WD 640GB laptop drive: Is this normal?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Apollo21, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Apollo21 macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I couldn't find a thread with specifics about potential problems with this drive. So, there are two REALLY annoying things happening with it: it sounds like a fan running at max speed all the time, and it changes its fan-sound loudness very frequently, sometimes sounding like it's stuttering. The drive isn't hot, and it's definitely the drive (not my fan) 'cause i have the computer open and I'm listening to it.

    When I had it in an external enclosure (which wouldn't allow the drive to be recognized, but did give it power) it didn't change volume all the time. So I think that could be an OS issue (10.6.2)? As for the loudness, I'm pretty sure that's unchangeable. I think I saw that the specs say 24dB at IDLE, which is insane!! I remember buying fans for my pc that were like 14dB. That's 8 times the loudness of the fan!

    Here are my questions: Are these things normal, or is the drive messed up? Does anyone know of a fix for the power changing? And if you have this drive, is it actually quiet?! I got this at Newegg and I'm not sure of their return policies, but I don't think I can take this.
  2. harry454 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    I just bought this drive as well been using it for about 4-5 days, and I am not experiencing any of these issues with Snow Leopard. I think your drive may have problems? Mine runs super quiet and doesn't vibrate. Its as if it doesn't exist. Try calling WD support.

    EDIT: when you installed the drive did you take off those 4 torx screws on the side of your old drive? That could be causing it.
  3. Apollo21 thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Yeah, I transferred the screws. There's no vibration. It just sounds like there's a loud fan inside the hard drive that gets loud and soft at random. I'm sensitive to noise, and 24dB I'm sure would annoy me... but I can't imagine that everyone else is hearing this and calling it silent. So I sent a message to WD, and I'll either exchange with them or Newegg, and hopefully get one that's quieter.

    BTW, in my quiet room, I can walk 8 feet away and still hear it idling (it sounds exactly like the macbook fan). If you're able to test that, I would appreciate it.
  4. zw-gator macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
  5. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    Link to the drive please. I am in the market to buy a new
    one soon and 640 gb would be nice. Is it 7200?
  6. Apollo21 thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Yeah, I know. The question is whether it's supposed to be that loud. Do you have any thoughts on that, or why it gets louder and quieter every few seconds, or why everyone says it's really quiet, yet in my MBP it sounds like I added a new fan that runs on high all the time?


    I got it on Black Friday when it was $90, though. You might want to consider the Hitachi 500GB 7200rpm drive also.
  7. Ninjabelly macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2005
    5400rpm, it's a Scorpio blue.

    On the topic at hand, I've installed 2 of these in two 13" MBP's, 1 in an Acer Timeline, and one in a Mini and none sound any different from the 500gb Scorpio Blue's they replaced. Some noise on load, but otherwise it's quiet.

    Might be a bad drive?
  8. harlequin29 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2009
    I just installed this drive last night. I can't hear a thing. make sure you replaced the alloy bar thingy over the right side when you replace it. If it's vibrating I would remove it and try assembling it again. Other than that I would say it might be a bad drive.
  9. jon08 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2008
    To the OP: do you hear any click/clunk sounds from your HDD as well? Because about a month ago I got my stock MBP drive replaced with a Scorpio Blue 500 GB HDD, and I'm pretty sure I was experiencing the same "fan" symptoms you mentioned above, except that everything was accompanied by annoying click/clunk sounds of the HDD parking its head every 10-30 secs. Frustrating!

    It was driving me crazy, so I decided to install this little app called "hdapm," which prevents your HDD from idling and thus eliminates the head parking issue. Ever since I installed it all the clicks were gone, and the "fan" sound (which was a part probably HDD itself running) also wound down to a steady sound - i.e. you can still hear this fan-like sound, but it really isn't as obtrusive as it was, esp. because it is consistent/invariable so it stays the same.

    Perhaps you could give HDAPM a try. If you do, you can follow the instructions here: http://mymacfixes.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-do-i-stop-clicking-noise-from-hard.html

    They helped me a great deal!
  10. Apollo21 thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA

    Thanks!! That stopped the parking sound! Unfortunately it still sounds like a medium fan at idle, and a loud fan every time it reads/writes. And it reads/writes every few seconds with nothing going on, so it's still changing volume annoyingly. I just wish I knew someone with this drive to see if theirs is quieter. I also wonder if Newegg or WD would reject my replacement request if they get the drive and decide that it's "fine." ... Ugh!
  11. jon08 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2008
    Hm, that's weird. Do you have iStat Pro installed by any chance? If not, you might want to try and run it to see how many rpm each of your fans is running at. Mine usually stay around 1998-2000 rpm each when idle or just doing light work like web browsing or listening to music...

    But I really don't know how to help you there though... Perhaps you should contact WD customer service.
  12. neemtree macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2008
    I just installed a 640gb WD Scorpio in my 13" uMBP (10.6.2) yesterday and experienced the same noise issue as the OP: sounds like the fan running and it's not a constant, but gets louder and softer every few seconds. Even more than the noise, I couldn't stand the inconsistency, so I put the stock 250gb fujitsu back in. Nice, quiet, and constant. But I need more free space...

    I'd like to know if anybody has experienced the same issue with the WD drive sounding like a fan AND either solved that specific problem (not head parking noise, which this drive isn't making) with software or tried another WD scorpio that was quiet.

    Otherwise, I'd appreciate recommendations on the quietest non-SSD option for a uMPB, 500gb and up.
  13. DarwinOSX macrumors 65832

    Nov 3, 2009
    Most 5400rpm drives are going to be quiet. The quietest 500GB 7200 rpm drive is the Hitachi. Seagate is the loudest so don't buy that.
  14. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    24 dB is not loud. Since you mentioned you have sensitive hearing, it's not improbable that you think 24dB is loud.

    40 dB is like a humming of a fridge.

    My macbook air's fan runs around 40s dB and it's not too annoying.
  15. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    I have the same drive as you, but I don't have the issues you speak of. Sorry, you might have a defective one =\.
  16. Z06jerry macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I had the same issue with the 500gb WD Scorpio Blue, it makes a whooshing sound - like the fan is constantly running @ 3500 rpm. I took it out and re-installed my 320gb Fujitsu which is silent by comparison.

    I just bought a WD 640 gb Scorpio Blue with the hope that it would be quieter than the 500 and connected both of them (side by side out of the case) and unfortunately they both make the same whooshing sound.:( - too loud for my liking!
  17. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Obviously I don't live or work in completely quiet environments nor do I have hearing like fox. I have the Seagate 500GB 7200 in my uMBP and I can't hear anything unless I lean down and listen.

  18. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Same here. I can hardly ever here my Seagate 500G 7200.
  19. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    The Hitachi Travelstar 500GB 7200RPM is such an AMAZING drive! I bought it at Frys for $100 (newegg had it for $90 plus free shipping last week, oh well).

    I have an early 08' MBP, so it wasn't as easy as the UMB to replace, but not to hard. It is quiet and I can hear it whirrlin when my ear is about 9inches away from the hard drive. I can't hardly even feel a vibration either. And it is a lightning fast drive.

    As far as the WD goes, Newegg has amazing reviews about that drive (and most WD in general). Although alot of them are from people who installed them into their PS3s.
  20. Ilzen&Mac macrumors newbie


    Aug 4, 2009
    Moscow, Russia
    I've recently installed the same drive (WD 640) into my MBP and yeah, it makes this freaking fan-like sound(((
    It seems like we have nothing to do about it - WD drives seem to be loud ones: I've aslo installed WD 750Gb in my iMac in the past when it's previous drive died, and it's also hearable, however there are more scratching sounds than fan-like ones
  21. redsox786 macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I'm having the same exact problem with my WD 500GB WD5000BEVT. I installed it in my 13" uMBP and I could hear a constant swooshing sound and would sound like it was constantly spinning up and down. I couldn't deal with this annoying sound so I went back to my stock 160GB Hitachi drive which is extremely quiet. I'm not sure what I can do with the WD drive, might try to just use it as an external hard drive.
  22. bsizz234 macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2010
    anyone else have reviews (positive or negative) about the hitachi 500gb 7200rpm? noisewise... reliability... I was going to buy the WD 640gb to upgrade my 4,1 mbp but the hitachi is the same price on newegg right now... advice would be appreciated.

  23. iMetalG5 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2005
    my bro just put in the Seagate 7200 and the thing is quiet as can be :confused:

    I've had bad luck with WD externals in the past, I stay far away from them. One guy at work (with a PC) said he's gone through 2 WDs through warranty...
  24. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    I'm waiting for OWC to add the Hitachi 500GB 7200RPM hard drive to their store already because I want the bundle with the external enclosure and tools! Or else I'll have to settle with the Seagate 7200.4.
  25. HappyDude20 macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I have the WD Scorpio Blue and its its amazing. I've never heard it, it's that quiet. I bought it a year ago on eBay brand new when Microsoft was having that Bing discount shopping promotion and snatched it for $75.

    A year later and I need a bigger drive. (I film a lot (alot) of videos)

    Most likely i'll go the route of 1TB external drive but have heard of people swapping their dvd drive for another HD.

    This is just my opinion and I know everyone has their trusted brands but i've never felt safe with Seagate. I once had a drive of theirs and it was kinda loud, that and my uncle has 320GB external which once day just erased, alongside all the online horror stories. Western Digital is a brand i've trusted for a while now.

Share This Page