External drive.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MacPC, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. MacPC, Mar 23, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014

    MacPC macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    Hi I am curious. I have an early 2008 24" iMac, the internal drive is gone. Luckily I have a clone of the internal drive on an external USB drive, I am using the USB drive as the start up drive, it works well. But I keep hearing clicking noise from the USB drive when the iMac is not in use(screen is off from the power saving mode. but the iMac is running.) I am wondering why the iMac keeps accessing the USB drive? My iMac has OSX 10.9.2.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't think I've ever heard a USB drive that "clicked", as there aren't any parts inside that move. I could be wrong.

    Is it possible that you're hearing something else?

    BTW, even though the iMac is booting and running fine from the USB drive, you need another copy of your files.

    I'd suggest shopping for an external drive, or perhaps a USB3/SATA docking station.

    It should be USB3. Even though your current iMac doesn't support USB3, at some point you'll probably own a Mac that does. And remember that USB3 is "backward compatible" with USB2 as well.

    I'd suggest a USB3/SATA docking station, myself. They aren't as elegant as an external drive case, but they're VERY useful devices. To see what I'm talking about, go to amazon and enter "usb3 sata dock" in the search box. Many choices, some as low as $20.

    Then... get a bare drive to go into the dock. You might even consider one of the 240gb SSD's, which are very affordable right now. You won't get all the speed possible by running it as an "external booter" with the old iMac, but at some point in the future, the speed will be there for you.

    Once you have the dock (or enclosure) and a new drive, use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the contents of your USB flash "boot drive" to the NEW drive.

    Now you're backed up...
  3. MacPC thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    Sorry, perhaps I should make it clearer, I meant an external hard drive connect to the iMac with the USB cable, not an USB stick.
  4. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    It is spotlight indexing or backing up perhaps?
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Cliking from any HDD is a sign of impending failure...replace it after backing up all you can.
  6. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Well, some drives make a click or two as they start up. Perhaps that is what he is hearing.

    the Mac has any "sharing" services turned on, like screen sharing, file sharing, remote login, etc. (see System Preferences-->Sharing),

    you have an Apple Airport Extreme, Express, Time Capsule, or Apple TV on your network

    it would be normal for the Mac to wake periodically, without lighting the display, in order to maintain the ability to provide those services. See this Apple document about Wake on Demand.

    "On some Macs, sounds from the optical drive, hard drive, or fans may be heard during these brief periods."

    I don't know if that's what's going on, but it's a possibility. You could satisfy your curiosity by turning off all sharing services.


    By the way, welcome to the Early 2008 24" iMac club! ha ha!

Share This Page