Question New Ultrastar 10TB HDD annoying PWL Noise - what now...!? - Buy WD Purple PRO instead...? (Noise example included)


Oct 3, 2014
I bought a new HDD - Ultrastar HC510 10TB (Helium one). Its quite noisy (seek, read, write etc )... And as it seems, in addition to this, I think it has that annoying "feature" noise ("sound") of "click" every 5 seconds (!!) - PWL (protective wear leveling). At least thats what I think it is, see for yourself, is this PWL...? (i included mouse clicking and keyboad pressing for comparison)

(Taken from 70 cm (2 feet) from both PC case (on table on right) and (70cm= 2ft) from keyboard and mouse front/to the left)
(turn your volume level up)

01seconds- HDD "tick" sound/noise (PWL)
02-06s - Key presses on keyboard (some cheap noname keyboard) (for sound volume level comparison)
06s -HDD "tick" noise (PWL)
07-11s- Mouse clicks (for sound volume level comparison)
11s -HDD "tick" noise (PWL)
11-19s - Mouse clicking
16s -HDD "tick" noise (PWL)
19-26s - Nothing (background noise- PC fans and general humming from pc)
21s - HDD "tick" noise (PWL)
26s - HDD "tick" noise (PWL)
27-28s - Mouse clicks
30s - HDD "tick" noise (PWL)

I dont really like that. I read that all HDDs nowdays (8TB+) (and even lower capacity ones?) have PWL... My question is... Is the PWL in other drives AS annoying, AS loud and AS frequent in comparison what you hear with mine HC 510 Ultrastar 10TB...? (Cause i refuse to believe ALL other drives are like that)... Couple of questions:

1) Is the sound you hear on my recording (every 5 seconds) really PWL...? Is it as loud or louder than in other drives you have heard?

2) Will it get better over time...? I have read (2 separate accounts from 2 different people) that their PWL got better over time - it was more quiet over time (objectively, NOT that they got used to it). One said that it might get better when the drive is fuller (50-70% full)... Is either possible...? (i dont really think so...? but they said it is...?)

3) Is there any other WD (preferably WD i trust them more than Seagate or even Toshiba) 8-10TB HDD with decent price and performance that isnt as loud as this...? Or at least doesnt have the PWL...?

4) I read that supposedly WD Purple PRO 8 TB is one of the quietest (!) (if not the most quiet) 6TB+ drives out there and in addition it should NOT have the PWL sound clicking either (!)... Is that true...? Anybody has experience with WD Purple (!) PRO (!) 8 TB (or other capacity)...?

Thank you
That's normal operation for a data center disk geared towards data center workloads.
They won't get better overtime...some get worse.
We have several of them at work on servers located in closets.

You should get consumer grade disks, such as WD 8TB Blue, which are more quiet...of course they spin slower (5400RPM).
If you like a quiet environment you will have to trade quiet operation for performance.


Oct 3, 2014
thanks, but are ALL drives as annoying and loud and have as frequent PWL intervals as this one...? I think this is a rather exception, and there must be quiter drives...? On some other forum, someone said he got like 3 of the same drives (HC 510 10 TB) and NONE of them do this sound (!)...

You have SEVERAL of exactly those same (HC510 10TB...?) and they all do this...?

What about the WD Purple PRO 8TB drive...? It should be more quiet drive (the quietest...?) among 6TB + capacities...? Any idea if its true...?
I run 2 WD red pro 6TB, and a 18TB WD red pro and dont hear any of them. Drives sit in the font of my case about arms reach head high away from me, i hear the case fans over the drives.

I also have 3 8TB seagate ironwolf drives in a raid 5 in another computer about 5u's down that run 24/7 backing up my 18TB drive, cant hear those ether.

if you go for RED drives get Western digital red pro's as they are a CMR drive vs the normal Western digital red that are only SMR