Help!! Hard Drive dying?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sound Evolution, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Sound Evolution macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    Dear All,

    After 1,5 happy years with my MBP 17" 3.06Ghz. Unibody it starts to fail since yesterday.

    Symptoms:

    Sometimes after 5 minutes, other times after half hour, the beach ball keeps spinning, and system totally freeze. Can't even force quit App's.

    When this happened I hear a soft "Buzz" sound coming from the computer (like electrical current alike sound). In Activity monitor I see huge spikes in Disk Activity when this happened.

    Stating the obvious one would think my Hard Drive is failing. However the "Buzz" sound doesn't sound mechanical.

    Is there anything else I can try? Throwing away some system prefs"

    I did do Disk Permission repair. I used Onyx to clean the system. I did a OS-X (not clean) re-install. When check the Disk it says it is "ok"

    If it is the Hard Drive, which replacement drive should/can I buy?

    Thank you all in advance,

    With kind regards,
    Bas
     
  2. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #2
    First of all, I would highly suggest doing a quick test with the Disk Utility app.

    Select the HDD and click "Verify disk" -if there is truly something that wrong with the HDD, that test should tell you.

    Also could try a PRAM reset, but that's less likely to fix anything.

    Let me know what happens.
     
  3. Sound Evolution thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    Thank you for your reply,

    I did "Verify Disk" and it says the disk is ok. I also tried PRAM even SMC reset.

    The problem is weird. Sometimes only the part on the cinema display stutters (and get the endless rotating beachbal: while the parts on the MBP screen still work.

    I tried to disconnect the cinema display, I try to work with Airport and Bluetooth off. Nothing works.

    One thing is sure, each time it happends I hear the strange soft but smooth BUZZZZZ sound from the left side of the laptop.

    I tried a hardware test with holding the "D" while powering on, but the MBP doesn't come further then the white screen, and eventually boot up without doing any hard ware test.

    Please any help would be welcome.

    With kind regards,
    Bas
     
  4. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #4
    Very very odd. Well if it's an option, I would say take it to the Apple store..but if it's not, I would suggest downloading your free copy of TechToolDeluxe (free with every mac) - run a full computer check. See if anything comes up.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    "Verify Disk" will read the data on the disk and verify that the logical structure of the file system is OK. It will not check the physical electronics inside the drive. It is likely the file system and data are OK but you have failing hardware. "verify disk" would not see this.

    There does exist diagnosic software that will check the physical drive.

    What if you boot and run off an external Firewire drive? Do all your problems go away? If so then I'd suspect the internal disk drive. Good news is that replacements are cheap, under $100
     
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #6
    *Free with every mac that has an active Applecare agreement, not simply the 1 year included warranty.
     
  7. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #7
    Ah, well then the Genius I talked to was (once again) failing to be a genius. :rolleyes:

    Did not know that... Thanks. :)

    If you want to pop the money, you could get TechTool Pro, but it's very $$.
     
  8. Sound Evolution thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #8
    Dear,

    Thanks all for the responses,

    My Apple care for my MBP is exceeded. But i recently bought a MBA11 which is still under warranty. I will try to use this serial number to download TechToolDeluxe.

    Booting from external drive is a good idea. I am kinda a noob. How you booth from an external drive? :D

    Thanks a lot!

    With kind regards,
    Bas
     
  9. Sound Evolution thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #9
    Dear,

    I performed the TechTool Deluxe hardware check. (great tip! thanks!)

    Unfortunately all hardware pass the test. So I still don't know where to seek for the problem.

    I can only assume, but it seems like the Hard Drive get limited in current, and that is when the BUZZZZ sound appear. Each time when I hear that everything stutter and hang.

    With kind regards,
    Bas
     

    Attached Files:

  10. BigMoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    #10

    If you have an external hard drive, download carbon copy cloner. Then you just open it up and make the source your internal hard drive, and the target the external drive. You can make it bootable by going into options on the partition menu and setting it to GUID.
     
  11. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #11

    No, not all hardware tests passed. You skipped the most critical one given your question: the surface scan. Run it. It will scan across the surface of the drive, verifying that it can read from every block. Leave the Activity Monitor open and ACTIVELY watch the disk activity. Don't run anything else. If there's nothing else accessing the hard drive, and the drive is in good shape, you should see a constant (gradually decreasing) speed data transfer from the hard drive. If you see long periods where it drops to zero or times that there is much variation in the speed, then your hard drive is in bad shape.


    Additionally, open Console.app. If you're running snow leopard, look at the file /var/log/kernel.log. In Leopard and earlier, look at /var/log/system.log. If you see anywhere that it says "disk0s2: I/O error", then you have a bad hard drive. You will most likely see this come up in the log precisely when your system stops responding.
     
  12. Sound Evolution thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #12
    Dear Detrius,

    Thank you for your help. I did as you told and Indeed, as soon I hear the "buzzz" sound the line in Activity Monitor drops and the log gives "disk0s2: I/O error"

    So we can conclude indeed my hard drive fails.

    Lucky I have a full time capsule backup.

    You guys helped me great so far. Now I hope you want to guide me to step 2. Which replacement Hard Drive?

    My original was a 500GB/7200 RPM.


    Any advice for brand/type?

    Thanks again.

    With kind regards,
    Bas
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Sound Evolution, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011

    Sound Evolution thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #13
    Solved!

    Dear All,

    First thanks for all the help.

    The problem is solved. I installed a new replacement Hard Drive. The Hitachi Travelstar 7K500, which replace a Seagate.

    The Hitachi is noticeable more silent then the Seagate. I bought specific this drive because of the very good reviews and good feedback about the reliability.

    Mounting the new drive into the 17" Unibody went like a charm. I was very impressed with the internal build quality.

    After mounting the new drive I did a fresh install of Snow Leopard. (instead of a full Time Capsule restore).

    Then in the setup assistant I migrate all my date from my Time Capsule backup. I figured out it is better to do a fresh re-install first. Don't know just for the sake of a better feeling... ;) :D

    After the restore, I did a SMC reset, Pram reset, Repair disk permissions and Let everything get cleaned by Onyx.

    Time Capsule works as advertised. It is amazing! and in such a situations it pays off very well. My Mac was back in business like noting ever changed! and runs like "new" again. Snappy and fast as it once was.

    A note for everyone who does the same thing. Directly after you restore, Do at least repair disk permissions. If not the system turns out to be relatively slow.

    I am happy. Problems solved!

    Thanks again ;)

    With kind regards,
    Bas
     

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