LaCie 500GB hard drive (Design by F.A. Porsche) clicking sound


macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 1, 2007
Hi there,

I have two external drives, one 300GB Seagate, and a recently purchased one mentioned in the thread title.

I'm not an expert on external hard drives, and am looking for some advice on what is the norm for the sound an external hard drive makes.

My Seagate naturally makes a noise when being accessed and written to, however, with this new LaCie drive, whenever I access it or write to it, it makes a clicking sound, which, while brief, is mildly irritating and unpleasantly loud. Also, the drive in all other respects, seems to be functioning flawlessly. Is this level of audible response normal?

And before everyone starts bashing LaCie drives, please don't!



macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2007
Balancing of the spindle assembly, platter speed (4700rpm vs 7200rpm), the speed and mass of the wiper arm / read/write head all have an impact on the hard drive. Even the size of the cache on the drive can affect it's audible activity.

If this is an external, the case material and construction could also have a significant impact. Nice cases have elastomer vibration isolators in them and heavier materials. In general, I've found external drives to be louder than their internal counterparts.

I've noticed that Seagate and WD drives are fairly quiet - but it seems their higher end drives (with the longer warranties - usually NOT of the external flavor) are actually much quieter, even when mounted in an external box. This could be from higher build quality, better balancing, ect...

If you hear a frequent, loud "click" when trying to read data, that could be a sign of a failing drive.


macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
Redondo Beach, California
Hi there,

I have two external drives, one 300GB Seagate, and a recently purchased one mentioned in the thread title..
I have two seagate drives, both in generic FW400 enclosures. One is 320GB the other is 500GB the larger drive does make more noise. It's the read/write heads, in a high performance drive they move from track to track very fast.

I think the way to make the device more quiet is to find an enclosure where the drive is mounted using a rubber vibration isolator.
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