frequent lockups: is my hard drive dying?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mach42006, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. mach42006 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    I have a Macbook Pro that's about two years and 4 months old, running the latest version of Leopard. I was problem free for about two years until last October when my MBP suddenly wouldn't boot up (hung at the grey apple screen). I took it to my University's computer repair center, and they said either there was a corrupt OS file, or my HDD was going bad. I went home and booted from my OSX disc and did a full erase and install. My computer worked fine for a few months following the erase and install, so I assumed the problem was alleviated.

    However, about two months ago, my MBP started freezing periodically. When it freezes, I get the spinning beach ball, and there is an audible rapid 'ticking' sound coming from what I can only assume is the hard drive. The only solution is a hard restart. It used to occur rarely, but seems to be getting more frequent, and it doesn't appear to be limited to periods of heavy memory usage. In fact, since I did my erase and install several months ago, I only put essential applications back on. Typically, the only things I have running are Mail, Safari, sometimes Word or Pages, and sometimes uTorrent. I have 2GB of ram and over 40GB of free space on my hard drive, so based on my usage and the running processes, I think I can rule out a lack of memory or hard drive space.

    This evening it was so bad, it froze while I was trying to reorganize my itunes library. I restarted and opened ONLY itunes, and was listening to music while renaming songs, and it froze again within 5 minutes. With the situation looking grim, after the next restart, I wanted to just open finder to copy some important files to my external HDD. I opened my external HD folder and when I attempted to open my 'Downloads' stack, it froze once again. I gave up for the night and will try again tomorrow.

    I have tried all of the disk utility tools, and none have seemed to make a difference, or report a problem. Does this sound like a software or hardware problem? Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. I would like some thoughts or suggestions before I make a trip to the apple store.
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    It's definitely a failing hard drive. Disk diagnoses can verify the presence of a problem, but a clean bill of health doesn't prove the lack of a problem. Make/update a backup and buy a new drive.
  3. mach42006 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Thanks, that's what I was afraid of. After about 15 tries today, it finally worked long enough to backup my most important stuff. I have an appointment today at the Apple store, since I'm still under applecare. My MBP has actually stayed running for about an hour now...I'm afraid that now it isn't going to lock up when I take it in there, and they won't be able to do anything. Thanks for your reply, hopefully I'll have it taken care of soon.

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