Can you hear the hard drive in your 2011 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AppleFan360, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    I had a late 2009 21.5" iMac with a 500GB hard drive and I could barely hear the drive at all. The entire iMac was pretty much silent. Even the fan was whisper quiet.

    My new 2011 21.5 iMac with a 1TB drive is very easy to hear. Much louder than the old one. I can hear it accessing even with ambient noise in the room.

    Not a big deal but I was wondering if anyone else noticed the difference.
  2. lunchfoot macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2011
    seattle, wa
    I have the same thing, 2011 21.5" w/1tb. i also have the ssd. Anyway, yes i can hear the hard drive whirring faintly, and it makes a little hard drivey noise when its accessing but nothing unusual. All very normal for my external drives as well. I think Western Digital drives are just abit noisier than Seagates, and mine is a Western Digital. Nothing to do with quality - my g5 imac ran great for 5 years and still does with it's Western Digital. That's my 2 cents. By the way, most of what I use is on the ssd and when the hard drive spins down everything really is dead silent. even with the hard drive active this thing is super super quiet compared with the old g5 imac.
  3. cooky560 macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2011
    I have a 500GB WD drive in my iMac and I can hear it make noises occasionally, usually when booting
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, its a hard drive, if it does not make noise then its dead ;)

    On a more serious note, the HDD in my 2011 iMac is one of the quietest I have ever owned. It is audible on data-heavy operations, but other then that, the machine is whisper-quiet.
  5. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I can hear mine spin up. I have 2011 21.5 1tb

    Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
  6. KasperH macrumors regular


    May 26, 2011
    I have a seagate 1tb, and only hear it spinning up. No resonanse noises either.
  7. bakura macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2011
    I have a Caviar Black 1 TB in my iMac 2011. It's one of the loudest hard drive I ever had (I only had Seagate when I used to have a PC). Although my iMac is by far my quietest computer, it's not totally silent. In a quiet room you can here it easily.
  8. Dr Strangelove macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    I have the hitachi 2TB and its completely silent
  9. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    My iMac is so quiet that it secretly stalked my Dell, and killed it.
  10. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    The iMac that I just sent back sounded like a bloody dolphin with all the clicks coming from it.

    Didn't even think to check the drive type, needless to say along with the Chinese eyelashes and beard hairs underneath the glass, it wasn't a keeper.
  11. timtom33 macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2011
    First Hitachi was quiet, second Segate had grumbling... They both also had quite different screens... It great how when spending such a large sum of money its a lottery to get something acceptable.
  12. Noisy macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    Hitachi 2TB in iMac 2011 is noisy!

    I have 21.5'' iMac 2011 256 SSD + 2 Tb Hitachi HDD. That 2 Tb Hitachi HDD is the only source of noise in this model. And for sure this noise is well recognisable in a silent room. The read/write sounds are fine and probably better than some other drives, my problem is a constant rotational hum of this drive, which is for sure I can hear pretty well in a quiet room. People with 2 Tb HDD without SSD for sure are thinking it's a fan noise, but not. Fans in iMac 2011 are so quiet you won't hear them at all , even in a perfectly quiet room. So this 2 Tb Hitachi drive for sure has a noticeable constant rotational hum, which reminds a fan noise. But it's a drive noise. And this is the only thing I don't like in this model. I never had rotational persistent noises in my older iMacs. If somebody uses iMac 2011 in a perfectly quiet room with Hitachi 2 Tb HDD, they are welcome to comment whether they have any noise. Maybe my drive shouldn't be that noisy. Apple service does not bother, if a drive is working without errors - they don't bother. Very sad.
  13. kanosan macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2013

    Sorry to revisit this but I have this exact same setup and the noise although not obtrusive, is definitely bothersome. I have tried un-mounting the 2 tb Hitachi however and this does not stop the background whirring. Are you sure it's not the ssd? I am thinking of partitioning my 2 tb and using it as my startup drive just so I can un-mount the ssd to test this. Any one else tried this?
  14. cats4jan macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2013
    My Mac runs very quietly. It makes a slight amount of noise, but the pitch doesn't change when it's "working hard" or any other time. I have a mid-2011 used machine I acquired when it was a little over a year ago. So far, so good.
  15. kanosan macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2013
    Well, after unmounting both internal drives, my fan or hard drive noise remained the same. I'm assuming unmounting the internal drive will turn off the drive completely thereby cancelling any noise that it would add, but I'm not totally sure. Either way that did not solve the problem.
  16. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Although too much noise from a HD can be bad also, for instance when it starts doing a death rattle. If you've worked with enough hard drive, you can telll when a drive is probably going bad by the sounds it makes.

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