Hard Drive ticking

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Beliblis, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Beliblis macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011

    Bought a new external hard-drive, 2tb WD, which is connected via FW800 enclosure. Backed up about 1.5tb of data onto it.

    I noticed that every now & then, the drive keeps "ticking" even though I am NOT accessing it:
    About 4 ticks a second. Every few seconds that's followed by a higher-frequency ticking. Overall, it doesn't sound repetitive to me – i.e. not like your usual bad sector with a read & write error...

    At first, I thought it might be the system accessing the drive in the background (indexing from Spotlight, calculating file size,...).
    But this morning, I turned the drive on with NO data cable connected whatsoever. And the ticking sound is still there!?!?

    Drive is connected via a Freecom SATA reader/bay. Drive info says "Initio INIC-1615P" (whatever that means), but it's a WD Caviar Green. Did a 30-minute integrity check with Drive Genius, and it seems OK.

    Should I be concerned about that ticking sound & replace the drive? Or just get on with things as long as the drive doesn't slow down?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Just because you're not aware of an app accessing it doesn't mean another process isn't. There are many processes running all the time. One of those could be accessing it. It's normal.
  3. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011
    That's what I thought in the beginning. As I said: This morning I had NO(!) cable attached to the drive. Meaning: not attached to the system whatsoever.
    And it was still ticking.

    It's not one of those "worrying" deep clicking sounds though. (I know those). Could it be that it's my enclosure rather than the drive???
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    As you said, if the data cable is not connected, the system is obviously not accessing the drive. If it is making clicking noises with just the power on and no data connection, I would be concerned it is a bad drive.
  5. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Most modern drives run maintenance or diagnostic routines at regular intervals even when not connected to a computer interface. Some can be heard more easily than others. I wouldn't worry about it unless it was very loud, and you noticed that the drive would stall when accessing data while making the clicking sounds.
  6. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011
    That is very interesting – so this means: some firmwares will do diagnostics at regular intervals, when the drive is connected AND when it's DISconnected?

    The clicking sound is actually fairly quiet – a normal user might not have noticed it at all, but I think I'm quite sensitive to hard drive sounds these days, after I had a drive failure on another drive not long ago.

Share This Page