9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2013 2:51 AM by El Morche
El Morche Level 1 (0 points)

I recently bought a new 3Tbyte Time Capsule and I have become aware that each time a Time Machine backup starts there is a noise which I presume is the discs starting up. Can anyone advise me if this is normal?



Airport Time Capsule 802.11ac, 3Tb
  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,817 points)

    A mechanical disk is not slient.. it will make some noise especially during spin up..


    Since we have no idea if this is a loud noise or soft noise.. it is hard to say.. I so not have latest model TC.. but having used several Gen4 I can say from a few meters away I cannot hear the disk start up..


    Then again the new model uses seagate drives.. !!

  • El Morche Level 1 (0 points)

    Many Thanks for the quick response LaPastenague.


    My older Time Capsule (2nd Gen) did not make any noises that I was aware of and that is why I'm querying the noise from the new one which although not loud can be clearly heard from a distance of 2-3 metres even though my hearing is no longer the best.


    I'll query it with AppleCare tomorrow and see what they say.

  • DEFCON 3 Level 1 (110 points)

    each time a Time Machine backup starts there is a noise which I presume is the discs starting up


    You might compare what you're hearing to the sounds of this 2TB Seagate Barracuda (I gather the new TCs use the same or similar model):




    Within the last day or two I think someone else was asking about their new TC making a squeaking sound that was audible as the disk spun down, rather than up (perhaps the sound heard here at around 17 seconds). They don't run in complete silence certainly.

  • El Morche Level 1 (0 points)

    That is a useful link DEFCON 3.


    The sound I get is similar to what I hear at the 2 second and 8/9 second marks.


    After that they seem to run silently. Maybe if I run a check using Disk Utility that might show up something if there is a problem with the disks.


    Edit: Maybe not use Disk Utility - I've just Googled it and see the warning NOT to use Disk Utility on a Time Capsule disk.


    Many Thanks

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,817 points)

    I have to admit to finding seagates noisy.. in general. The older WD green seemed to be a quieter drive. I was shocked that after the disaster of so many dead seagates in imacs they went back to them.


    I would not over worry about it.. as long as the noise doesn't get worse.


    Just for interest if you lay the TC down so the disk is horizontal.. does it make the same.. more or less noise??

  • El Morche Level 1 (0 points)

    Just tried it there on both sides and its front. If anything I would say it is worse - but maybe that could be attributed to the larger surface area in contact with the glass shelf that it is sitting on.

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,817 points)

    Thanks for that.. yes a glass shelf is probably the best sort of amplifier of any mechanical vibration or noise coming from the drive. But having the same amount of noise (albeit aprox.) in any orientation would make me feel happier that the drive is just typical seagate.

  • El Morche Level 1 (0 points)

    Many Thanks for all your help LaPastenague. If I find out anything else from AppleCare I'll let you know.

  • El Morche Level 1 (0 points)

    Called AppleCare this morning and the rep said that the noise that I described was normal but clicking, for example, would not be normal.