View Full Version : (HD?) Clicking on "new" Mac Pro

Dec 13, 2006, 12:56 PM
Hi, I am a stranger in a strange land. I've been putting PCs together since I was 14 (16 years ago!) and the price, xp compatibility, OS X, etc.. finally won me over. (I am a video/graphics guy, so I do have mac experience... They're impossible to avoid!)

Anyway, I just bought a Refurb dual Xeon 3.0, and though I've searched around, I can't find any complaints about this, but my idle workstation keeps spinning up/down the hard drive all day long, I think. It makes that "click" noise like a drive spinning up at random intervals, sometimes as often as once every 5 minutes. Do I have a bad drive on this? Should I call support?

Is there a way to determine if my drive is ok?


Be gentle, it's my first time. Thanks in advance!

Dec 13, 2006, 01:01 PM
Well usually a clicking sound is a sign of bad or failing drive. Check under disk utility for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive. Although I have had my start up HD do this on occasion and it's still going after 2.5 years. Of course I would back up your date JUST incase. :)

Dec 13, 2006, 01:16 PM
It could be a defective drive. But some drives do click occasionally. Go into energy saver preferences, and disable "allow this drive to spin down when idle". That should stop the annoying spin ups/downs, which actually does more harm than good!

Dec 13, 2006, 01:56 PM
I think that was it. It didn't occur to me that it was power saving, as it wasn't "time based" (Sometimes it was like 1 minute apart, sometimes 20) They really should kill or change that feature. I can't imagine your hard drive starting up and down dozens of times a day is good for the drive. I've always heard & read that the hardest part for HDs is startup/shutdown...

Of course, maybe Apple figures thermal issues counterbalance... but still...

Thanks for the timely advice!


Dec 13, 2006, 02:49 PM
If that clicking sound is the drive spinning down to the power conversation thing, you should only hear one quiet click; I get that when my secondary HD goes to sleep. If it's multiple clicks then it could be something else.

Dec 13, 2006, 05:18 PM
Coming from the PC world, you don't get the clicking, but Pro Macintosh drive clicking goes back to the days of Apple Lisa. You should here the drive click on those!

CLICK! Hello! :D

Dec 13, 2006, 05:23 PM
The Western Digital in my Mac Pro makes a noticeable "click" when it it turns on/off (like when sleeping and waking the machine), but not during normal operation. I have the option to "Put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" on, however I've never noticed it making noise. In fact I didn't know I had that option on, I don't think my drive spins down very often.

The last time I heard a hard drive making strange clicks it died shortly afterward. Beware.

Dec 13, 2006, 08:54 PM
I should have specified that my system was 'idle' when this happened.. I have two workstations in my office, a Windows system and a Mac, and I noticed it primarily when I was working on the windows system, and I'd hear the click from across the room. As I said, it never occurred to me that it was a power saving issue, as it would often happen within a minute. The system was idle, and it kept powering up and down. This is a pretty virginal OS X install. I've only installed firefox, a couple widgets, and some SMB shares... Otherwise, it's factory-fresh...

Thanks again!


Dec 13, 2006, 09:45 PM
...I have two workstations in my office, a Windows system and a Mac...

that would explain it. coming over from the windows side, you've never had a dual xeon quiet enough to be able to hear the drives before...:eek:

welcome to the way it was supposed to work all along. except for firefox :mad:

Dec 14, 2006, 10:22 AM
Yeah, though to be fair, the HP XW8200 (Dual 3.2) that shares a room with the mac is also wicked quiet, except when the cpu goes to 100% utilization, and the fans kick into high.

I'm actually typing this on windows on my mac. I had a relatively successful Boot Camp install last night, aside from the pci.sys exclamations in the device manager.

I Downloaded a "Need For Speed Carbon" demo and it SMOKES with this ATI 1900.. I'm no hardcore gamer anymore, but it's amazing to see full res full screen anti-aliased/anisotropic stuff with reflecting reflections run smooth as glass...

I have a small audio issue, but I'll start a new thread with that question...

Dec 14, 2006, 10:32 AM
My MBP makes a clicking sound from the HD area from time to time as well. Mine has a Toshiba 80 GB FWIW. It does worry me a bit.