2008 Macbook - Dying HDD?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by AcesHigh87, May 22, 2012.

  1. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #1
    I've been curious about upgrading my HDD into an SSD for awhile now but so far do not have the budget. Now though I worry I may have to jump the gun on account of my drive failing.

    Although it's SMART status is still verified I've noticed some odd activity from it lately. The first indication for me was that it's normal spin up sound (the sound it makes when I wake my computer or what have you) has changed slightly. For years it sounded normal but now it sounds scratchy like the drive is having trouble spinning or getting stuck on something. I don't know.

    The second indication for me is the start time. Part of this is to blame on the RAM I'm sure but my start-time has gone from about 30 seconds when I got the macbook, to 3 minutes when I upgraded to Lion and is now over 5 minutes even if nothing needs to re-open. This doesn't seem right to me at all. It shouldn't take 5-10 minutes just to restart my computer.

    So, yeah, should I be worried? Does this sound like HDD failure?
     
  2. johnnyham macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #2
    The best way to verify your HDD is via an OSX install DVD. I don't trust the disk verification while running OSX. I had a HDD that OSX said was fine, but the rescue disc said it was bad.

    Odd noises like clicking and scratching are usually indicative of early drive failure. The end will be near when you notice that some apps won't even open. The aforementioned drive would boot, but couldn't open System Preferences a few days before the drive failed. The slow boot times could be caused by this, but they can also be the result of accumulated garbage on your computer. If you were to do a fresh install, you'd see the boot time go back to normal.

    My advice? Backup what you can and buy a cheap drive if an SSD is out of your price range. I got a 500 GB Western Digital off newegg for about $70 (on sale). And upgrade the RAM while you're at it. If you still have the stock 2GB, doubling it is more than worth it.
     
  3. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #3
    My plan all along was to double the RAM and throw in a Crucial M4 128GB SSD. Even the RAM costs so bloody much for this old thing though which is annoying.

    I’ll certainly take precautions as far as backing it up. If my HDD goes I still have the iMac to use (I use it more anyway) so I won’t be without a computer. As long as I keep regular backups when it goes I should be able to buy a new one and clean install Lion onto it.

    Question though, you say to use the install DVD to verify my drive. How do I do that on Lion? My macbook originally came with Leopard, I upgraded to SL (my disk is kicking around somewhere) and then Lion. Which do I use to do the test? I have a Lion install disk made but I don’t know if that would help.
     
  4. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #4
    So, some new symptoms, I think, have appeared.

    For awhile now my macbook has taken a very long time (4+ minutes) to start up but I assumed that was just Lion + a lack of RAM. In addition to that now though I noticed that when I last turned on my macbook the apple logo did not appear. Instead I saw a folder icon with a question mark inside. It disappeared and was replaced by the usual logo within a few seconds but it was still there; as if my drive couldn't find what it needed.

    When it did start up it made the aforementioned strange sound, I've gotten used to this. I noticed as soon as it started up though that my macbook was indexing which certainly doesn't normally happen when I start up my computer. It didn't last as long as a full index but I'm still hardly sure why it's happening.

    I ran disk utility about 2 weeks ago and it said I had to restart while holding R and repair my disk. I did this and it said everything was fine. Disk Utility still says my disk i verified but I'll probably use the same restarting tactic later to see if that's still the case when I go through, essentially, the install DVD tactic.

    Thoughts?
     

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