Hot WD Elements USB drives

I have 14 WD Elements USB drives. Two of them give off much more heat than the others.

Twelve of them run and barely feel warm. But the other two have a fair amount of heat coming out of their top vents.

I have a fan blowing over all of my USB drives. Even with the air from the fan pushing the heat away, the top of those two Elements drives are somewhat hot.

Heat kills. It also raises the electric bill.

Would you consider the condition I described as the drives being faulty in some way?
Would the heat be grounds for warranty replacements?

I can’t imagine that’s covered under warranty, but you’d have to read it to be sure.

I mean, they work, I’d think that’s what warranty cover is for.

I’ve designed and 3D printed a dual 120mm fan holder, which holds 5 WD Elements drives, so the fans blow up through the drives, keeps them nice and cool.

All my wd elements (i only have 2) run hot

As do my other external drives.

None of them have active cooling.

But, the enclosures don’t really feel hot.
The fact that hot air is coming out might actually be a good thing :sweat_smile:

In any case i would check crystal disk or hwmo itor to see what temp the drives are actually reporting

A box holding the usb drivers, with blowing fan is my choice. I myself made the boxes with 12 cm fans. The drivers are wd elements. Pack of 4 x 1,575in brushless USB cooling fans high performance DC 5V cooling fan speed 4200 RPM for small spare appliances series : Electronics

I also have a couple of these

A box is more eficient as it creates a closed medium.

What about heat? Could have extra fans…

The WD Elements are perfect for cooling with fans, as they only have vents in the top and bottom. I designed and 3D printed a rack to take two 120mm fans, this sits on top of a 240 x 120 vent in my server case. Yes I know this is pulling warm air from in the case, but immediately below that vent is an Icy Dock with a HDD in it, so it also draws air across that, which otherwise wouldn’t get much air flow. I also have 3 x 5 Supermicro bays in the front of the case, and each one has a fan, so there’s plenty of air flow through the case.

My hottest USB drive is 42c, and its quite a warm room, being small and having all the networking gear and server in it, fans are on slow as well.


Get some cutters and clip the bars on the top of the drive case to open more space. I did that on my WD drives and the temp went way down.

Temperatures are fine, and I’d also prefer to keep the cases in good condition in case I need warranty - its the UK and that would void the warranty.


You folks have good ideas for heat reduction.

My concern, however, is that two of my fourteen Elements drives are not like the other twelve.
Two of my fourteen Elements drives generate much more heat than my other other twelve Elements drives.

The fans that I have in place take care of the excess heat, and I have fans in place for all of my drives.

The issue is why those two drives have a heat issue?
Something is wrong with them.

I should not have to find a fix for a properly functioning product.
Yes, fans are customary, because all drives give off heat. The issue is the amount of heat being generated, which in the case of these two drives, exceeds what I believe is normal.

I will call Western Digital on Monday, and if I am able to navigate through their “we do not want to speak to customers” phone system, and I am able to actually speak to someone that wants to help, then maybe they will replace the drives. I probably have a better chance of winning the lottery, twice, but I will give it a shot.

And if they agree to replace the drives, then I have to find a place to copy my K34 plots to (I have no more empty drives, and I have no more $$ for additional drives).

Had the same issue last month so I bought another 18TB drive and copied my files…

What is the temperature of those two drives, and what is the average of the others?

You say you have a fans blowing over them, presumably onto the plastic case, which is not going to do much, the fans need to blow through the drives, as the only vents are top and bottom you need to get airflow through these vents like I have.

The fans are blowing across the tops of the cases, to push away the hot air, and draw air out from within.

That would require specialized fans, which I do not have, and frankly, should not need to have.

The two “hot” drives should not need special cooling, that none of the other “same drives” do not need.

And no matter how much cooling could be pumped through the drive, it will never completely compensate for whatever friction is taking place that should not be taking place.

Some excessive friction is taking place that should not be taking place. And no matter how much cooling is put in place, whatever is rubbing will still be rubbing, and will eventually cause a failure.

There is also the electrical cost. Those two drives are creating more heat than the other twelve drives, combined (or close to it).

I do not know.
Does Windows 10 have a tool to display each drive’s temperature?

Not pre-installed on windows no
You can either use crystaldiskinfo or openhardwaremonitor


So you’re going by feel, and using a drive 24/7 that’s not designed to be on 24/7, and not willing to put in a bit of effort to safe guard your investment.

We shouldn’t have to do a lot of things we do, but we do because we need to. I shouldn’t have to strip down my 3080 GPU to improve its cooling by replacing heat pads, but then it wasn’t supposed to be run 24/7 flat out, but it runs a lot cooler after I did. I shouldn’t have to invest upwards of £300 in a decent antenna set up to get a decent return from my Helium miner, but I did because it makes financial sense.

Fans blowing across the top is not going to do much, raise the drives up without blocking the bottom vents, lay the fans flat on top so they suck air through, use software to check before and afterwards temperatures.

I use to monitor drive temperatures because I want them to last, and don’t want the hassle of trying to get warranty and then replotting, effort = rewards :wink:


I have laid horizontally my wd elements and the fans blow into the air vents. After the two year warranty ends, I will get tid of the plastic cases so it will be easier to cool down the disks.

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