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[Solved] New NAS drive making odd clicking noise when idle

Discussion in 'Hard Drive - HDD' started by liberty610, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    Hey guys.

    I have a Western Digital PR4100 NAS unit. I just took out 4 of the WD Red 4TB drives out of it to upgrade to 4 of the 8TB Red drives. I am running in RAID 5.

    After formatting, I am getting 23.8TB of space, and the NAS dashboard is telling me all the drives passed the S.M.A.R.T. tests, and the Raid array is showing that all Volumes are active and healthy.

    I just moved all my media to it over the weekend. I have a little over 4TB written to it right now. Most of it is video and audio files. When I am using the unit to watch any videos, listen to any audio or look through any of the folders, everything seems normal. However, today I noticed that when idle, I can hear this odd clicking noise every 3 to 5 seconds. My last 4 drives i had in it did not do this. They where manufactured in 2014.

    These new 8TB drives where manufactured this past summer in June or July of 2018. When reading/writing from the disks, I can tell they are a little more louder then the original 4tb drives I had, but I also heard that was normal because they where a larger capacity drive. However, this clicking when I am idle had me some what concerned.

    Is this normal? Or a concern? I've read a few different posts related to this issue. I am seeing terms like 'Head parking' or that it could be doing 'background media scans'. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  2. Tony D

    Tony D Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    If just one of the drives is doing this, I wouldn't trust the drive. If they are all doing it, then maybe it's normal for those drives.

    Here's a video to watch. It shows the clicking near the end of the video.
     
  3. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    Thanks for the reply.

    It's not really that fast of a click. I am not sure if I would even call it a click now that I listen to it closer. It kind of sounds like the same noise it makes when it's reading/writing data, but it's a brief second of it. Then it stops, and a few seconds later it does it again.
     
  4. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    Perhaps with the higher density disk, the read / write head has to work a little harder.

    As Tony said, if it's all the drives that are doing it, then it's probably normal. If you want, you can disconnect the drives as needed to see if it's one drive or all that are making the sound.
     
  5. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    I'm gonna try that tomorrow. For now, I am doing a full diagnostics test through the nas system as suggested by Western Digital.

    I'll report back with my findings! Thanks for the replies guys.
     
  6. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    Hey guys,

    So in my NAS dashboard, I have a system diagnostics section where I can do a full or a quick Disk Test. I started the full one yesterday afternoon and it finished some time this morning. It showed that all 4 disk passed successfully. I just got home from work a little bit ago, and I no longer here the continuous noise I heard yesterday. Just the usual noise of the drives reading every so often.

    I was able to record the noise it was making on my phone, and I touched it up a tad before making it into a quick blank youtube video. The sound it was making yesterday can be heard here:

     
  7. Tony D

    Tony D Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    I do not like that sound at all.
     
  8. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    See, that's what I thought too, but today it doesn't seem to be doing it?
     
  9. Tony D

    Tony D Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    RAID 5 protects against a single drive failure. Better than no protection. Hope you have a second and maybe third backup on some other devices.
     
  10. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    Oh I do. I don't mess with this stuff when it comes to my data. The NAS box is basically direct access through mapped network drives of backups I already have on other drives. The only things I don't have back ups for are things I don't really care much about that are on the NAS unit like movies or tv shows. I have the DVDs or Blu Rays of those if I have to re-rip them.
     
  11. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    I also still have the original 4 disks I had in the NAS unit prior to upgrading to these new ones. So I can put those back in if need be.,
     
  12. Seth Anthony

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    Me either.

    It kind of sounds like the armature is out of control.
     
  13. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    What else can I do to further investigate this? The full NAS disk check came back as passed, and today when it's sitting idle, it's quiet as a mouse. I can't even try and figure out which drive was doing it now because there is no odd activity with it today.
     
  14. Seth Anthony

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    So one of the drives has the operating system, and the other 3 are used for storage. Correct?

    If so, disconnect those 3 storage drives, and test the operating system drive by writing data to it and seeing if that sound occurs. If it doesn't add the next drive, write data to it, and see if the sound occurs. You should be able to narrow down the problem drive with that procedure.
     
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  15. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    Ok. I am not sure how the operating system is handled on this unit honestly. So I am not sure which drive would have the OS on it? I am not hearinf the noise at all today. Just the standard seek sounds when it's reading/writting data.
     
  16. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    Just try 1 at a time. If it's got the OS on it, it will boot. If it doesn't have the OS on it, you'll get an error like "no operating system found", or "no boot device found"
     
  17. Tony D

    Tony D Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    RAID 5 - Unless something has been done differently, all the drives in the RAID contain both the OS and data. You should be able to pull any of the 4 drives without affecting the system. The only problem pulling one of the drives is that if another drive fails, you're toast (I think).
     
  18. Seth Anthony

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    Good info Tony:)
     
  19. Seth Anthony

    Seth Anthony Registered Members

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    Looks Liberty should be ok with RAID 5, on the off chance something goes bonky.

    RAID 5
    Back to a setup that matters to you, RAID 5 is what you'll see the most when it comes to network attached storage (if it's not RAID 1). RAID 5 tries to marry performance and redundancy by striping data across all drives, while also spreading parity data across all drives. This means that writing parity data doesn't cause the same slowdown as it does in other RAID configurations.

    You'll need at least three disks for this setup, and if one fails, your whole system won't go down with it, since parity data is on another disk. Think of it like Voldemort's Horcruxes. Powerful and if it dies, you can bring it back elsewhere.
     
  20. liberty610

    liberty610 Registered Members

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    Thanks for the replies and help guys. I appreciate it.

    I have been monitoring everything closely the last couple days. Both through mapped network drives on my PC and using the WD My Cloud app on my smart phone. As I stated earlier, I did the full diagnostics test, and everything checked out fine in the report. I know that isn't always a full proof reassurance, but it was a start.

    The sound I posted in the quick YouTube video has yet to return since I first heard it. I think that a recent firmware update may have been causing some wonky issues, including the drive noise. Here is why....

    This past weekend after I installed the drives and wrote over 4TB of data to it, I updated the firmware to the latest version on WD's website. After I did this, the NAS system was doing all sorts of weird things, including that drive noise. It also seemed to be seeking harder then it should for certain files. It also kept going into Standby mode where the drives would go into sleep mode if there where (aproox) 10 minuets of inactivity on the unit. I do NOT like any of my drives going into sleep mode, especially in a NAS environment. I leave them and the unit up 24/7. I know it is a hot debate online that you should or shouldn't do this, but in my own personal experience, constant spin downs and spin ups do more wear and tear on drives then anything else. Especially with how often I am accessing files at random times. And WD Red drives are pushed as 24/7 drives, so I just leave everything up and awake. The last 3 years or so I have never had a drive die from 24/7 use - either in the NAS box or my PC tower, so I am going off my own experience on that.

    So, after these sleep modes where kicking in, I went into the GUI interface and saw that sleep/standby mode was set to OFF, yet it was still putting the device in standby mode which was putting the drives to sleep (full spin down). I set the feature to on, and then turned it off again in hopes that would trigger it to stop sending the drives to sleep. I then rebooted the system as an added precaution.

    Since I have done this, I noticed that everything seems to respond faster (including the seeking of files), the drivers are SUPER quiet when idle (yet still spinning), and no other odd noises are coming from the unit. I have thrown a lot of tasks at it the past couple days as well, including high res video capture from Xsplit Broadcaster where it captured 2 hours of 60 FPS video and the end file was over 50gb. I have done some moving around of archived files, and ping ponged several GB folders to my pc and back. I also tossed a few video files from it on to my Vegas video editing time line and edited with it. No issues.

    I don't plan on formatting the old drives I had in the NAS prior to these new ones anytime soon, especially now that I have had this little scare. But so far, so good. Is it possible the firmware update was screwing with things? I have been reading up on WD community forums, and sometimes their firmware updates add some headaches if not installed and re-booted properly. Because of all of this, I have turned auto firmware updates off, and decided I will do manual installs and reboots from now on. I can't say for certain if the box was properly rebooted after I initially installed the latest firmware.
     

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