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I have a 3TB WD Green hard drive, formatted exFAT. The head goes back and forth three or four times quickly, and this event repeats every two seconds. There's absolutely no activity reading or writing. In fact the same happens if the computer is off and the hard drive is on external power with a cradle. I have another HD WD green 4 TB formatted exFAT and it doesn't behave like this.

The hard drive works well, so it doesn't seem to be dying or anything.

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  • also, after three days of doing this, it stopped just right now. what was going on? – Stefano Borini Aug 4 '18 at 6:36
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This answer below is now useless to the poster since his problem has disappeared. I'm leaving it in for future readers.

For the poster : Probably the firmware was doing some preparations specific for a new drive.


WD Green drives are supposed to automatically park themselves after being idle for 8 seconds (the default), and stay parked until a read or write request.

If your drive is unparking itself without any requests and even when the computer is turned off then it is probably defective, and I would suggest to replace it by warranty.

If you are interested in exploring the head-parking parameters of your disk or even in changing them, there is a utility named WDIDLE3 that does the job. It is distributed by WD but is a bit hard to find.

For more information see :

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    it doesn't feel like it's damaged. it just felt the firmware had to do some form of bookkeeping, i guess, and that took a lot of time. though i have no idea what bookkeeping it was doing. – Stefano Borini Aug 4 '18 at 7:10
  • Neither do I. Regarding head parking : If this disk is going to be heavily used I suggest reading my first reference. – harrymc Aug 4 '18 at 8:15

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