GUIDE: How to fix your HDD vibrations (7200rpm)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sup3r1or, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. sup3r1or macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    Manchester, UK

    So to avoid buying new hard drives one after another I decided to do something about it. I had this annoying vibrations in the palm rest area that spread to the left side also. Of course I did not want to part with the speed of 7200rpm HDD so I decided to take a step forward.

    I have Unibody MBP 2010.

    What you will need: Phillips screwdriver, elastic eraser:), some paper napkin or something like that. Also a small hex screwdriver, however I could never find such a small hex screwdriver to twist those HDD mounting screws.


    2. Remove the back cover.

    3. Locate the HDD in the lower left corner ( i suppose you have you MBP flipped).

    4. If you want you can take our ur HDD and make sure that your mounting screws are well screwed on the sides of the HDD.

    5. Put ur HDD back in place make sure it is secured with that special black piece of wood with 2 screws.

    6. Now look closely on the gaps between HDD and MBP CASE from UP bottom and RIGHT (close to the battery) this is where you need to stuff something into those gaps to makes sure that HDD is well secured in it's position.


    7. I found that eraser is the most suitable material to absorb vibrations. So I had to cut it in pieces in fit it around the HDD.

    8. Now you will most likely notice that the gap on the right is very narrow so here you would need something like paper napkin or a tissue, this place in particular was causing vibrations on my MBP 13 2010. I used a small screwdriver to stuff that place with soft material as it is too narrow to be done with hands.

    P>S Obviously the eraser has to be slightly wider than gaps otherwise ur HDD will keep vibrating.

    9. Make sure you screw everything back.

    10. Put the back panel in place and screw it firmly in place.

    You're done.

    I know this is a really weird way to fix it, but hell at least it works and you don't have to listen to people who say get used to it.
  2. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    You can also use two paper handkerchiefs on top and buttom of the HD and then even leave it unscrewed. This will result in a "softer" connection of the HD with the chassis compared to the rubber parts of the original screwing mechanism.

    But you have to make absolutely sure that you do *not* under any circumstances block the vent hole of the HD.

    The whole process is quite easy though when you just use one of the 10 pieces packages where the tissues are already folded (not those boxed where you pull one one after the other). They perfectly fit onto the HD's top while leaving room for the vent hole.

    Don't worry about heat (but monitor it for some time via iStats or anything). The paper (=wood) tissue doesn't insulate heat any more (rather less) than the non-moving air that originally surrounds the HD.

    It's far from perfect and the above described "rubber" method may be more effective. Maybe sup3r1or could do a comparison? But it's also a convenient method for people who need to swap HDs regulary, because it saves you all the (un)screwing.
  3. sup3r1or thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    Manchester, UK

    Timur, so by top and bottom u dont mean under HDD and on top of it right? By the way where are the vents located?:) LOL I havent even noticed it, however I monitor temperature and it around 40 degrees on HDD.

    So that black piece of wood with 2 screws that pushed HDD down is the piece you said can be left unscrewed? I might give it a shot, my method by far is not perfect as well, it also depends on what surface ur MBP is standing. When I put it on a mat (bit rubber paper cutting mat I bought in stationery store, the vibrations are completely gone even before I placed rubber there.
  4. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, I mean above and below. That will keep the HD in place if you decide not to use the screws.

    The *one* vent hole is on the upper plate of the HD and clearly marked as such, even with a warning right beside it telling you not to cover it.

    Since you cannot decouple the HD completely from the chassis, there is always going to be some vibration. The matt you put below the Mac helps to better decouple the Mac from the table. A wood table is a good resonator, that's why it makes the vibration appear louder.

    Any decoupling will result in a slight temperature buildup (the vibration energy has to go somewhere) and the rubber insulates the Mac better than the wood of the table (which means more heat stays around the Mac). Try elevating the Mac slightly at the back to allow for some better air circulation below it.

    This could have the additional benefit of distributing its weight better over the area of the matt because originally it's standing on its four feet, but after elevation it's standing on the front edge and whatever you use for elevation. Use something that covers as much width of the Mac, but as little depth as possible. Width to distribute the weight better along the matt, but depth to not cover the Mac's backplate area where the hot GPU resides.

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