Hard Drive Clicking Noise on MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by skorpien, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Hi all,

    I'm getting this weird clicking noise from my hard drive when my MBP is sitting idle. It sounds like it's a series of 3 or 4 clicks going from a high pitch to a low pitch, and then it pauses for about 20 seconds before it does it again. I just purchased my MBP (Penryn, 200GB 7200 rpm HDD, arrived March 10) and today's the first time I noticed this. I've rebooted, ran disk utility which said the HDD is fine, and I've searched all over for an answer. The only thing I came up with is that it usually signifies an imminent hard disk failure. I'm a first time Mac owner so I'm at a loss of what to do. Has anybody else had this issue and is there a fix for it? Should I be worrying or calling Apple Care? Thanks in advance.
  2. skorpien thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I really don't want to do this seeing as I paid extra for the 7200 rpm drive to begin with. Then again if it needs to be replaced, I don't want to be without a computer for however long it'll take them to fix it (there are no Apple Stores in Calgary yet...) I'll call Apple Care and see what they say.
  3. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    All hard drives make little sounds now and then. It's likely thermal calibration or head parking/movement. As long as they are "little" sounds I wouldn't worry at all. If was a lot louder or "broken" sounding then I wouldn't worry about it yet. I've had this drive before and now have it in a new penryn 15" also. If you are worried and you have an Apple store nearby you could take it there to have them check it out.

    Edit: oops just noticed the post where there are no stores nearby. I'd call Apple if you want to be sure but I really doubt it's a problem.
  4. skorpien thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Thx for the response, it's put my mind at ease somewhat. This is my first laptop so I'm not too sure about how it's supposed to act. The thing that worries me is I never noticed this sound before today, so I'm really hoping it's because I was in a quiet room and that's what made me notice it. I'll see what they say before getting too worked up over this. And if it fails in the meantime, it's not like I'll be losing much data. The computer is only 11 days old :p
  5. skorpien thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    After some more research, it seems like it is the sound of the hard drive head parking. Is this a normal thing to have happening every 20 or so seconds? Should I even worry about taking this to an Apple authorized service center to be looked at? This is my first Mac, or laptop for that matter, so I may be being overly cautious with this whole matter.
  6. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    Yes, under OS X, 20 or so seconds is spot on. The Hitachi 7200-rpm drives tend to be louder when parking the head, and for whatever reason, OS X does this while idle, in intervals of about 20 seconds.
  7. skorpien thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Thank you xpovos, you've just made my weekend :p As long as this is normal, I can deal with it. I was just worried it was a sign of something worse to come.
  8. MoeOz macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    MBPShhh .

    its normal , "MBPshhh" will save the day juz google it and enjoy ur fabolous machine ;)
  9. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Try unchecking "Put the hard disks to sleep whenever possible" in the Energy Saver preference pane.

    that might be it. If not, then its generally normal. Its only a problem if you hear rhythmic clicking.
  10. skorpien thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Thx I'll try that. And yeah, I think I was just being a little bit paranoid. ~$4000 for a computer is enough to make even the slightest sounds worry you haha. Good thing I got Apple Care for it.
  11. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    In a nice place..
    My 4 year old thinkpads 80GB SATA drive is a click-o-holic, at first it drove me crazy, clicking all the time. I think I found out that it had something to do with the "impact sensor" or something as it was one of the first systems with that feature. (for thinkpads that is). I have learned to ignore it, and I think it went away on its own. Keep on eye on your SMART status, and if you really concerned, get techtool pro or something to scan the drive on a regular basis to determine if it is going bad.

  12. lukoson macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2008
    I have a new 2.2 SR that clicks and plinks. I thought I had a faulty machine and so exchanged it within the 14 day period but the new one does it just as often. After reading up on it this seems to be pretty normal. I guess I was lured into the "dead silent" mbp but I don't believe that there are many out there that don't make some noise. If you have one then you are lucky. The plink noise seems to be the heads parking and it seems that OS X is rather aggressive about parking the heads and keeping the drive active. I've read about people with this problem on all makes, sizes, and speeds of drives so it doesn't seem to be unique to any one of them though I imagine that some are a bit quieter than others. There are some programs out there that allow for a quieter hard drive but I haven't tested them out yet. I imagine that if enough people complain to apple about this then they will eventually offer an update that could fix it.

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