Question Hard drive randomly starts whirring fast

AaronKyle

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Aug 30, 2019
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My PC is fairly new, just over a month old and everything works perfectly.

The situation is that my HDD (WD Caviar Blue 1TB) is mounted to the bottom of my case and is touching the metal from three sides so some low pitched whirring is normal, so I've been told.

To get to the point my HDD would sometimes, once every couple of days or so start spinning faster for a few seconds before going back to normal.

When that happens, Task Manager shows around 50% Disk usage despite my PC being idle or in use.

I ran sfc /scannow and made a SMART scan resulting in both showing no issues. I may be paranoid because this is the first HDD I had mounted directly at the bottom of the case but it's better to be safe than sorry.

To elaborate, when I open a folder with 50+ images it makes the same noise. I'm asking because this is happening when nothing is going on.


 
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AaronKyle

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Theres a lot of things that go on behind the scenes. Defrag, indexing, etc.
System detects some 'free time', and does things when it won't impact your use.
Ok thanks, that clears it up.

Just one more thing. When it comes to defrag, what does "Needs Optimization" exactly mean. My drives are set to defrag on their own weekly so I'm a bit confused.

 
HDD's do not have variable spin rates. The either are spinning or have spun down to save power and thus will need to spin back up when something uses them. Only fans & pumps have variable spin speeds.
Some HDDs support an intermediate standby state where the platters spin at half speed and the heads are parked on a ramp. This allows for faster wake-up.
 

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