Powerbook HD Failure?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by edge540, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. edge540 macrumors regular

    edge540

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #1
    I have a 1.5Ghz 15" Powerbook and today the hard drive decided to make a very high frequency squeal. When this happens it also sounds like the drive is trying to read some information and it cant, therefore beachballing every application and forcing me to force reboot it. Sometimes the noise is also accompanied by a grinding noise. Usually after reboot i can get 5 or 10 minutes of use till it starts doing this again. Has anyone heard of any similar problems with powerbook HD's? Does this mean that my drive is failing and that i need to get a new one?
    When i boot from the Tiger DVD and run the disk utility it usually locks up trying to gather the information. This is after seing if i can even install it on the drive and when i get the window to choose the destination no drive appears.
    When it was running i ran the disk utility and said everything was fine, obviously everything is not fine.
     
  2. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #2
    Back up that drive ASAP and get it replaced. It's a goner.
     
  3. edge540 thread starter macrumors regular

    edge540

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #3
    How easy is it to install a hard drive on these computers? And the drive still apears on the desktop, it will just lock up when i try to copy something to it or read it. Also the SMART status now says that its unnavailable, what happened to the drive in 1.5 years? This should not be occuring on a drive this new.
    Does anyone know any good drives that I can install in it? I would prefereably go with a 7200 drive while im at it, and stay around the $200 mark.
     
  4. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    In your head.
    #4
    What is the SMART status of your HD? (Disk Utility) It isn't foolproof, but it will highlight any errors that have been detected. Go to PowerFixIt.COM for directions and parts.

    Here is a thread that I started about changeing my HD in my PB. Skim through it, at the end I have my suggestions. I'd like to think that the thread was good for something. Keep yourself orgnized and have good tools. A cheep ESD strap may be overkill, but hey, for a couple of bucks, it can't hurt.
     
  5. edge540 thread starter macrumors regular

    edge540

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #5
    The Smart status actually says that it is verified. But that obviously is not right.
     
  6. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    In your head.
    #6
    The disk can still be verified and still be prone to failure. The SMART status is a series of tests and statistics that are tracked on the drive it's self. Mostly read/write errors and timing. Certain sudden events are noted also. SMART is only going to get better, but I was really surprised at it ever changing warning as my last drive neared it's end.

    If you only get 10 minutes of up time before each crash, I would just copy all your important data in small chunks to a separate drive. If you purchase a new drive, you can get a significantly faster drive, and it shouldn't make too much difference in up time. The drive I socked in was a 5400, instead of the 4200 that came with the computer. It was a more efficient drive, so my uptime is better.

    I know what your situation is like. Best of luck.
     
  7. nborders macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    #7
    BACK THAT SUCKER UP!!!

    Go buy an external hard drive and put everything on it STAT! After you get this hard drive replaced, you'll have a nice new storage device. Make lemonade out of lemons IMO.

    ~n
     
  8. edge540 thread starter macrumors regular

    edge540

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #8
    I finally got to the point where i took the old drive out of the computer... now i need to decide what drive to get to put in it. This is where i would like some advice. i had an 80gb 5400rpm drive in it, i can either get one of these... or for 10 dollars more go for a 60gb 7200rpm drive. Same Manufacturer and all. Which one would you all recommend? I dont really need the space as I have a 400GB external where most things are... and its not going to fill up anytime soon. My question is whether 20gb is worth 1800rpm.
    Thanks,
     
  9. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    Medford
    #9
    20 GB is certainly worth 1800 rpm.

    the question is if 1800 rpm is worth the decrease in battery life...
     
  10. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #10
    I had to replace the hard drive in my 1.25GHz PB a few months ago. If you're a noob to computer hardware upgrades/replacements, do NOT start with a PB! That said, I got a 100GB 5400RPM Seagate for $200, at CompUSA no less! If you have some time to spare, try to find a deal on TigerDirect or NewEgg.

    Also, I've noticed no difference in battery life or temperature with a 5400RPM vs 4200RPM drive. I haven't noticed much speed difference either.
     
  11. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #11
    ECK!!
    HELP

    I just went to repair permissions... and got a nasty surprise!
    Disk Utility had my PB HD in red!

    Says that this drive reported a hardware error to Disk Utility.
    It says to back upas much data as I can and replace it with a working drive.

    S.M.A.R.T. status: Failing

    So using Backup 3
    I have plans for
    iLife (to external hard drive) - standard default plan.
    Home folder (documents) (to external hard drive)
    Personal Data & Settings (to iDisk) standard default plan
    Purchased Music (to external hard drive) standard default plan

    Home folder (downloads folder I have) which I just created to ext hard drive)
    Home folder (just made a new plan including iCal, Address Book, App preferences, personal settings for safari)

    What else do I need - to make sure I have backed up everything...
    behind the scenes settings, preferences, data, any areas that the more experienced users inhere are aware of?

    Also anyone help out with information about my HD? Is it a goner? Anything I can do to help save it?

    HELP please! I'm getting nervous!
     
  12. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #12
    I hope it's not too late for you, but if don't have Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper, you can use Disk Utility's Restore feature to clone onto the external drive. Then replace the internal, and reinstall Tiger, and use the ever-handy data importing feature.
     
  13. joker2 macrumors 6502a

    joker2

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    DC area
    #13
    The drive in my 12" PB did nearly exactly this during the summer, also about 1.5 years old at the time. It didn't give a high-pitched whine, but I was getting a lot of beachballing that seemed really excessive.

    I had AppleCare, and sent it in after cloning the drive with CCC, wiping it, and trying a reinstall of Tiger to see if that would help (before the SMART status went to "Failing"). Wouldn't complete the install before endless beachballing. Got the 'book back, they'd given me an install of Tiger and I happily imported (manually) everything important from my cloned image. I was glad I had the cloned image around later, discovering a couple of documents saved in weird places that I would have missed just backing up my user folder and the like.

    Good luck DJY and edge540... May you not have any leftover mystery parts or screws.
     
  14. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #14
    I really wonder if there is something going with the hard drives from that generation of PB's. 7-8 people that I know, including me, have had their hard drive fail. Hmm...
     
  15. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #15
    hey

    my 1.5ghz 15" PB hard drive died last week too...
    got the screech and then it was gone
    lost an entire days work on it... everything else back up thoughm I back up every night - paranoid yes but it worked...

    I replaced it with the same size and rpm but different maufacturer and it run much quieter now, and it seems battery life is better by 20-25 min...

    :rolleyes:
     
  16. JLatte macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #16
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=164868

    I just posted that right before I noticed this in a different forum.

    Read it if you have the time, but basically mine's almost the same story except it did totally die. Fortunately I have somewhat of a backup, but not my more sentimental stuff which was more recent.

    Mine is about 1.5 - 2 years old, right about in between. It is a 12" 1 ghz powerbook. My ex girlfriend's powerbook is also sounding like it has symptoms of a hard drive failure pending, she has a 12" 1.33 ghz Powerbook. This is interesting. I hope you have more luck with yours than I had with mine.
     
  17. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #17
    I wonder if all of them have been Fujitsus. Mine was, and 2 years of use is pretty sad for a modern hard drive. Granted, I work mine pretty hard, but I never dropped my PB or shook it while the drive was spinning.
     
  18. bellychris macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #18
    I got my powerbook a little over a year ago and my hard drive was going to fail so I had to replace it as well. My brother got an ibook around the same time as my powerbook and his hard drive failed too. The hard drive in my pb was a toshiba. damn hard drives shouldn't fail after only a year. I hope this isn't a trend in laptop hard drives
     
  19. joker2 macrumors 6502a

    joker2

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    DC area
    #19
    Nope. Mine was a Toshiba, and was replaced by a Toshiba. I hope this one lasts longer. :( I use my powerbook a lot, but try to handle it carefully -- with the exception of one small dent on the left hand side (incurred when the machine was off...) it's cosmetically perfect still. (... And this machine goes with me to classes, to client's offices, to work, to coffeeshops, you name it!)
     
  20. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #20
    I was saved in time...

    My HDD didn't fail completely, and my local reseller got me a new hard drive before it died.
    They moved all the data over (under warranty), but when I got home my precious wouldn't boot!
    Via a couple of unhelpful phone calls back to the reseller just as they closed... meant I was on my own.

    Booting from Tiger disc, running Disk Utilities revealed all the Permissions were stuffed. It took over two hours for all the permissions , groups, owners to be fixed, and since I haven't had a problem.

    phew

    I was hoping they'd upgrade the HDD at the same time - but alas no Apple Aust had a heap of the virtually the same size and speed drive (bugger!).

    All good now it seems. Was worried for a few days - as it all seemed slower, but lately seems ok. I was thinking of doing a complete clean install - but I haven't.
     
  21. joker2 macrumors 6502a

    joker2

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    DC area
    #21
    Glad you were able to get everything in time. You now have a full, current set of backups, right? :)
     
  22. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #22
    Mine was a Toshiba. It was replaced with a Seagate Momentus. Nice upgrade...
     
  23. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #23
    Did before - but when it started failing - I think my Backup regimes and combos in BackUp3 actually duplicate each other a few times!

    I wanted to be sure!!
     

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