Hard drive click + beep

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wessto, Jun 20, 2009.

?

I have the click + beep

  1. Yes - 6/09 MBP with 7200 rpm drive

    64 vote(s)
    58.7%
  2. No - 6/09 MBP with 7200 rpm drive

    30 vote(s)
    27.5%
  3. Yes - earlier MBP with 7200 rpm drive

    4 vote(s)
    3.7%
  4. No - earlier MBP with 7200 rpm drive

    11 vote(s)
    10.1%
  1. wessto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #1
    I have also posted this on the apple support forum. I am posting it again here to try and expand exposure to the issue I have.

    I recently purchased a new MBP 15, 3 Ghz, 500 GB 7200 rpm hard drive, build-to-order. The hard drive appears to be a seagate ST9500420ASG. I am experiencing a strange hard drive click followed 80% of the time by a beep. It is definitely not a beep from the speaker. Additionally, it happens at any time, even when the computer is sitting on a perfectly still table. It is exactly the same sound as what is documented at

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gOhgaIMpPI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5WPNwtlwd0

    and mine too appears randomly approximately 15-20 times per day. It does not appear to matter if the computer is under light or heavy use and it seems truly random when it occurs. Another user on youtube has also experienced this with their new MBP 15 and sent me a wav file with the same sound mine is making. So far, his experience is that it does NOT occur under bootcamp. This leads me to believe that it is something specific to OSX. Turning off the "put hard drive to sleep when possible" does not seem to make any difference. I have not personally tested bootcamp on my machine to confirm that mine is the same, but the original poster of the youtube video linked above also seems to think it is OSX specific.


    Any clues? Should I try to get apple to swap the HD for a new one? Any help is greatly appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. incandenza macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #2
    It's the sound of the hard drive parking the heads due to the power management. For some reason, all of the laptop hard drives I've used in the past few years have been set up this way: they tend to park the heads to save power, but the OS accesses the hard drive so often that it tends to unpark again almost immediately.

    You can use the following tool to get rid of the noise:

    http://mckinlay.net.nz/hdapm/

    Although, theoretically, even the frequent parking and unparking shouldn't harm the drive (the Load_Cycle_Count value in SMART, which measures the parks/unparks, never counts as a failure no matter how high it gets).
     
  3. wessto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #3
    I tried the hdapm utility you linked to without success. I still got the click + beep at both the max and minimum settings. Several other users have posted similar phenomenons at

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2049659&tstart=0

    Hopefully this gets resolved. Any other advice out there or similar experiences?
     
  4. incandenza macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #4
    Hmm, I don't know what to tell you, but I'd keep experimenting with that tool and double-check that it really doesn't work. (For example, if you're putting the machine to sleep, you may need to run it again, because I don't think the setting will stick. Also, I'm not sure if you need to run it as root: put 'sudo' in front of the command. etc.)

    I've had the same issue with about 4 different computers over the last 3 years, all from different manufacturers and with different operating systems. The resolution was always reducing the APM settings. For some reason there just doesn't seem to be good communication between the drive manufacturers and the OS developers over what the proper settings should be. (If you Google for this problem with respect to Ubuntu you can see they went through a lot of thrashing about how to deal with it.)

    Another thing you can try is to get a utility that shows you the SMART statistics (not sure what a good one is for the Mac; maybe 'SMARTreporter'?). Look at the value called Load_Cycle_Count, and see if it goes up by 1 each time you hear the noise. If it does, then it's the same head parking issue that I'm talking about here.

    Getting the drive (or whole machine) replaced probably won't help, because the next one will work the same way.

    You could also just ignore the noise, knowing that it shouldn't be dangerous.

    Anyway, maybe someone else has another idea.
     
  5. wessto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #5
    Hmmm. Interesting. The "Load Cycle Count" as reported by the SMART Utility appears to increase when the click + beep is heard, however, it does not increment by one. It seems to go up by a count of 2 or so each time, although the first time I heard it after running the program and then rescanning it went up by 11. Not sure if there are other "Load Cycles" occuring that are not audible.

    Perhaps this is different than your issue?
     
  6. wessto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #6
    Just a quick update, I spoke with an apple "expert" and they had me do some diagnostics with no success. They suggested that I take it to a genius bar which I will on wednesday. I'll try to document what I find out for reference here. In the mean time, hopefully others experiencing similar symptoms can comment here on what they have found.
     
  7. Kevenly macrumors regular

    Kevenly

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    The wrong planet.
    #7
    I have had four Seagate Momentus drives since November, shipped inside Apple Macbook Pros. The first was quiet. The next beeped, so Apple replaced it, and the replacement was a Hitachi which does not beep (but clicks louder).
    Then I got another Momentus in another Macbook pro, and it had the beep. I just got a new 17" 3.06 MBP and it has a 500GB Momentus 7200.4, and it again has the beep. I hate the beep. Overall the Seagates are quieter than the Hitachi, but with Hitachi it has a stronger vibration and more of an audible hum. I also see less battery life, slightly, with the Hitachi Travelstars. They are both good drives, but it seems that whatever mechanism Seagate uses for the head parking beeps. You can exchange these again and again and while they are silent for the first several hours of use, they all eventually start with the beep. I've decided to give up on it. The Seagates are the highest performing drives in their class, even moreso than the Hitachi, so you can be at least be glad that you got the best performer over the slightly more quiet.
    I do find the "shwoop-clack" of the Hitachi park preferrable to the "shwi-tick-BEEP" of the Seagate but you don't get to choose what Apple puts in there.
     
  8. Master Chief macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #8
    I'm was getting a spinning beach ball after the click, and they asked me to remove a kext (which I of course can't recall right now just when I need it) and the click was gone!!!
     
  9. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #9
    Just got my 17inch 500gb 7200 in a few hours ago. Now I'm plagued with this same beep as well. Please post here if you find out if there's a cure! I waited a whole week just to get the 7200 drive built in and now this!
     
  10. apothescary macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    #10
    I had a clicking hard drive and this hdapm utility did not work until I made a new plist with the instructions from this thread on page 9:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1234166&start=120&tstart=0

    after I made the new plist the hdapm worked and the clicking went away
     
  11. Kevenly macrumors regular

    Kevenly

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    The wrong planet.
    #11
    I reiterate that all 320GB and 500GB Seagate Momentus drives that I have worked with have this beep when they do the head parking. You hear a little click, then the beep. With the Hitachi drives you just get a larger click but no beep. Seagate desktop drives don't seem to have that but the 2.5" Momentus drives do. It's not a defect, per se, although it can be terribly annoying in a quiet environment.

    If you want total silence you have to get an SSD. If you want to get away from beeps you can maybe exchange until you get one with a Hitachi. Out of 12 Macbook Pros, 8 of them have had Hitachis, so the Seagates are less common.

    I have never had a laptop drive in ten years that didn't click when idle. The Samsung drives are the worst for loud clicking and thankfully Apple isn't using Samsungs anymore.
     
  12. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #12
    Considering my computer freezes for a second every time it happens, I'd certainly say it's a big deal. Hard drives are not supposed to beep randomly while in use. There's no way Seagate designed them this way, although they certainly know how to make loud hard drives in other respects. This is an actual issue with how the computer is handling the drive and it needs to be addressed or I need my money back on this drive and possibly the computer.
     
  13. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Home
    #13
    New MBP 7200rpm 500GB drive - exactly the same noise - click then beep (note there are people getting different clicks, clicks and beeps and just beeps - e.g. for me it's 100% click then beep). My concern is that this - how could it be head parking, if you're getting multiple click beeps in a series? I counted about 10 in one minute today, and probably over 50 today.
    Seems to do it in pairs sometimes. How would a head need to park, then unpark then repark in 3 seconds?

    Off to see a Genius tomorrow morning - having spoken to Apple support, the rep hadn't heard anything about an issue, but we'll see. Having got a BTO AG, I don't want hassle of repairs already! Bit of a reminder to get a backup drive too...
     
  14. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #14
    My Dell Studio XPS 16 with a 500Gb HDD makes the same noise. I don't think it is 7200 RPM, but it makes the same noise only upon initial start-up from a cold shut-down state. It does not make the noise from sleep, or at any other time. You can hear it spin up, but no beeps or clicks.

    This is what it says about the drive:

    WDC WD500BEVT-75ZAT0 ATA Device
     
  15. wessto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #15
    Mine is definately a click followed by a single beep. Always occuring in that order and always a single beep. I probably have it happen 20-30 times per day and sometimes I get them back-to-back within 5 seconds, but never more than 3 in a row. Mine is also BTO and I don't have time to hassle with repairs either. I'm hoping its a firmware or software thing so I won't have to deal with taking it in / sending it in.

    I was at the genius bar today and they had not heard of it either. I took it to the Victoria Gardens, Rancho Cucamonga, CA store. They were interested in the problem and told me I could exchange the computer, but did not offer to replace the drive on site.
     
  16. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #16
    I've heard similar sounds from new Dell Laptops at work. And they all pass SMART so I don't think it's a fault; it's just how these drives work. I guess I'll check for this 'click and beep' issue when I get my MBP 17" :cool:
     
  17. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #17
    I hope I don't have this problem. Do you think I should cancel my order for a 5400 RPM.
     
  18. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #18
    I've changed my order to a 5400RPM. :eek:
     
  19. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #19
    Whew. Thank God I saw this thread in time. Apple is replacing my MBP and since my original was a BTO with the faster HD they 'upgraded' me for free. Saw this thread, called them and asked for a standard config (quicker shipment anyway and local store support if needed) instead. I don't have the time or patience to deal with this anymore. Just want to enjoy my new machine. I've been having daily conversations with Applecare since early April!

    I thought about asking for a SSD or processor upgrade but decided not to be greedy. :) My 2006 2.16 CD 2GB 17" MBP is being replaced with a brand new one. That's good enough for me. Don't want to piss off the karmic overlords!

    eV
     
  20. kashkha macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    #20
    I'm getting the same exact beeping noise. The clicking happens every time I boot, but the beep happens at random while I'm using the computer. I have the 7200rpm 500GB drive on a June 09 15" MBP. I gave Apple a call today and the person I spoke with had me run some diagnostics and reset the SMC. Since this morning I haven't heard the beeping noise, but I'm still worried so I'll probably take it in to the Apple authorized repair center in town in the morning (as the Apple support tech suggested).

    Is anyone else hearing a faint grinding noise in the top-left corner of the computer when performing any activity (e.g. scrolling in safari or coverflow)? It seems to only happen while on the lower graphics card, and I haven't been able to amplify it by cranking up the fans using a utility like SMCFancontrol.

    I really hope I'm just being paranoid over nothing.
     
  21. JeffyD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #21
    Huh.

    Is this problem affecting all MBPs shipped with the 7200 drive upgrade? Or does it seem to be only an annoying problem with a portion of those units?

    The reason I ask is because I was actually planning on ordering a 17" model with the matte display and the 7200 drive tomorrow, but I don't think it'd be a good idea if the majority (possibly all?) of users with said drive are encountering this annoyance. Since this is to be my first mac, I'd rather have a pleasant experience with everything instead of paying to troubleshoot myself in the face.

    Anyone here not experiencing this whole clicking and beeping with their 7200 equipped mid-June 2009 MBP?
     
  22. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #22
    When did you order it and when did you change it? I ordered it on June 23. Is it too late if I call on June 25? My order status says "not yet shipped".

    Who did you call? Did they give you any trouble?
     
  23. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Home
    #23
    Having had a Genius appointment - spoke to Genius who recommended I could get it serviced in store, but said that for this issue with a new MBP, it's legitimate to request a new machine to get shipped out, and to put this plainly politely and firmly. I wonder what a "goodwill gesture" is? Not using UPS? Here goes another 5-7 (+1) business days.
    Youtube video of my version of click beep here - sounds different to some of the other ones, but similar to wessto's wav file.
     
  24. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #24
    Ordered it at a local Apple Authorized Reseller, they were able to cancel the order and do another. Just as well, since I wanted to change other things too.
     
  25. Simon 5000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #25
    Totally off topic, but, I'm about to order exactly the same Macbook Pro as you and was wondering how long your battery lasts.
    Thanks.
     

Share This Page