Failing Hard Drive (I think)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by clownbaby, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. clownbaby macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2009
    My early 2009 iMac keeps having random shutdowns and restarts, so I'm thinking the hard drive may be failing. Is anyone aware if an Apple Store will replace it? Not for free, simply do the labor for me, unless it's very easy, in which case I'll try.

    Also, any recommendations for replacement hard drives?

  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    No, Apple Stores will only replace with the original components, meaning you must buy the HD from them.

    However if you bring in your own HD most AASPs (Apple Authorized Service Providers) will do the work. However remember you need to advise them the replacement drive does not have the thermal sensor that was included in the original drive. This means either they or you need to find a solution so the HD does not over heat. My guess is by now most AASPs know this already and should have a solution.
  3. clownbaby thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2009
    OK, thanks. I guess I should have been more clear, would Apple replace it with their drive if I took it in for service? I'm not terribly concerned with what goes in it enough to do my own research and what not, I just need it replaced.

    Also, any idea on price for that service? Apparently, you can now only get technical support if you pay on the website? News to me because I rarely contact support.
  4. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Apple's charges for replacing hard drives are ludicrous - I remember someone being quoted $600 to replace a 1TB HDD...

    Besides, it may not be the hard drive that's faulty, it could be something more serious and harder to fix :/
  5. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    It's not that difficult to replace if you're careful and take your time. Here's a video from OWC showing how you would do it, so you can see if it's something you'd want to attempt. (Choose the replace Hard Drive video)

    Apple will replace it with their HDD for a steep price. But, have them diagnose the problem first. Maybe it's something else. Usually diagnosis is free.
  6. kepler20b macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2014
    In my experience, random shutdowns and restarts more align with a failing power supply than harddrive.

    Hard drive failures CAN have those symptoms but it is further down the list of probabilities.

    Your best bet is to bring it into an apple store, and get a quote as to what is wrong.
  7. chogue23 macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Waco, TX, USA
    I would also think that overheating could be the culprit. Check around the bottom air vents and see if there is any dust build up. You can remove the screen and blow out all the fans and make sure they are working correctly, and use a program like smcFanControl to check fan speeds and internal temperatures. The best way I have found to check a hard drive is to use the UltimateBootCD and run hard drive diagnostics. It works on most macs, but if not you can remove the drive and pop it in a windows machine.
  8. clownbaby thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2009
    Thanks everyone. I had a feeling Apple would charge some insane amount. Would they still do a diagnosis for free even on a machine this old?
  9. chogue23 macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Waco, TX, USA
    You can still make a genius appointment and get a quote for free (I think, don't get mad if its not the case), but it may take them a while to diagnose the problem. They were able to help when I had problems with a 2009 Macbook and got a display problem fixed within a week.
  10. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    here are some points.

    1. apple does not have any diagnostics for hard disks. apple hardware test does not check operation of the hard disk, it only verifies that it is installed. if you take a hard disk issue to the apple store. all they do is download an app from the mac app store. they didn't seem to have anything in house

    2. if the hard drive was failing you would see this in in system report. as far as apple is concerned, if the SMART status says "Normal" then everything is fine. if anything was wrong with it, it would say so.

    3. if you want to check the hard drive, then you should go to the manufacturer's website and download their testing program. this might require you to remove the actual drive and install it in a windows box! these tools are often called , "sea tools" or "drive fitness test"

    4. if the hard drive reports that the drive has gone bad or it is failing, have the hard drive replaced. do not spend any money on any programs that will test the smart sensor. it is unnecessary for you to know any detailed information.

    5. disk utility used to tell you the condition of your smart sensor. this was removed in recent versions of os x, and you need to run system report to find out

    6. the only time you need to know the exact error codes is if you purchased a hard disk in a retail box and you have a retail boxed drive. there are no manufacturer warranties for any mechanical hard drives that were sold either in a plastic anti static bag ( bare) or as a component. these error codes are given to you for free of charge by using the programs in #3

    7. if you think your hard drive is failing and smart status is okay and you believe there is something wrong with it, the best thing you can do diagnostic wise is to erase the hard disk 7 to 35 times. this will rule out any new bad sectors.

    #8 usb enclosures prevent smart status from being reported. if your hard disk is in a usb enclosure you will have no clue if its dying

    #9 hold your mac book to your ear. listen for any clicking noises.

    #7 of course shouldn't be attempted on a SSD drive, I'm only talking mechanical

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9 March 16, 2015