Hitachi 5K3000 drives click when idle (sometimes)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dolphin842, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Hi all,

    When I turn on either of my Hitachi 5K3000 (2TB) drives (currently hooked up via external enclosures), they often (though not always) make a consistent clicking sound when idle. I originally thought something in OS X was making them thrash (the clicking does sound similar to normal data access), but the sound is present if I only turn on the hard drive (leaving the Mac mini off). The drives mount and function normally from what I can tell, and if OS X needs to access something from the drives, the clicking stops for the duration of the I/O activity, then resumes. After turning on the drive, the clicking can last anywhere from several minutes to an hour or so (and there's roughly a 5-10% chance it wont make any clicking sound at all when powered on).

    Here's an aac file of the noise (it gets louder for a few seconds toward the end only because I put my iPhone directly on the enclosure).

    Because the sound eventually goes away after a while each time I boot up, I've let this linger for several months without doing much of anything about it. Regular Disk Utility scans don't show any problems, but I'm really starting to wonder if I should try to RMA these just to be safe.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
  2. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    Clicking at idle is normal. I wouldn't worry about it to much unless its more of a clicking/stuttering sound following but a rewinding or grinding sound. Thats the sound of bad news.
  3. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Yeah, all it does is click like in the audio file. They've been working fine for months, even while clicking, so I guess if it were a sign of problems, something would have happened by now. Any idea of what the drives are doing when they click like that?
  4. chown33, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Maybe thermal recalibration. Google it.
  5. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Ah, looks like that might be the answer, thanks!


    There are other reports out there of this occurring regularly with Hitachi drives, so I think I'm in the clear for now.
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    It's funny, I'd just noticed my server drives making this noise a few days ago, and was wondering both what it was and whether it was the 5K3000 or WD GP. Looks like it's the Hitachi, and I've been saved Googling it myself.

    Unrelated aside: Who's that in your avatar, dolphin842?
  7. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    No idea actually :eek:. Just found it on the internet. Here's the full size version. More enterprising otaku than I may know whether she's from a series or an original character.

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