Question WD Elements makes weird sounds in IDLE (SMART data looks OK) ?

miloon

Prominent
May 21, 2020
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I've got a WD Element 2TB which makes weird noises even when it's in IDLE. And sometimes when it's not even mounted.

Here is a sample audio.

I remember it making these sounds the first time I plugged it in and tried to format it as ext4. Sadly I thought it was related to the filesystem as the sound was similar to random access head movements (I might be wrong). I reformat it as NTFS, filled it with my data, And after months when I came back to use it, I found out it makes these noises regardless of the filesystem.

The SMART data looks good to me:

Code:
=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   194   190   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       3266
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   099   099   000    Old_age   Always       -       1016
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x002e   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   099   099   000    Old_age   Always       -       1164
10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       622
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       66
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   195   195   000    Old_age   Always       -       17692
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   101   088   000    Old_age   Always       -       46
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
Is this drive dying and should I stop using it?

Except for the sounds, the only bad experience I ever had with this drive has been the occasional slow write speed.

Notes:
  • It's out of warranty
  • I've got a backup of all my data
 
Jun 1, 2022
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WD Element 2TB is 2.5in and definitely using DM-SMR.
When in idle disk itself trying to collecting junk files and organize the disk to make those area reusable like an SSD However it is slow as ****...
You may encounter performance drop (10mbit/s seq read/write)but overall it is fine for low frequency file storage.
And the ultimate solution is go and get an external SSD.
 

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