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Darge13
Feb 18, 2008, 12:10 PM
I posted this over at the Apple forums but I don't how many of your are on those boards too.
I have had 2 MacBook Airs and I can't recall if the first one had the hard drive click. The second one does. I did some searching on apple website for some better smart tools and found this.
http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/smartutility.html
When I run this it says my drive is failing with over 1000 unknown errors, but when reading the attributes I seen no failing items. So I'm wondering if this is simply an incompatibility issue with the software or if the drive is truly dieing. Would anyone kindly try to run this application on their MacBook Air and report back?
Thanks
Tim



Cybergypsy
Feb 18, 2008, 02:51 PM
Something is wrong with the software....relax.....

Darge13
Feb 18, 2008, 03:42 PM
Were you able to try it on your Air? Other programs show me the same amount of errors in the SMART log of the drive. I noticed you posted your drive clicks once an hour, mine clicks once every 10-20 secs...

Cybergypsy
Feb 18, 2008, 08:37 PM
Were you able to try it on your Air? Other programs show me the same amount of errors in the SMART log of the drive. I noticed you posted your drive clicks once an hour, mine clicks once every 10-20 secs...
gave me error too but thik it bS.....

squaremon
Feb 18, 2008, 09:06 PM
i had 342 errors n all unknown :confused: mine has loud click every once awhile and small clicks every 5-20 mins

Darge13
Feb 18, 2008, 10:02 PM
Thats all I wanted to to know. I think its nothing. I have used some other SMART software to read the status and I get the same. When I read my log it time stamps it between 0 and 3 hours over and over. Thanks for the feedback. Oh did it also list the drive as failing at the bottom?

ccantrell
Feb 19, 2008, 12:06 AM
I agree and believe some of the 'error' stats might be reporting incorrectly in the current 1.1 version of this tool.

However, after noticing a lot of clicks from my drive, I ran this utility and noticed many 'bad sectors' under the attribute section. When I took it in tonight to the Apple store, they ran their newest diagnostic tool and it found the drive was indeed bad. They ended up just replacing my MBA. On a side note, the 'Verify Disk' under the Disk Utility reported nothing.

If you see bad sector errors, I would recommend taking it in and letting them check it out.

Best of luck,
-chris

squaremon
Feb 19, 2008, 12:22 AM
i ran a verify disk permission in disk utility and it shows this

ACL found but not expected on "Library".
ACL found but not expected on "Applications".
ACL found but not expected on "Applications/Utilities".

ccantrell
Feb 19, 2008, 12:42 AM
i ran a verify disk permission in disk utility and it shows this

ACL found but not expected on "Library".
ACL found but not expected on "Applications".
ACL found but not expected on "Applications/Utilities".

Mine also. I don't know if this is OK but I ran this on a fresh, new system.

Critical Hippo
Feb 19, 2008, 11:50 AM
Every time I access a document, I hear a click. The fan is silent. Everything else works fine. But there's a click, usually followed by a few more clicks. As long as I am surfing the web or doing something with the computer, I hear clicks. I would chalk this up to the normal sound of the system, but from these "clicking" threads I get the idea that other people are not hearing this sound.

So I'm going to go down to the Apple store and listen to their display models just to see whether other Airs make the same noise I'm hearing. I could care less whether the hard drive is failing or not; if my machine is making noises that other machines are not making, I'm having it replaced or returning it. I love this machine aside from the noise, but it is no good to me if it is going to drive me mad.

Darge13
Feb 19, 2008, 03:27 PM
Report back please. I believe the sound is the heads parking. I have read about this on other MacBook models. I did a surface scan and the drive was silent the whole time until the scan finished. I think the drive has an aggressive power management and is parking ASAP. I have looked into a program called hdapm but I get an error back that this drive does not support apm...

squaremon
Feb 19, 2008, 04:04 PM
Thats all I wanted to to know. I think its nothing. I have used some other SMART software to read the status and I get the same. When I read my log it time stamps it between 0 and 3 hours over and over. Thanks for the feedback. Oh did it also list the drive as failing at the bottom?

yea failing

queshy
Feb 19, 2008, 05:44 PM
My MBA hard drive "clicks" every 30s-1m or so quietly...but you can still hear it. I ran the tests in disk utility and it showed nothing. You won't be able to hear if it clicks in the apple store...way too noisy. What's the verdict on this? Are they defective or not? Is it normal for it to click like that?

illian
Feb 19, 2008, 07:01 PM
hey there,

well i can hear another sound...really high frequency(cpu-whining) especially when i use the touchpad and the cpu is idle. hope it won't get worse..

Darge13
Feb 19, 2008, 08:04 PM
My first Air had that squeal all the time. This new one does it on an off. Its like a beep.

Darge13
Feb 19, 2008, 11:55 PM
Here another test. Try watching this video:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/30736.html?type=flv
and let me know if you have any pauses while it streams. Also state if you hear your drive click. I get a click and the video hiccups... BTW I didn't hear any clicks from the Airs on display at the Apple Store. I bet I looked silly resting my head on the key board....

squaremon
Feb 20, 2008, 03:39 AM
Here another test. Try watching this video:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/30736.html?type=flv
and let me know if you have any pauses while it streams. Also state if you hear your drive click. I get a click and the video hiccups... BTW I didn't hear any clicks from the Airs on display at the Apple Store. I bet I looked silly resting my head on the key board....

Did u use safari or firefox? MBA CPU burns when watching HD video with safari. Theres some random pauses while streams , kinda like slow frame rate. Was watching with firefox and cpu user go between 50-60% temp was 70c. A loud click after finishing the video.

illian
Feb 20, 2008, 06:04 AM
My first Air had that squeal all the time. This new one does it on an off. Its like a beep.

well i think we have to live with that.

the hdd click is just natural...all my small external hdds got it. if u want to get rid of it buy a ssd ;)

someone tried to not let the hdd get into sleep-mode?

MacRumorUser
Feb 20, 2008, 06:59 AM
i ran a verify disk permission in disk utility and it shows this

ACL found but not expected on "Library".
ACL found but not expected on "Applications".
ACL found but not expected on "Applications/Utilities".

Mine also. I don't know if this is OK but I ran this on a fresh, new system.


THIS IS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MBA!! Just made that bold to make it perfectly clear that you are barking up the wrong tree.

That issue occurred on all my macs, and many many others, after updating to 10.5.2. Seems 10.5.2 quality control wasn't as good as it should have been.

It's obviously a remnant from that update and nothing to do with the MBA in particular.

Darge13
Feb 20, 2008, 12:04 PM
I used Safari. These were not random pauses. I would hear a click click and the video would pause. This was not a network issue either. CPU was fine too. I watched the same video on an older less powerful laptop and it played fine.

squaremon
Feb 20, 2008, 02:31 PM
I used Safari. These were not random pauses. I would hear a click click and the video would pause. This was not a network issue either. CPU was fine too. I watched the same video on an older less powerful laptop and it played fine.

What was the temp of ur cpu when u play that video?:confused:

Darge13
Feb 20, 2008, 02:37 PM
I never see it go above 80*C once the fans kick in.

squaremon
Feb 20, 2008, 02:54 PM
did ur cpu temp went up to 70c when watching that video?

queshy
Feb 20, 2008, 03:05 PM
When I first got the air while I was doing the updates the fan was reved up to 6000 rpm but after a restart it became whisper quiet (2500 rpm) and never shot back up since...

As for the clicks, i get them every 30s or so. If you turn on an iPod and put it up to your ear you get the same thing...I'm assuming it's something the hard drive does because of its nature/size. I hope I'm right...I need to know so I can return it if I need to.

squaremon
Feb 20, 2008, 03:19 PM
When I first got the air while I was doing the updates the fan was reved up to 6000 rpm but after a restart it became whisper quiet (2500 rpm) and never shot back up since...

As for the clicks, i get them every 30s or so. If you turn on an iPod and put it up to your ear you get the same thing...I'm assuming it's something the hard drive does because of its nature/size. I hope I'm right...I need to know so I can return it if I need to.

me2:(

shadowmatt
Feb 20, 2008, 03:31 PM
You have all got to stop worrying... You will convince yourself things are bad.

1. The utility doesnt work on MacBook Airs. Have confirmed this on numerous machines. You see the errors happened at 0 hour, that means there is something in the log at when the drive was manufactured. It is normal, the utility just needs an update to recognize the drive in the MBA correctly.

2. The video test is both a good one and a bad one. Now you have to remember 2 things, the drive on the MBA is slow and you are streaming HD flash video.

This will max out the drive both reading and writing at the same time, one for the download and one for playing the video from buffer. Coupled with the airport and cpu usage you are pushing the machine. This will also raise the temperature of the MBA.

3. Why is the video test bad?

The flash video is streaming and the stopping and starting you get is when the buffering of the video fails as you have watched it to the point where it is currently downloaded, it then stops and downloads a little more before starting to play again.

The progress bar in flash is a buggy and can regularly show the video has played past the point is has buffered, this has nothing to do with the MBA and its the bugginess of the video player in flash.

You would need to pause the video when it first opens and then let it download the whole thing before pressing play. The blue progress bar which fills the time line would need to be all the way over to the right.

4. What does all this mean to the MBA and the drive?

The stopping and starting is the video downloading and the player trying to play it but catching up with the buffering.

The heat is caused by maxing out the different parts of the MBA, airport, cpu and hard drive.

The clicking sound is the drive stopping and starting. It does this while downloading the video, when it stutters, because the drive is not needed. The player has played as much video as has downloaded, there is no more streaming from the diskdrive as its stopped playing.

This sound is normal in all harddrives, you can hear it more on the MBA due to your location to the notebook (upclose), its lack of sound proofing (small, behind open keyboard, used for ventilation), and the drives lack of soundproofing. Its a smaller drive, its case is thinner, its parts smaller.

The noise is normal, you can hear it on other laptops. You can hear it on ipods when it buffers music or video.

shadowmatt
Feb 20, 2008, 03:44 PM
If you are interested, see this link, with the recorded sound. This is a notebook drive "feature" the small drives all do it.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=191167

Now dont read too much into what they are saying, its the same ill informed discussion as on this forum. Its the sound of the drive parking.

The fixes they talk about dont fix the drive, infact the opposite, they actually put it in more danger of failure. The fixes access the drive constantly, which stops the drive ever stopping, that stops the head parking sound, but puts unnecessary usage on the drive, lowering its life.

dzeroo
Feb 20, 2008, 03:49 PM
Well, I don't mean to derail this discussion, but since the clicking noise occurred also when not transferring tons of data, I ran the SMART utility (see couple of posts back). It came back with 300+ errors or whatever, so I called Apple. They walked me through a reboot (holding down Ctrl, Option, Apple, and Left-Shift), and followed by another reboot (Ctrl, Option, P, R). No dice.

Today, the dude at the geniusbar simply put his ear against the bottom while copying some massive file. He said he heard it too and replaced it on the spot. Seems like there's a couple of dodgy HDs out there. C'est ca.

BTW, make sure you back up your mail, iCal, etc. before you go in so that you don't forget anything when they ask you to transfer all your stuff.

P.S. Also, after doing the reboot thing (RTFM first), my iSight shut off. Did it again, and it jumped back on.

shadowmatt
Feb 20, 2008, 04:08 PM
Thats the whole point, it happen when not transferring data. When the drive parks the head.

Fair play for getting it exchanged, the guys at the apple store are no more than trained salesmen. They dont know hardware, the are not trained computer engineers. Its the same with the ones on the phone, they go through standard, written documents, and the smc reset is usually the first thing they try.

Bet you start to hear the noise on your new one.

And as I said the smart utility isnt configured for the drive in the Air. Everybody gets that error message, 400 errors and 5 in the log. Disk Util sees the drive as fine as does other smart utilities.

squaremon
Feb 20, 2008, 04:20 PM
i understand that the small click is the drive parks the head tho. But I do get loud click once awhile.I would say at least 3x louder than the smaller clicks. Its almost like u snap ur finger on ur mba

queshy
Feb 20, 2008, 04:34 PM
lol, so is it the conclusion that the clicking sound is normal?

illian
Feb 20, 2008, 04:36 PM
i understand that the small click is the drive parks the head tho. But I do get loud click once awhile.I would say at least 3x louder than the smaller clicks. Its almost like u snap ur finger on ur mba

i get the same loud click you're talking about. but i think this is just normal hdd noise...sometimes you're hdd gets into sleep mode. i know how loud my hdd in my pc is...especially if it starts up.
my dell xps m1330 got these clicks too but there was also the "spinning" noise of the hdd...

squaremon
Feb 20, 2008, 04:53 PM
i get the same loud click you're talking about. but i think this is just normal hdd noise...sometimes you're hdd gets into sleep mode. i know how loud my hdd in my pc is...especially if it starts up.
my dell xps m1330 got these clicks too but there was also the "spinning" noise of the hdd...

yea thats the click sound I'm having. A loud click follow by a spinning noise. Is that suppose to be normal? I mean i get the sound sometimes randomly when i web browse or open a document.:confused:

shadowmatt
Feb 20, 2008, 05:23 PM
Yes its normal.

PDE
Feb 20, 2008, 05:26 PM
Normal. They've always done this - I can remember my old wallstreet doing it in 1998. I think perhaps the samsung drive in the macbook air is a little louder, or perhaps it's because it's extremely quiet normally that you notice it when the heads park. Totally normal anyway and nothing to worry about.

squaremon
Feb 20, 2008, 05:37 PM
If you are interested, see this link, with the

The fixes they talk about dont fix the drive, infact the opposite, they actually put it in more danger of failure. The fixes access the drive constantly, which stops the drive ever stopping, that stops the head parking sound, but puts unnecessary usage on the drive, lowering its life.

So does that mean the people who have no clicking sound at all in their mba has a shorter HDD life? :confused:Thanks

PDE
Feb 20, 2008, 05:41 PM
So does that mean the people who have no clicking sound at all in their mba has a shorter HDD life? :confused:Thanks


I think all the drives make a little noise when the heads park, just that some are louder than others. Some are virtually silent. I've had three macbook airs in the past week and I really only heard the clicking on this latest one.

stsanford
Feb 20, 2008, 06:00 PM
Maybe it's power management, I just noticed that my MBA, while plugged in, doesn't do this as much....

shoulin333
Feb 20, 2008, 11:23 PM
ive noticed that it clicks when on battery and thus on "Better Battery Life" mode..

i believe this is simply the hard drive parking itself to save battery..

... when on A/C i rarley hear it... also if on battery and i am playing a song in itunes, but mute the volume (so the hdd is constantly reading) i do not hear it..

...i think is normal, we need someone to pay this close attn to their iPod classic and see if they hear the same thing when it is on, but not playing music..


i think there is nothing wrong, considering the laptop mades Zero noise other than that.. mine has no cpu whine, but i guess i got lucky there..

... Plus i plan to yank the HDD in about 6 months or so when SSD's become cheaper and bigger anyways.

volitans
Feb 25, 2008, 04:21 PM
And as I said the smart utility isnt configured for the drive in the Air. Everybody gets that error message, 400 errors and 5 in the log. Disk Util sees the drive as fine as does other smart utilities.

It has nothing to do with SMART Utility not being configured for the drive. SMART Utility just reads what the drive reports- it doesn't need to be configured for it because SMART is a standard. The drive is reporting those errors for a reason. The reason there is only 5 is because the SMART standard only requires the last 5 errors to be logged.

And just because Disk Utility and other SMART software reports as Verified doesn't mean there isn't something wrong with the drive. I've seen many dying and failing drives that Disk Utility reported as Verified, right up the time the drive stopped working at all. SMART Utility looks at more than just the overall SMART Status, it looks at the attributes and error logs too.

With that being said, does that mean the drive is bad? Not necessarily. Sometimes the drive logs errors that are caused by a bad HD cable, or bad software doing things it shouldn't. Maybe when the drives were being imaged, the cable connection wasn't quite right. Or maybe the imaging software was hiccuping, confusing the drive. But maybe the drive is having problems.

If there are attributes giving warnings, such as many bad sectors, I'd be more worried. Unless that is the case, just keep an eye on the drive, and backup data often (use Time Machine if possible!)

I hope that clears things up.

queshy
Feb 28, 2008, 08:29 PM
Ok, I think it's definitely a problem with the hard drives, or at least an irregularity. I'm on my second air - the f irst one clicked every 30 seconds yet the second unit, I have barely heard click 5 times since I got it a few days ago.

Maybe it's the specific model of the hard drive...the noise didn't bother me really though, overall the Air is the quietest apple laptop I have dealt with (MBP and MB).

treehut
Jul 7, 2008, 02:30 PM
Ok, I think it's definitely a problem with the hard drives, or at least an irregularity. I'm on my second air - the f irst one clicked every 30 seconds yet the second unit, I have barely heard click 5 times since I got it a few days ago.

Maybe it's the specific model of the hard drive...the noise didn't bother me really though, overall the Air is the quietest apple laptop I have dealt with (MBP and MB).

Did Apple replace yours because of the clicking? You now have a much quieter/quiet machine? Mine clicks every 6 seconds or so. I'm thinking of taking it in, but will I be told its "just normal?" Other people dealt with Apple around this? Even if it's "normal" I find it distracting. Otherwise LOVE this machine.