Some point to make and to answer a couple of questions. when I fried my tweeters from the white noise burst, I was connected to a preamp. Doesn't really matter if you are going direct or through a preamp....loud is loud and high levels of white or oink noise will take out a tweeter in a matter of seconds.
I get freeze-ups and noise bursts from my 1 TB USB hard drive. The Freeze ups are rather infrequent, happening only once in a while. Are you getting more freeze ups with the larger drive? I noticed the other night I did not get that with a 64GB thumb drive. Coincidence...beats me but there might be some significance there. The smaller the drive, the more infrequent the problems.
Finally, if I take the Hires files and create a DVD-A ....no noise bursts whatsoever. so it would start to point a finger at the Hard drive, USB interface.