Very quite noise once IO happens to hard drive

I am not quite sure this is a Fedora problem, but I am confused.
I am using Fedora Plasma 32 installed in an SSD and I boot from the SSD. I have a second hard drive (mechanical drive, WD blue HDD) mounted with /etc/fstab on system boot. It is mounted to a subfolder of my home folder. I started to notice this when I edit file with vim in this folder and I hear a small voice once every key I pressed. I first suspected as it as a vim problem. Then I find it is because the hard drive. This will also occur when I rename folders and move files. However, in these occasions they don’t necessarily happen every time.

So long as the sound is quiet and doesn’t get louder over time, it’s not uncommon for some mechanical hard disks to make audible noise, such as a buzz/hum from the platters spinning, or quiet clicking as the heads move into place when reading or writing data.

The reason you’re likely hearing it when using vim is likely due to its recovery feature. As you work, vim saves modifications to a secondary file, in case your works is interrupted somehow.

Moving or renaming files also creates disk IO as it modifies information in the filesystem, so it would be normal there too.

As for why you sometimes don’t hear it, that’s likely because the changes you made were to small to bother writing right away at that time, and were cached by the kernel to be written latter.

It’s probably nothing, but if you’re still worried about it, I’d recommend running a test with ‘smartctl’.

(And no, this is not technically a Fedora issue. Unless Fedora were doing something mechanically to the disk, but I doubt that.)

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