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Do you ever get used to regular Hard drive operation sounds?

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you ever get used to regular Hard drive operation sounds?

Hi all,

I just purchased a WD Blue 4TB drive. I popped it into my Antec 300 case and noticed a ringing/high pitched sound. The sound is somewhat unpleasant to me.

It's replacing an old 500 GB WD Blue drive from 2010 which although sounding rougher when spinning up and down, and when being heavily accessed was mostly silent? I popped in an old Hitachi 2TB from 2011 that has a constant sound like the WD Blue 4TB but it's not really unpleasant.

So I swapped out the WD Blue 4TB with another one just to check if I got a lemon. Alas it's the same sound. I'm currently just going to see how I like it for a week.

Do you ever get used it and "drown" it out when you're not paying attention to it? What are some good ways to remove normal operation sound coming from what I'm assuming is just the platter spinning?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 04:55 PM
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Maybe you have very sensitive ears in the high pitch range?

I only ever hear the sound of the read/write actuator clicking on drives under load if the rest of my environment is utterly silent... GPU whine is the only obnoxious noise I've ever experienced over the past decade.

If you really don't have a dud.. only solution I can offer is to go full SSDs in your local PC and build a nas running the HDDs, put that in a closet somewhere...

My computer room is full of the constant sound of fans, so that does mask out a lot of noise for me.. namely the horrid GPU cracking whine my old vega 64 used to make.. Constant fan sounds can be pleasant once you get used to it.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 05:56 PM
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Probably a frequency you don't like.
Some HDDs are especially loud, some are fairly quiet.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I just tried a different power supply I had kicking around that I've used for many years and has never produced coil whine at all. Still got the same high pitched sound. 100% positive it's the hard drive now. I assume it's normal operation though.

I'm leaning towards returning the drive. It's just so frustrating, wasting a lot of time on this. And it's not like someone will let me try every drive available to see which sounds pleasantly. Feel like I'm in a rock and a hard place. Gah!

SSD's is the right suggestion for sound but I worry about endurance since I do a lot of saving, deleting, copying, pasting on that drive. It just runs as a secondary drive to the SSD that runs the OS.
Building a NAS seems like the best way to go, but it's just not good timing for me right now to build one.


I wonder if I would have better luck with laptop drives. I'd lose space. 4TB of space was ideal but I could work with 1 TB/2TB.

How do the Western Digital drives compare to each other mechanically? Are the Blue, Red, Purple drives all built essentially same with different firmware? Wonder if I would have better luck with Black or Gold drives? Or are they mechanically the same too? The only alternative is Seagate?

Last edited by Quickman; 12-08-2019 at 02:38 AM.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 03:15 AM
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Honestly, they're all annoying sounding in various ways imo.

I'd go full SSD in your main PC and set up a NAS(somewhere you can't hear it) for your HDD's, can be done pretty cheap if you convert an old pc.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 06:35 AM
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As someone who has 5x 7200 RPM HDD´s in the PC i agree buy or build a NAS server and move the HDD´s into that

If you think an older 5400/7200 RPM HDD make a lot of noise try having 5x 12+ TB 7200 RPM drives that are on all the time

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Who knows, maybe a bunch of drives might drown out the high pitched noise? Could work in my favor!

But I got an odd question. Is it safe to hold a drive in my hand and power it on as long as I ground myself first? I'm just curious to know if I'll get the high pitched noise and if I don't I can look into some vibration dampening stuff?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 01:29 AM
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I have an old 20MB Apple SCSI hard drive from roughly 1986 I yanked from a Mac SE, its dead, maybe I could bring it back to life for you


They all make noise, just the way it is, not sure why some younger people get their panties backwards over the sound of old technology: complaining about CRTs making noise (they don't other than a buzz), HDDs, etc

My point being, old HDDs were FAR louder and more obnoxious, especially while seeking. Don't ever get a WD Black, as the one I have in my machine likes to randomly seek around loudly for no reason I can usually determine, sometimes doing so in my bios, for 3 days straight in Linux every three months randomly because of some kind of fs journaling thing I can't figure out how to disable, etc.

If you want quiet... buy a SSD

Or maybe consider a separate box you throw in a closet as a headless server, a NAS unit, or something and connect your rig and that box via router and set up NFS on the file server box, etc.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 05:09 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Quickman View Post
Who knows, maybe a bunch of drives might drown out the high pitched noise? Could work in my favor!

But I got an odd question. Is it safe to hold a drive in my hand and power it on as long as I ground myself first? I'm just curious to know if I'll get the high pitched noise and if I don't I can look into some vibration dampening stuff?



You can do that but it is better to have them on a solid surface before spinning them up. And if you decide to add sound dampening make sure the drive can dissipate its heat



I know your pain. I have two WD blues in my current build and they wine when spinning down, and only when spinning down. It's the only two drives I have that have ever generated this particular noise. But since it is only when I power the computer off I just let them run, if they go belly up then so be it.


Most of what I've heard over the years from drives is head chatter. The older the drive the louder the chatter.



Build/buy a NAS and go SSD if you can't get use to it.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 05:18 AM
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Check the bag of screws that came with your case. Many modern cases ship with bushings or grommets specifically for HDD vibration/sound dampening.

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