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Toshiba N300 HDDs are noisy if mounted vertically

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I just added a 4 TB Toshiba N300 as a local backup drive in my Windows 10 PC.  My 4 TB Asustor NAS is my working storage unit for images and music, with online backup.  But I decided I needed a local backup in addition to the RAID on my NAS and there's an empty HDD slot in my HP Pavilion desktop.  So I got a new 4TB Toshiba N300 yesterday and dropped it in, only to discover a clearly audible mechanical hum as soon as it powered up. I tried isolating it with polymer washers to no avail, and moving it to the second open drive bay had no effect either.  It was low enough in frequency and sufficiently loud to be captured by a microphone...and it's in the room where I make my demo recordings.  This will never do!


I figured I'd have to move the computer and set about to find a suitable place for it.  But while the drive was out and sitting on the counter next to the open machine, I plugged it in to a SATA port and the power supply just to format it and start transferring files to it - and I thought it or one of the wires to it had broken, because the noise went away.  When I stood it on its side, the noise returned.  And when I picked it up, it felt like there was some kind of thick fluid filling it and shifting as I moved it around.  This model has some kind of shock damping in it, and it feels really weird.


A little web surfing found many people complaining about the same deep mechanical humming from this model, which is marketed for NAS use.  A 4 TB HDD with these specs and a 3 year warranty for $100 is a great deal, as long as you either mount it horizontally or keep it where the mechanical noise it makes isn't a problem.  Assuming it's as robust as the reviews suggest, I'm not unhappy with it - but I've never run into this before, and I would have returned it if I'd bought it for my NAS units because they have vertical bays and I'm not laying them down because of a noisy drive.

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, stefano_mbp said:

I would return it and get a WD Red, very quiet and reliable

My last NAS was a WD MyCloud that came loaded with Reds.  One drive failed at 2 years and the other started triggering SMART warnings a few months later.  I replaced them with Iron Wolves that are still fine a few years on.  But I’m still seeing no sign of impending failure in a 1 TB Toshiba drive dated 2011 that’s been in an HP desktop since new.


The N300 is silent when horizontal, so I just laid the computer on its side and everything is fine.  I raised it on little pedestals, which gives me space for a few ancillaries.  Airflow seems better too.



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... MTBF is, unluckily, pure statistics ... if i have two chickens and you don't have any statistically we have one each ...
... then it depends on many factors, what kind of use (power on/off, spin down time), how they were treated by the warehouse that sold them ... etc ...



My audio system

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