Why Your HDD Makes a Whirring/Buzzing Sound When Loading a Game and What to Do About It


What causes the intermittent whirring/buzzing noise from my HDD when loading a game?

I have recently assembled a new PC and installed a HDD as the primary storage device. I noticed that whenever I launch the game Elden Ring, my HDD emits a slightly lower pitched whirring/buzzing noise for a brief duration. This noise repeats every few seconds until the game is fully loaded. I checked the HDD health status using a monitoring software and it showed no signs of malfunction or damage. Is this noise normal for HDDs or does it indicate a potential problem? How can I prevent or reduce this noise?

Thank you for your assistance.


Hard disk drives (HDDs) are one of the most common storage devices used in personal computers. They store data on rotating magnetic platters that are accessed by moving read/write heads. HDDs are known to produce some noise during normal operation, such as clicking, humming, or whirring sounds. However, some users may notice a louder or more frequent noise from their HDDs when loading a game or performing other intensive tasks. This noise may sound like a lower pitched whirring or buzzing that lasts for a few seconds and repeats every few seconds until the task is completed. What causes this noise and is it something to worry about?

The most likely cause of this noise is the HDD’s seek time, which is the time it takes for the read/write head to move to the location of the data on the platter. Seek time depends on several factors, such as the speed of the platter, the distance between the head and the data, and the fragmentation of the data. When loading a game or performing other intensive tasks, the HDD may need to access a large amount of data that is scattered across different locations on the platter. This means that the head has to move more frequently and rapidly, resulting in more noise. This noise is normal and does not indicate a problem with the HDD, as long as the HDD health status shows no signs of malfunction or damage.

However, this noise may also be annoying or distracting for some users, especially if they are using a quiet PC or a laptop. How can they prevent or reduce this noise? There are a few possible solutions, such as:

  • Defragmenting the HDD: Defragmenting the HDD is the process of rearranging the data on the platter so that it is more contiguous and less scattered. This can reduce the seek time and the noise by minimizing the head movement. Defragmenting the HDD can be done using the built-in tool in Windows or other third-party software. However, defragmenting the HDD may also reduce its lifespan by increasing the wear and tear on the platter and the head. Therefore, it is recommended to defragment the HDD only when necessary and not too frequently.
  • Upgrading to a SSD: Solid state drives (SSDs) are another type of storage device that use flash memory instead of magnetic platters. SSDs have no moving parts and are much faster, quieter, and more reliable than HDDs. Upgrading to a SSD can eliminate the noise from the HDD and also improve the performance and loading time of the game. However, SSDs are also more expensive and have less storage capacity than HDDs. Therefore, users may need to consider their budget and storage needs before upgrading to a SSD.
  • Using a HDD silencer or enclosure: A HDD silencer or enclosure is a device that encloses the HDD and reduces the noise by absorbing or isolating the vibrations. HDD silencers or enclosures can be installed inside the PC case or externally. They can also provide additional protection and cooling for the HDD. However, HDD silencers or enclosures may also increase the temperature and reduce the airflow of the HDD, which can affect its performance and lifespan. Therefore, users may need to ensure that the HDD silencer or enclosure is compatible with their HDD and PC case, and that the HDD is adequately ventilated.
  • In

conclusion, the intermittent whirring/buzzing noise from the HDD when loading a game is caused by the HDD’s seek time, which is normal and does not indicate a problem. However, users who find this noise annoying or distracting can prevent or reduce it by defragmenting the HDD, upgrading to a SSD, or using a HDD silencer or enclosure. These solutions have their own advantages and disadvantages, and users may need to weigh them carefully before choosing the best option for their situation.

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