Hard Drive making noises

Stuke00

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
1,674
74
Collinsville,IL
Every few minutes my hard drive in my iMac makes a really loud noise. Almost like a clunking sound. I am worried it might be something with the hard drive going out. Things seem to be loading VERY slow lately. Any tools out there for OS X to test a hard drive for any possible issues?
 

hologram

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2007
482
138
DriveDX is really good, but it's not free.

The first thing you have to do, though, even before testing it, is to make sure you have a good backup. If you don't, stop what you're doing and back it up now. It would really suck if your drive failed during the test and you didn't have a backup. That clunking noise is the drive going bad, and testing will only confirm it.
 

Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,566
757
Yes
It is past time for you to plunk down $50 or $60 to get an external drive to which you can back everything up.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,333
10,093
California
Every few minutes my hard drive in my iMac makes a really loud noise. Almost like a clunking sound. I am worried it might be something with the hard drive going out. Things seem to be loading VERY slow lately. Any tools out there for OS X to test a hard drive for any possible issues?
Your Mac comes with Disk Utility. You can start Disk Utility and do a verify disk to see what that reports, but from what you are describing you have a bad drive and you need to replace it. A mechanical drive failure is not going to he helped by any troubleshooting utilities.
 

Stuke00

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
1,674
74
Collinsville,IL
oh I have a backup with time machine, not worried about my data. I just bought the iMac back in January. But the hard drive performance has been very low since day one. Now with the occasional noises I hear, I wonder if there is something wrong with it. I can try the Disk Utility but I wasn't sure how thorough that would be. I don't want to pay for another utility either.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,333
10,093
California
oh I have a backup with time machine, not worried about my data. I just bought the iMac back in January. But the hard drive performance has been very low since day one. Now with the occasional noises I hear, I wonder if there is something wrong with it. I can try the Disk Utility but I wasn't sure how thorough that would be. I don't want to pay for another utility either.
DU is not as thorough as some of the aftermarket dedicated utilities, but it will often pick up errors.

If you are still in warranty, I would definitely take it in for that drive noise. That is not normal.
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,429
394
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Every few minutes my hard drive in my iMac makes a really loud noise. Almost like a clunking sound. I am worried it might be something with the hard drive going out. Things seem to be loading VERY slow lately. Any tools out there for OS X to test a hard drive for any possible issues?
Open Disk Utility. Click on your hard drive (should be the very top item) and then click the blue Info button. Look for S.M.A.R.T. Status - if it's anything other than Verified, you absolutely need hardware repair, contact Apple for warranty service.

If it is Verified, that doesn't mean the hard drive is not failing, it still could be & just not detected by SMART. But if it is detected, it'll save you a lot of effort.
 

Stuke00

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
1,674
74
Collinsville,IL
Thanks for the replies everyone. Everything came back ok on the disk utility. Turned out to be my external drive thankfully which I had sitting right behind my iMac.
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,735
1,868
Charlotte, NC
Thanks for the replies everyone. Everything came back ok on the disk utility. Turned out to be my external drive thankfully which I had sitting right behind my iMac.
I'm guessing this is your drive that you use to store backups? If so, then it's just as urgent that you replace that drive. Just my 2¢
 

leventozler

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2009
312
113
OS X kills 3rd party external/internal hard drives. The default drives in Macs come with a custom firmware which disables APM (Advanced Power Management), so the drive doesn't spin-down or park its head.

When you replace the internal drive, or connect an external drive, the drive parks its head (usually when idle for 8 seconds) and OS X tries to wake it. Your drive ends up getting a high load/unload cycle count and starts failing.

And if you use a hard drive that came with your Mac with an enclosure, the custom firmware (with disabled APM) never spins-down & gets very hot.

You can use HDAPM to disable power management of the internal drive, but I couldn't find any solution to prevent clicking and high Load/Unload Cycle Count for external drives.

(keywords to dig more info on this: mac high load cycle count; os x hdapm; mac hard drive advanced power management)
 

radellaf

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2007
21
0
OS X kills 3rd party external/internal hard drives. The default drives in Macs come with a custom firmware which disables APM (Advanced Power Management), so the drive doesn't spin-down or park its head.

When you replace the internal drive, or connect an external drive, the drive parks its head (usually when idle for 8 seconds) and OS X tries to wake it. Your drive ends up getting a high load/unload cycle count and starts failing.
Are there any other tools for this? The Samsung 2TB M9T, a very popular drive, doesn't work with hdapm. It's getting tedious booting into Ubuntu to use hdparm every time I reboot. Why has nobody ported hdparm to the mac?
 
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