I read through all your accounts and following is my conclusion.
I think you have a flakey drive and that eventually the "clicking", or worse, will return. A clicking sound eminating from a hard disk drive bodes ill wind - it is not normal. Even if it does turn out that the bearings needed a break in period, that is, at the very least, bad design as it puts your valuable data at risk during this period.
It's true, WD will require a hard failure of the drive b4 you can get them to replace it. Unfortunately, failures often begin w/ intermittent problems. And intermittent problems w/ computer-related equipment (any electronic equipment, in fact) are the hardest to pin down.
It could be a heat related problem where, once the drive reaches a certain temperature the problem goes away. That's still indicative of some component inside the hard drive that is borderline functioning or a circuit, device or component that is fractured in some way and closed when there is sufficient heat for the metal parts involved to expand enough to complete the circuit or make the contact.
Here's what I recommend:
1st and *MOST* importantly: Set up a redundant backup system for all of your valuable data. Never ever put all your apples in one basket when it comes to hard drives or any dynamic media like a hard drive. Hard drives are made up of both electronic and moving parts - both of which are subseptible to inevitable failure. Unless you're burning your data on a regular basis to DVDs or backing up to tape or some other permanent storage type, then you must employ redundancy in order to protect your valuable data. (Backup to two or more locations.)
2nd: Backup all of your data off of the hard disk drive you're having trouble w/ (and onto one on which you've never experienced problems). Then, run hard disk drive "burn in" diagnostics on it - intensely exercising it over a long period of time (at *least* 24 hours - more if possible - or until a hard failure of the hard disk drive is induced). This will require exclusive access to the computer the burn in is being run on. (You won't be able to use the computer for anything else during this period.)
Include in the hard disk drive "burn in" write and read and seek excercises. The idea is to make the drive break. It will eventually. We just want to make it happen now while it's in warranty. You won't be violating any warranty, etc. by doing this. The drive *should* be able to w/stand any intense burn in routines you can throw at it.
If it still won't fail, I still wouldn't trust it. I'd use it for temporary storage but not for any critical or permanent storage.
You can download Bart's Disktool 1.2 HERE
. You can also download Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD4Win) for Windows from HERE
, and Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) from HERE
. Each include hard disk drive diagnostics.
If you'd like assistance w/ any of these processes, tests, creating the boot discs, etc. just us know. We'll be happy to help.