Hard Drive upgrade hanging up -Faulty drive or something I didn't do right?


macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2006
I replaced my 200gb 5400 hard drive in my 15" Macbook Pro, Early 2008 model, with a WD Scorpio Blue 500gb 5400 hard drive. I cloned the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner and everything seemed to go smoothly. But after I began using the Macbook in earnest, I noticed a delay in response at certain times. If I type in a word processing program, I will type five to six words, the cursor won't move, then I'll get the rainbow spinning wheel. After five to six seconds, the line will appear quickly, letter by letter, until it catches up. If I keep typing, everything is fine, but once I stop for 20 seconds or more, the same thing happens.

Being more observant, I began to notice hiccups in other programs as well. I'll give a trackpad input and the spinning wheel appears, then the program catches up.

I then began to listen closely to the hard drive. After 20 seconds of activity, it sounds like it slows down, even going to sleep--although I'm not sure if that's truly what it's doing. It's only when the hard drive seems to slow/stop that this lag in input happens. If I keep giving inputs before the slowdown, everything is fine.

Here is what I've done to troubleshoot.

Perform a verify disk from disk utility. No issues detected.
I've unchecked "put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible." Still have same problem.
I've booted from the old 200gb HD which I encased in a disk enclosure and the lag time doesn't occur when using it.

Any ideas? Is there something else I should have done with the BIOS or something else when installing?

Also, I bought the HD from Amazon. If the HD is defective, does anyone have experience to know whether WD will send me a new HD or do I have to go back through Amazon to get a new one.

Thanks for the help.


macrumors 65816
Nov 25, 2004
Korova Milkbar
If it's within a certain period, 30-90 days depending on their policy, you would go through Amazon. After that you would need to go through the manufacturer of the drive and perform an RMA/Warranty return.

It's possible the drive is faulty, it happens. I would say the recent WD drives are pretty good drives, so you're just unlucky in this case if that's the problem.

Since you have an enclosure for your old drive, I would recommend reinstalling the OS fresh on the new drive and testing it out for a while. When you set up the first user, use a name that isn't the one you previously used on the other drive; it will make migration easier later.

Use your computer and try to stress the drive as much as you can. Copying files, downloading (if you have a decent connection), whatever.

If after a day or so of use if it seems fine, connect the old drive, run the migration assistant, and it will transfer over your applications, user data (this is where it helps to not have a duplicate user name on the new drive), and just about everything minus drivers and third party system level software.

This is all to rule out any software issues that may have transferred over, or been caused because of the transfer. If installing a fresh system doesn't solve the slow down issues then don't hesitate to send the drive in otherwise. You'll have at least a 1 year manufacturer warranty. If the problems persist after migrating data, then consider starting fresh again, but instead of migrating, manually copying over data and reinstalling apps.

Edit: OH! And reset your PRAM whenever you install new hardware, just in case.


macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2010
Hi this OP's problem is exactly the same problem I am having with my new 500gb WD HD of the same make. I replaced my 160gb in my new macbook pro 2 weeks ago and experiencing exactly the symptoms described. Just hoping that the OP will read this and tell me if and how he overcame his problem. Or if anyone else knows a solution or remedy?


macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2006
What I did

I tried everything suggested by people on this post: resetting the PRAM, reinstalling the OS and I still had the delay. I called WD and they asked me to reinstall the OS and I told them I had, so they sent me a new drive and gave me a certain amount of time to send back the old one before they charged my credit card.

After I reinstalled the second drive, everything worked fine, so it was definitely a faulty drive, even though the verify disk utility said it was fine.

WD took care of shipping on both sides and the hard drive arrived relatively quickly, so I was pleased with their service.

Good luck.


macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
Montreal, QC
Yeah, based on the symptoms I definitely would've pegged this one as a faulty hard drive. Blueskybyway reacted appropriately in my opinion, and I agree with everything madog had to say except the bit about running Migration Assistant. If your drive is faulty, it's entirely possible that you're looking at some data corruption thanks to bad sectors on the drive. Copying files en masse from the new drive onto your backup may well result in you overwriting some good files with corrupted ones. If you need to update some files, only update what you need manually, make sure the files are readable, and save them as "Foo copy.whatever" rather than overwriting the original. (When backing up video files, you may have to watch the entire thing as corruption may only affect one part of the clip.)
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