HDD in mid-09 MBP making noise; shutting down causes system to freeze

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,311
852
Ohio
I have a mid-2009 17" MacBook Pro and am starting to hear what sounds like the actuator arm of the hard drive going back and forth. It never used to make any noise at all so I'm wondering if I have something to worry about here? I've been using Time Machine for years now so backups aren't an issue...I just want to know if I should be expecting something to go wrong.

And if it's of any relevance, I shut my computer off every night and boot it up every morning. In the last week or so, I've noticed that when shut down my computer it seems to freeze up on the desktop and stop being responsive. I usually have to press and hold the power button to force the computer to turn off.

If anyone can shed any light on those two concerns I'd appreciate it!
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,094
Oregon
Sounds like a typical HDD failure.

Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility

Click on your hard drive on the pane in the left and look down at the bottom right "S.M.A.R.T. Status:"

If it says "Failing" you've definitely got a bad HDD.
 
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ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,311
852
Ohio
Sounds like a typical HDD failure.

Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility

Click on your hard drive on the pane in the left and look down at the bottom right "S.M.A.R.T. Status:"

If it says "Failing" you've definitely got a bad HDD.
The S.M.A.R.T. Status says "Verified".
 
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ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,311
852
Ohio
Sometimes the failure mode doesn't trigger a S.M.A.R.T. failure. From what you described, it really does sound like a HDD failure.

Right now is a good time to upgrade to a SSD. :)
How much sense does it make to keep upgrading a computer that's 4 years old though? It's got a core 2 duo processor that's already a bottleneck with a lot of tasks that I do. Would it really be smart to keep dropping money on it? I've already upgraded from 4GB to 8GB of RAM...I really hate to put more money into it.

How much time does one usually have once they start hearing noises like this?
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,094
Oregon
How much sense does it make to keep upgrading a computer that's 4 years old though? It's got a core 2 duo processor that's already a bottleneck with a lot of tasks that I do. Would it really be smart to keep dropping money on it? I've already upgraded from 4GB to 8GB of RAM...I really hate to put more money into it.
Sounds like a newer computer may be the best route for you. 90% of the tasks I throw at my mid 2009 are handled just fine, so a SSD upgrade made sense for me.

How much time does one usually have once they start hearing noises like this?
I don't think there is really a good way to estimate that. It may go on working for a year or more before it fails. Or it may die this week. I would just be prepared to replace the HDD or replace the computer.
 
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ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,311
852
Ohio
Sounds like a newer computer may be the best route for you. 90% of the tasks I throw at my mid 2009 are handled just fine, so a SSD upgrade made sense for me.



I don't think there is really a good way to estimate that. It may go on working for a year or more before it fails. Or it may die this week. I would just be prepared to replace the HDD or replace the computer.
I think I'm going to start looking into the 15" rMBP 256GB SSD model. I've had this MBP all through high school and it's served me greatly, but now I've started college and need another computer to last me another 4 years.

My MBP is still really quick but the processor is really dated now. Converting movies takes hours and playing games like Minecraft causes everything else on the system to slow to a halt. And even then, I only get 30FPS.

I wish there was a way to estimate how long I have before it dies...The resale value is already extremely low compared to what I paid for it, so trying to sell it with a dead drive will drop that even more.
 
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