Hard disk hummm from 24" Alu iMac

imacan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 14, 2007
104
5
Montreal, Canada
I noticed today that the hard disk on my new iMac is making an annoying hummm. It's a 500GB WD5000AAKS-40TMA0 drive. I know it is the disk since if I keep the iMac idle long enough for the disk to spin down it disappears. Holding the case of the iMac do not get rid of the noise. If those disks were not so hard to access ... I don't feel like sending back the machine since everything else seems ok (no dead pixel etc ).

Anyone with a suggestion or having the same problem?
 

rainydays

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2006
886
0
It's normal for the HDD to vibrate when it's spinning. I doubt there's something wrong with it unless it's really loud.
 

imacan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 14, 2007
104
5
Montreal, Canada
It's normal for the HDD to vibrate when it's spinning. I doubt there's something wrong with it unless it's really loud.
Thanks, it's just that I am used to my Powerbook that is totally silent (apart from when the fans are kicking in) and the hum on the iMac is obvious compared to the Powerbook. Maybe I am just too picky but I just want to make sure to do the right thing now if I can get less "noise".
 

rainydays

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2006
886
0
Thanks, it's just that I am used to my Powerbook that is totally silent (apart from when the fans are kicking in) and the hum on the iMac is obvious compared to the Powerbook. Maybe I am just too picky but I just want to make sure to do the right thing now if I can get less "noise".
Well, your powerbook has a 2.5" drive, and those are much more quiet. The 3.5" drives still make "quite a lot" of noise.
I'm sure you could put a 2.5" drive in that thing if you want to open it though :) But you'd lose a lot of capacity.
 

Mr MacBlue

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2005
29
0
I had two 17" Intel C2D iMacs. One of them had an annoying (and for me really loud) humm from the HD. The humm even increased when I tilted the display. This iMac had a Seagate HD. The silent iMac, on which I'm typing this post now, has a WD. So I guess there are some differences between the many manufacturers.
 

rainydays

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2006
886
0
So I guess there are some differences between the many manufacturers.
There sure is. I think Samsung still makes the most quiet ones.
But it seems that Apple isn't that picky when it comes to HDDs, which is a shame. I had a 500GB Seagate drive in the iMac I returned, I'll probably get a WD in the replacement.
 

imacan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 14, 2007
104
5
Montreal, Canada
So I guess that if I really want it to be more silent I would need to get an Apple certified technician to change it for a quieter one?
 

rainydays

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2006
886
0
So I guess that if I really want it to be more silent I would need to get an Apple certified technician to change it for a quieter one?
Sure you can. The question is if it's worth it. It won't make a huge difference.
So unless you are upgrading to a larger drive at the same time, I wouldn't recommend it.
 

imacan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 14, 2007
104
5
Montreal, Canada
Sure you can. The question is if it's worth it. It won't make a huge difference.
So unless you are upgrading to a larger drive at the same time, I wouldn't recommend it.
Thanks again, are you getting a 500GB on your next iMac? If yes, can you report back on the noise level once you get it? I think the hum comes more from the amplification of the HDD vibration through the case of the iMac. I have a 500HD on my desk (LaCie Porsche USB2) and apart from when the fan starts to cool it , it doesn't have that hum that I hear from the iMac.
 

rainydays

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2006
886
0
Thanks again, are you getting a 500GB on your next iMac? If yes, can you report back on the noise level once you get it?
Yeah, I'm getting the same specs in the replacement. I'll try to remember to post my impression of the noise level here. If I haven't done it by the end of the week, then just remind me :)
 

Tom Sawyer

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2007
682
35
I recently upgraded the HD in my AL iMac and experienced this with the new drive. It was a Seagate 7200.10 and the hum got worse and worse... I could hear it on the other side of the room. It sounded like a transformer that was defective and humming. I could also feel an increasing amount of vibration in the case. I replaced it with another drive (also a 7200.10) and it is silent... no hum/vibration so there was absolutely something wrong with the drive (have RMA'd for replacement).
 

indiekiduk

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
372
250
Glasgow, Scotland
I recently upgraded the HD in my AL iMac and experienced this with the new drive. It was a Seagate 7200.10 and the hum got worse and worse... I could hear it on the other side of the room. It sounded like a transformer that was defective and humming. I could also feel an increasing amount of vibration in the case. I replaced it with another drive (also a 7200.10) and it is silent... no hum/vibration so there was absolutely something wrong with the drive (have RMA'd for replacement).
yes Seagates are the noisiest hard drives you can buy!
Its lucky the 320gb in the AL imac is a western, the mac pro I used came with seagates 7200.10s which are nasty grindy disks.
Seagates have been noisy since 2000 because of a patent breach (Acoustic management disabled).
Info about patent breach

I think you were just lucky your second one was quieter. But listen to it write or read files, and listen to it grind. For example do it verify disk in disk utility. Western is silent, Seagate grinds away loudly.
 

Tom Sawyer

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2007
682
35
yes Seagates are the noisiest hard drives you can buy!
Its lucky the 320gb in the AL imac is a western, the mac pro I used came with seagates 7200.10s which are nasty grindy disks.
Seagates have been noisy since 2000 because of a patent breach (Acoustic management disabled).
Info about patent breach

I think you were just lucky your second one was quieter. But listen to it write or read files, and listen to it grind. For example do it verify disk in disk utility. Western is silent, Seagate grinds away loudly.
The first one definitely was a dud... I had 4 320gb 7200.10's in a raid 5 array on an areca card and they were quiet and vibration free. The 750 definitely acts like it should.

The seagate does makes more noise in seeks than the WD, but I don't feel like its terribly loud even with what it does. More noise than the WD, but still very quiet and certainly in comparison to drives I've owned in the past.

I hadn't looked at drives in a while and was surprised to find that WD is now making drives with perpendicular technology. At some point in the future I'm going to need to upgrade my NAS so may look at WD's at that point. It's in my living room so low noise is important!
 

greatmac42

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2007
1
0
Same experience

I actually had to send back my 24' iMac because of a loud humming of the hard disk. It's actually that loud that I hear it even when there's some background sound, e.g. music, hence it's not acceptable. Apple's customer care is really great, no problems with the replacement. I just hope that the replacement iMac does not have that humming anymore.

Interestingly enough, there does not seem to be a correlation between the noise level and the hd vendor. My iMac has a 500 GB Seagate, your's was a WD. So let's see. I'll keep you informed.