iMac just won't stop spinning....

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jsado, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. jsado macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #1
    So I have an iMac g4 800mhz, 768 mb ram, os 10.4.3. Why does my hard drive constantly spin?? I suspect that it is a problem with virtual memory. I don't know though. If it's on, the hd is spinning. It's been doing this for quite a while now. I thought that doing a "clean install" to Tiger would take care of it, but it didn't.

    In the activity monitor I have things using only 30 mb of ram and 150 mb of virtual memory at the same time. I thought my mac only digs into the virtual memory when it has to?

    I know there a lot of really smart people out there that can probably help me with this. That's why I post here. So, gimme your feedback people, I need help.
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Have you set the hard disk to sleep when possible? Actual RAM will limit Virtual RAM usage but not stop it entirely. Even if you get rid of the Virtual RAM, the hard disk still needs to be accessed for many different reasons. After all, it's where (almost) everything is stored. :)

    What sort of apps do you have running? Anything P2P apps? :)
     

    Attached Files:

  3. jsado thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    Yep, HD is set to sleep when possible. I do have limewire, but not "on" all the time. I have 768 mb of ram!?..Isn't that enough to keep the hd from spinning constantly?
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    The amount of RAM used depends entirely on what you're doing with the machine. As for LimeWire, if that's running then it'll never let the hard drive stop.
     
  5. jsado thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    Limewire is not running. I can have everything closed, nothing open. The HD wil spin and spin and spin. Then spin down. It will be idle for about 5 seconds, beep and start spinning again. Repeat this one more time then go to sleep.
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    Well system processes will wake the hard drive up or keep it spinning, but not as much as you're getting. Use Disk Utility in the Utilities folder to see Verify your disk (assuming you're using 10.4.3, otherwise it'll be on the OSX install disks). :)
     
  7. osprey76 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    #7
    Are you talking about the hard drive being awake, ready for operations? Or are you talking about getting the color pinwheel?

    If it's the former, then what's the problem? If it's the latter, that's a different story.
     
  8. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #8
    Call me crazy, but it sounds like you have a CD in it... :p
     
  9. jsado thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    I wish I was that stupid. Post here then find out I actually just had a CD in it!!!Yay!Problem solved!...Nope. I'm talking about actual hard drive spinning, constantly. I checked in the activity monitor and there is something named "kernel_task" eating up 805 mb of virtual ram!!! what the hell is this?
     
  10. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #10
    Spotlight indexing?

    Edit: kernel_task is probably just the core os. The process id of 0 is kind of a give away. It has 916,01MB of virtual mem on my iMac.
     
  11. jsado thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #11
    osprey, you bring up an interesting statement to me. Do you mean that my HD should ALWAYS be spinning, ready for action? Surely there must be times when it can be sleeping right? Am I merely overanalyzing my computer? It spins forever, spins down...waits 5 seconds, beeps then spins back up (this is with nothin at all being used, computer just sitting there, on, no apps running, just a desktop).....spins forever again, spins down, beeps.... spins up and just shuts down for a nap.......goes into sleep mode that is.
     
  12. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #12
    I think it is normal for the hard drive to spin when the computer is in use. It takes relatively long time to spin up or down, so the most common state for a hard drive is active idle, which means spinning but not doing any reads or writes. Just spinning doesn't use much power and it keeps the system responsive.

    I don't know how long the computer must to be idle before OS X decided to spin down the hard drive, but you could be seeing quite normal behaviour.

    What I don't understand is how you even notice that your hard drive spins. I can't hear my hard drive spinning, reading or writing and it never ever beeps.
     
  13. osprey76 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    #13
    If you don't check "sleep when possible" for the hard drives, then the HD's spin whenever the computer is in use. I used to have that checked, but it got annoying to wait for the hard drive seemingly all of the time. When you put the computer to sleep the hard drive does spin down. The only thing active is the motherboard to keep your RAM contents around.

    Another note, OS X applies virtual memory generously. Just because virtual memory is allocated doesn't mean it is seeing much use. I could hear the HD working hard when I first loaded 10.1 with 256 MB of RAM. I added a 512 chip and the HD action ceased.

    Is your hard drive really loud or something? My dad has the same machine you do and nearly the only sound it makes is soft noise from the hard drive when it is being accessed. Unless their is a problem with the drive, it should be pretty quiet.
     
  14. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #14
    There are also lots of common Unix/Mac programs that like to write all kinds of trivial chatter to log files. Those will give a disk insomnia even though they aren't writing anything useful :p
     
  15. jsado thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #15
    Perhaps it's just showing its age? I bought this machine right when they were released basically. It isn't "really" loud, but I do hear a "whining" noise from the HD. I know it's not the fan because in the rare case when the hd is actually NOT spinning, I hear the nice quiet fan.

    So, again this brings me back to believing everything is actually normal and I'm just overreacting. Maybe I should swap out the HD with a new one and fill that inside slot with a full 512 chip?
     
  16. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #16
    Hm, come to think about it, I have had my hard disk sort of beep at me a couple of times. It happened with my PB in the days and hours before the hard drive crashed completely. It was a very short, high pitched beep or more like a screech, because it wasn't like one note. It didn't really sound like a speaker sound.

    If these beeps are something that you have only noticed recently, then maybe you should try to run some hardware tests on it like fsck, checking the S.M.A.R.T status or run some third party maintenance tools. Search this forum or google if you're not sure how to do this.
     
  17. jsado thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #17
    This sounds like an internal beep. A short actual "beeep". Not through the speakers, however there is some sort of internal speaker in my imac. I'm not overly concerned about my hd crashing. It's runs fine, sounds fine. It tests good in utilities. I just want it to STOP SPINNING WHEN IT'S NOT DOING ANYTHING. It never changes pace. I can launch every app at the same time, and it sounds the same, except for that I can hear it reading a little.

    I don't freakin know.
     

Share This Page