iBook hard drive makes ticking sound

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by DavidLeblond, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #1
    I've noticed that when idle, my G4 iBook's hard drive makes a regular ticking sound. Kinda like a "tick-tock....tick-tock....tick-tock" I tried to open activity monitor to see if there was any service that could be doing something but I can't find one. Has anybody else experienced this? I don't care if it makes the noise, I just wanna know why it does it.

    At least its not as annoying as the constant grinding coming from the hard drive on my DVR. Now THAT gets on my nerves. :mad:
     
  2. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    #2
    I had that experience with my G3 iBook. Whenever it did that it menat something was wrong. Eventually Apple replaced that iBook with a G4 iBook. However, I think it is just the hard drive spinning down.
     
  3. DavidLeblond thread starter macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #3

    God I hope thats not it. I did find a page that said 10.2 had a similar error (I'm using Panther.) The error was caused by the OS writing Audio IO errors to an error log. When I get home I'll monitor my error logs to see if maybe something is being written to them periodically.
     
  4. tace macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Ooopps

    On many laptops, the HDD will stop making unusual noises a while before it fails. This is generally caused by a bump or drop of the laptop that causes something in the hard drive to malfunction. I used to travel extensively with laptops and went through many hdds over the years. This is not a defect of the hardware as much as it is usual (or unusual, depending on your point of view) wear and tear of a moving and active part. My suggestion is to do backups and replace the HDD if possible.
     
  5. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #5
    In case it is your HD going be sure to keep a regular back up! There is nothing worse then losing your data without a back up!
    HD noise is regular on a laptop, but if its clankly and really loud that can be a bad sign!
     
  6. DavidLeblond thread starter macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
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    Raleigh, NC
    #6
    This is a periodic ticking... like once a second. Its definately the sound of the head moving. It isn't loud or anything.

    Actually I'm sitting right next to a Solaris box that makes the same type sounds sometime (I think when its doing maintenence.)
     
  7. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #7
    My HD will make noises when its opening documents and what not, on laptops the sound can sound like a kind of crunching of cereal, this is normal. Metallic clatter is not what you want to hear like: clickity click clickity click clicktly click. I wish I had a sound bite to illustrate the sound.
     
  8. DavidLeblond thread starter macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

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    Raleigh, NC
    #8
    This is when it is idle though. If you run top in a terminal window the only 2 processes running are Terminal and top. Its not a metallic clatter I'm hearing, its definately the drive reading (or writing) something but its a very steady periodic tick instead of the irregular bursts of grinding (grinding is the only word I can think of) sound that the drive makes when its normally reading something.

    If you have a PC with a defrag program on it, close all your other apps and defrag your hard drive... it reads and writes the blocks at a pretty steady pace... thats pretty much what my drive sounds like.

    Everything else works perfectly on the laptop. I want to say this ticking is some sort of maintenence (like maybe a background defrag?) but I just don't see the evidence in the activity monitor.
     
  9. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    First - check the S.M.A.R.T status of the hard drive, to see whether it is reporting that it is going to fail. Just select the icon of your hard drive in the left pane, and see what it says is up at the bottom. If it says anything other than "Verified" then you have a big problem, back up now. Otherwise, in the activity monitor go to the hard drive activity place, and see if it is actually writing to the disk when it clicks. If it isn't then you might have had a head crash, or some other mechanical failure that could be really bad. Good luck!
     
  10. admiraldennis macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    They did!? How did you accomplish that? Did you pay for it?
     
  11. DavidLeblond thread starter macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

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    #11
    Seriously... maybe I'll wait for the next line of iBooks (G5?) to mention the drive ticking to Apple. :D
     
  12. DavidLeblond thread starter macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #12
    I just got home and went into Activity Monitor to see if it was actually reading or writing to the hard drive. When it is idle and doing the ticking sound it averages 2.25KB per second of disk writes, 0 read. Now to see what process is actually doing the writes.
     
  13. DavidLeblond thread starter macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #13
    Mystery Solved! (kinda)

    I went through my active processes, the only one doing any type of disk i/o was DatabaseDaemon. Suddenly that process finished and the ticking stopped.

    So I guess my iBook hard drive will live another day. Whew!

    I wonder what Database that process is for. Anyone know? I don't have any loaded on here, so its gotta be for an Apple app.
     

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