. Even with sound dampening on the side panels and the case placed on carpet I was still hearing it some times.
First I thought it was one of the fans. I took out all the stock fans and installed quiet ones. I then tested by unplugging one fan at a time and eventually with everything unplugged and I was still getting it. When I put my ear up to the side panel I couldn't tell where it was loudest because the whole case was vibrating. I thought it was the video card / psu fan. I have since replaced both of those with quieter alternatives. I eventually gave up and just assumed it was some weird reverb effect going on when some fans were vibrating in sync or something.
What finally tipped me off that it was my secondary hdd was one day I noticed the vibrating start immediately after the WD drive spun up. I only used the WD for storage, and when I went to access files on the drive (which was often) I would get the vibration. Sure enough, as soon as I took the drive out my case was vibration free again. I couldn't believe that one drive was causing the whole big heavy case to vibrate that loudly, but it was.
I'd like to just blame this problem on cheap/flimsy cases, but that doesn't seem to be the problem. I think it is more poor design of the hdd cages. The hdd bays need silencers on them (like the Fractal R3 Design Define uses) and the rack as a whole needs to be really sturdy. I also think these WD drives vibrate more than normal because my samsung spinpoint f3 does not make my case vibrate at all.
Originally Posted by Zap
If it is an oscillating vibration, then the drives are not exactly the same RPM as each other. This (being slightly different operation) is normal, but since they are next to each other then periodically their vibrations would harmonize, making them more noticeable. Think "standing wave."
That might explain my situation because I had a 7200rpm spinpoint directly above the 5400rpm caviarSE that was making all the noise. Nevertheless, this drive seems to make a lot of vibrating noise even in the external enclosure I'm using it in now.Edited by FDS - 4/1/11 at 3:55pm