Hard Drive Information:

Make: Western Digital
Model Number: WD5000BPKT
What the non-computer-fellas call it: Western Digital Scorpio Black
Age: About 2 to 3 months old.
Power On Hours: 127 Hours
Load-Unload Cycles: 777
Unsafe Shut Down Count: 8 (I am dumb)

So, of late, my HDD makes a sound. A click-like sound.
I have been bothering the community members in the chat with this question and they have been extremely patient with it.
So, after digging a lot into the architecture of the hard drive, I have come across the following conclusion:

  • The click is actually the sound of load-unload cycle
  • "... WD thought it would be a great feature to build a timer in their firmware to autopark the heads after 8 seconds so to reduce energy"

    I found this on NCIX forums about WD GREEN drives but I guess it makes sense to have it in a black drive, too.
    So how could you be sure that this is indeed a sound of the head park?
    I hear it every time the laptop shuts down.

    So what's your point?

  • Is my observation correct or do I need to RMA it asap?
    • I get a click sound when my Seagate Barracuda Green drives power off, too. Ditto with a Hitachi drive in a HP laptop with auto park when it senses sudden movement. The 'click of death' that indicates failure is typically repetitive (or the drive will stop responding after the click). – Bob Dec 22 '12 at 7:39
    • If you're on Linux you could do hdparm --idle-unload /dev/sdX (replace with your drive's device name) to park the heads, and see if it makes the same noise. – user55325 Dec 22 '12 at 7:42
    • @Bob well, I have this issue where the HDD light goes off abruptly and the laptop freezes. I thought this was because of head park and left it idle for a few mins. No mouse movements, No Nothing I am on an HP laptop too :) Yeah, the drive does stop responding sometimes after/before a click – Little Child Dec 22 '12 at 20:07

    I've just bought a WD7500BPKX drive (750GB WD Scorpio Black) and I have the same clicking problem.

    The symptoms are the following: 8 seconds after the last activity, it does a soft click and the counter increases. Then while I keep it idle, it soft clicks once in each minute. If any activity occurrs the cycle is restarted, 8s - 60s - 60s - ...

    I've used the WDIDLE3 utility to change the idle timer of the drive. It is usually used for the WD Green drives because of the same problem, so I gave it a try. With the /R option, it reported that the timer is 8 seconds as default, this matches with my experiences above.

    I've changed the setting /S option. Here are my experiences:

    • /S300 - no soft click after 8 sec, but a LOUD hard click after two minutes and the counter increases.
    • /S90 - same as above, hard clicks after 2 minutes.
    • /S60 - no soft click and no hard click

    So the /S60 seems the best setting for this drive.

    • I had emailed WD about this and they replied saying that the soft click is ok. – Little Child Nov 18 '13 at 3:20
    • The auto park feature is in every modern hard drive these days... the reason it is there is so if your hard drive abruptly looses power the head is already parked and doesn't slam the platters, thus possibly causing damage to sectors.. although I have never been able to audibly hear the head park but that might be a result of my fans being too loud... – TheXed Nov 18 '13 at 19:19

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