Seagate Exos X10 Constant Seek Noises at Idle?


Extremely [H]
Oct 29, 2000
So, here is a little bit of an unusual one (at least for me)

I've been running large storage arrays for years, but never encountered this one before.

I am one by one replacing my old 10TB Seagate Exos X10 ST10000NM0016 drives in my main storage server with newer, larger 16TB Seagate Exos X18 ST16000NM000J drives. Since this is a ZFS pool, I can just replace them one by one, resilver and then once the last drive is installed, the pool size grows.

It's a year long project, as drives are expensive. I have 12 of them, so I'm just buying one a month, and popping it in. After a year the pool should be 48TB larger.

My process is as follows:

1.) Receive new drive
2.) Test new drive in testbench before isntalling in server
a. Run SMART "short" self test
b. Run SMART "conveyance" self test
c. Run full 4 pass read/write badblocks test (takes ~160 hours)
3.) Install drive in server and resilver
4.) Remove old drive
5.) Test old drive, the same way new drive is tested above, two SMART tests followed by a full 4 pass badblocks test.

So, with one of the old drives I removed, it past all of the tests, but after completing the ~115hr (smaller drive than the new ones) badblock test, it is behaving strangely.

The drive responds to all SMART commands, as well as read and write commands, but as soon as it goes back to idle, there is a constant head seek noise, about once ever 1.4s. I should note, these are not clicks of death. At least not the way I am used to them sounding. They just sound like normal hard drive read noises, but more frequent and regular.
It's been going on this way for quite some time now. As of right now, I'm just letting it go, figuring if it is some sort of self calibration and / or maintenance routine it will eventually stop, but it has been going for over 30 minutes thus far...

Is this some form of intentional internal calibration that is going on on the drive, or is this a harbinger of doom?

The drive has about 38k power on hours on it, and still has a couple of months of warranty left.

I'm wondering if I should RMA this thing?

Appreciate any input.


After about an hour, the constant seek noises stopped.

So, now I need to decide, was this just a normal drive maintenance/calibration routine, or an intermittent issue that might predict a failure, I should deal with before warranty expires.

Still appreciate any input.
Last edited: