A (Potentially Idiotic) Concern About Pending MBP Replacement.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Collider, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Collider macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    I've had two replacement harddrives put into my current (2.66 Core 2 Duo) MBP in the space of a week and a half... one including data transfer from the old drive, and one without. Both of these replacement harddrives failed in exactly the same manner as the first one (HDD clicking and freezing), within a matter of hours.

    After writing a long email to the Apple Store who have dealt with both of these issues, they have kindly agreed to replace my MBP with the current (2.66 i7) model. Very generous of them, and I'm exceptionally grateful.

    I think it's a fair assumption that the repeated harddrive failures on my soon-to-be-replaced MBP are being caused by a mechanical fault somewhere in the machine... but there's a niggling worry in the back of my mind that (computer illiterate as I am) perhaps there's something in one of my saved files (Word Documents / PNGs / Music Files, nothing out of the ordinary) or backed-up applications (Office / Adium / Firefox), or even on the flash-drive it's all saved to, that might have been causing damage to the drives to the point of systematically killing all three in immediate succession.

    Is this even remotely possible? I'm not entirely sure how, but I'm terrified of finding myself with a brand new i7 MBP, and somehow managing to render it utterly unusable in a matter of hours. Having gotten through three harddrives in the space of a week, I'm sure you can understand the concern.

    So, tech-savvy people, is there any possibility at all of my saved files or apps being corrupted or damaged, to the point of having caused systematic clicking / freezing / failure of three harddrives in a row... or will I be okay to transfer all my saved files / backed-up apps to the new machine when it arrives without the paranoid fear of nuking its harddrive as well?

    Forgive me if this question really is as stupid as it feels. I just don't want to kill a brand new replacement machine in thirty seconds as I apparently have done with two brand new harddrives.
  2. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    If there was any chance that it was the content of your drive causing the problem, I imagine Apple wouldn't be willing to replace the entire machine on their dime.
  3. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    iT's possible that a Trojan horse on a windows box can do some permanent hardware damage, but you have a mac don't worry 'bout it.
  4. apple.gr macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    And Thank them another time because they were very generous with you!;)

    For the HDD content don't worry you won't have any problem with your new MBP.
  5. Collider thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    Thanks for the reassurances, all. I just wanted to check, lest I do something foolish and end up shooting myself in the foot when they've been so kind and accommodating.

    Oh, I intend to! It really was more than I'd've expected from them!
  6. akramer macrumors member

    May 20, 2010
    No data written to a disk should make it fail. Don't worry. Restore your data with confidence. Two HD failures in a week is unlucky, but not super uncommon. Hard drives tend to have infant mortality problems, and it sounds like that's what your second drive fell victim to. I'm surprised Apple was willing to replace your entire computer rather than give you a third drive.

    Edit: I see that you did have a third drive, and it died too. I suspect something was wrong with the power supply or logic board that was frying drives.

    It's possible that malicious software could do damage to a disk by flashing its firmware with something invalid, but that's a very specific kind of attack that you'd have heard of, and as far as I'm aware there aren't any examples of this happening on a Mac, even as an experiment.
  7. Collider thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    I can't tell you how reassuring that is! Really sets my mind at ease that I was just being irrationally paranoid! Thank you! :)
  8. akramer macrumors member

    May 20, 2010
    You're welcome, I could see how having two brand new drives fail in the same fashion one after another would be disturbing.

    As far as the filesystem drivers are concerned, a hard drive is just a bunch of blocks. Any combination of 1s and 0s can be written to any block without damage to the drive. What's going on at the physical level is much more complicated with bad block remapping, but that's irrelevant as far as the operating system is concerned and is all abstracted away.
  9. Mark.W macrumors member

    May 11, 2010
    Before you put your mind to rest, consider the possibility that there is something in your immediate environment that is causing the hard drives to fail. Three hard drive failures in the span of one week are extremely unlikely to be a consequence of bad luck alone. HDDs do fail, but not at that rate. I've owned/used over a dozen computers over last 20 years and never experienced a single HDD failure.

    My guess is that there is a strong magnetic field affecting the area where you use you computer.
  10. Collider thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    Hrm, there's a thought that never occurred to me.

    Had the replacement MBP for about six hours now with no drive clicking or freezing (both replacement HDDs on my previous computer were already showing signs of it within three), so, with any luck it was just some other component in my old machine. Will definitely keep an eye out for anything that might be giving damaging signals, though; thanks for the tip!
  11. sgjohnston macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2009
    I have an HP laptop that had a similar problem - went through 3 disks, each one worked for anywhere between 1 and a few months, then started getting various ATAPI or IDE errors. Eventually, the HP on-line support person suggested removing the DVD writer, and it never happened again. The problem was either the bus in the system, or the DVD writer (the laptop was out of warranty so I never found out).

    Got an MBP instead :)

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