Some MacBook Pro Owners Reporting Strange Noises, Errors with 7200 RPM Hard Drives

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Date: Thursday, July 9th, 2009, 03:33
Category: hard drive, MacBook Pro

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Some owners of Apple’s latest MacBook Pros with faster 7200RPM hard drives are reporting strange clicking and beeping noises along with performance issues. According to MacNN, though the cause of the problem is unclear, an Apple Support forum thread has many users suggesting that it is caused by an incompatibility between the Seagate hard drive’s G-Force protection system and MacBook hardware. Some users have called Apple Support or taken their computers to an Apple Genius Bar both of which have tried fixing the problem by running a “capture” or resetting the computer’s “PRAM” during start up — neither of these solutions seem to have resolved the issue fully according to users in Apple’s support forum.

The issue could possibly affect users editing video, or those whose computer use requires sequential reading and writing. Users are also disputing where the sound is coming from within the computer with each user suggesting the sound comes from opposite sides of the computer, thereby making the rumor all the more uncertain.

The problem seems to only affect users with 7200RPM drives as users with 5400RPM drives are not reporting any similar problems.

Apple has yet to acknowledge any factory defects and has not made any comment regarding the sound and performance issues.

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5 Responses to “Some MacBook Pro Owners Reporting Strange Noises, Errors with 7200 RPM Hard Drives”

  1. I had exactly this problem. I had a hard drive expert listen to it, and he was of the opinion that the drive was going to fail, because it sounded like the sound you get when the seek mechanism has to recalibrate itself. It varied from “occasional” to happening several times in rapid succession.

    I took the machine to the Genius Bar, and was able to get them to replace the drive. The new drive does not have the issue at all.

    For what it's worth, the same dive expert says that Seagate's quality has declined precipitously since a large round of layoffs recently.

  2. I just picked up my 17 inch MacBook Pro (refurbished, Model FB512LL/A) with the Hitachi HTS722020K9SA00, 200 GB, 7200 rpm hard drive from my local Apple Specialist store.
    Bought in late May, 2009, the hard drive began making more and more 'noise' and slower performance as time went by. It was especially poor running Aperture 2. It stopped working on July 5, and was replaced under warranty. Although not a new Unibody model, is there a link? I am running Mac OSX 10.5.7.

  3. Jay, unlikely to be linked. Different machine and hard drive. The problem you describe sounds like a straightforward drive failure. Glad you were able to get it fixed.

    When I was having my drive replaced, the tech at the Genius Bar said that Apple had a tech note on the new drive claiming that clicking and chirping noises were “normal”, but when I pointed out that each click/chirp was accompanied by a stall in reading/writing, they went ahead and swapped drives. The new drive has not exhibited any bad behavior, and it is the same model. I didn't make note of the old drive revision, though. My new revision is 0006APM2.

  4. I have this exact same issue. I took my Mac to the Apple store and they were unable to fix the problem. I am currently seeking a way to get refunded or exchange my MacBook Pro. Since this is a known issue I am hoping Apple will be understanding and cooperative.

  5. I have this exact same issue. I took my Mac to the Apple store and they were unable to fix the problem. I am currently seeking a way to get refunded or exchange my MacBook Pro. Since this is a known issue I am hoping Apple will be understanding and cooperative.