In my computer, I have an NVMe system drive and a 2TB Seagate HDD secondary drive. My hard drive has activity every 3 or so seconds. This wouldn't normally bother me except it makes a sound every time it has activity.

This is the sound it makes.

It isn't quiet either. I tried to just ignore it, but after a month of this I can't stand it anymore. Is there any way I can fix it other than unplugging the hard drive?

  • If it is running every three seconds no matter what, you probably have a poorly written program (or service) that is polling the drive (meaning querying it for information on a timer). Try to figure out what is doing it. It isn't just about hearing the noise.. its about your system performance and running junk in the background. Mar 24, 2021 at 16:35
  • That sounds like your drive is failing.
    – psusi
    Mar 24, 2021 at 17:31
  • I got the drive about 2 months ago. It shouldn't be failing yet, should it?
    – Salocor
    Mar 24, 2021 at 17:33
  • Although I stand by my first comment.. I was too lazy to listen to the file.. I have some agreement with @psusi .. that drive sounds like the heads are thrashing.. not good from my experience and I date back to the MFM drive models of the early 80s. Again. the every three seconds sounds like a program polling the drive.. but the sound shouldn't sound like that. Mar 24, 2021 at 18:43
  • No problem. Thanks for the update. Is this something I should use the warranty to get replaced? I have barely used the drive. I've maybe used 1TB of bandwidth. It doesn't seem like it should be failing after only 1TB of transfer.
    – Salocor
    Mar 24, 2021 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


All drives (HDD and SSD) are always active to some extent. I have one machine left with a HDD (everything else is SSD). The HDD machine is near silent.

Most machines with Hard Drives (Customer machines) are near silent.

I have one old customer machine with a slow 5400-rpm HDD that makes a muffled sound when writing big amounts.

So 90% or more of my machines and customer machines are near silent in normal operation.

Keep that HDD of your unplugged unless you need it. Some drives (fewer than more) are noisier than others. The high level of noise can be a forerunner of failure also. Consider replacing the drive with an SSD drive. Good quality (Samsung) SSDs have long life spans.

With Indexing, Search, update checking and so on, it is near impossible to stop a disk from reading / writing, so just unplug it.

  • I was afraid of that. I use my HDD for my downloads folder, backups, etc. I guess I’ll have to switch to another NVMe/SATA ssd.
    – Salocor
    Mar 24, 2021 at 16:18
  • I have a tower desktop that I switched to twin 2 TB Samsung SSDs. There is a front panel HDD light. You can see it flash fairly quickly frequently. It is how drives work.
    – John
    Mar 24, 2021 at 16:20
  • I just figured out if I give the drive constant activity the sound goes away. Is there any program you know of that gives a hard drive constant activity?
    – Salocor
    Mar 24, 2021 at 16:29
  • I have not seen anything like that. Constant, non-stop activity can be hard on a drive if not an enterprise RAID drive. I think you would be far better off replacing with an SSD drive. I added that to my answer.
    – John
    Mar 24, 2021 at 16:31
  • Your main system drive, especially if you are running Windows, can be nearly impossible to keep from being accessed fairly frequently, but a secondary drive that you don't use much should not be accessed and if configured properly, go to sleep just fine.
    – psusi
    Mar 24, 2021 at 17:29

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