It's this exact sound most of the times but it sometimes can do other similar but less distinctive soft clicking sounds as well, also while only idling.

It's a brand new drive (3.5'', 1TB). The SMART data reports a very high number of raw read error rate and seek error rate, but that seems to be characteristic for Seagate drives. However I cannot interpret that data.

I've never had a harddrive do this. Does anyone recognize the sound?

  • 1
    The linked threads are distinctively different from what i described... have you even read them?
    – br4nnigan
    Jan 3, 2015 at 18:04
  • Close vote retracted, sorry.
    – bwDraco
    Jan 3, 2015 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


Whilst the recording is not very clear, I suspect that the issue is down to the read/write heads parking frequently when the disk is idle. Most modern drives support a feature called Advanced Power Management and when enabled this can cause the heads to be retracted when possible in order to save power and reduce the chances of platters being damaged if the computer is knocked or suffers power issues. It's more useful on laptops than desktops.

Looking at the SMART data, it shows that the load count is 18880 after 628 hours of use which equates to heads parking/unparking on average about 30 times an hour. This would be consistent with having APM enabled.

You can test whether APM is indeed causing the noises by disabling it. There is a tool called hdparm which can do this, but bear in mind that the affect is only temporary and it will be re-enabled if you restart the PC. Once it is installed it should show up in the Start Menu with shortcuts to change the APM mode.

It's possible that you have some tool like the Intel Rapid Storage Technology installed which is enabling APM. Also, make sure that your Windows power plan is based on High Performance.

  • 1
    Excellent catch, i indeed have Intel Rapid Storage Technology installed, which was actually the first thing i looked into. It only had an options of "Link Power Management" which does exactly what you say. But unfortunately disabling it did nothing. I also had set harddrives to never sleep in windows. Of course just now the symptoms stopped so i cannot investigate further (i had this going for weeks). But i'm sure this is the correct trail and i will look into the tool you posted or uninstall RST completely.
    – br4nnigan
    Jan 5, 2015 at 11:06
  • @br4nnigan Many years passed, so how did it end for you? Why the symptoms stopped? I recently bought Seagate HDD and get very similar sounds.
    – Gabrielius
    Feb 5 at 21:27

my Seagate Ironwolf NAS drive ST10000VN0004 was making the same sounds.

I finally figured out it was CPUID HWMonitor checking every 10 seconds about the information about the drive temperature caused a sound exactly like this or near it.

Try to disable any system monitoring software like HWMonitor or AIDA64 if you want this noise to stop. Hope this helps anyone trying to find out what's causing this sound.

Also found this thread https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/919214-seagate-ironwolfs-making-noise/ which basically helped me figure out HWMonitor was to blame.


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