Help Troubleshooting Hard Drive Problem on Mac OS 10.6? (Resolved, Fix in Last Post)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ambys, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. ambys macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    Last night I installed a 1 TB internal drive in my Macbook Pro to complement my SSD (I have no CD drive). 60% of the time, performance is great. The other 40%, it hangs severely and can't read or write anything for several seconds. Does anybody know what could be causing this? For reference, here's what disk usage looks like during a large copy operation (notice it flatlines at 0, even though the copy is still going):


    This drive is a Western Digital, but I had the same problem with a 1 TB Samsung a little while back. Samsung told me the drive was defective, but given I'm having the exact same behavior with a different drive, I'm thinking it's not a hardware issue after all.

    I formatted the drive with the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system. Running repair from disk utility finds no issues. I have tried disabling Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor and disabling Spotlight indexing on the drive. Neither makes a difference.

    Temporarily split it into two partitions to run a couple tests, but not planning to keep it that way. Here is what System Profiler reports:

    WDC WD10TPVT-00HT5T1:

    Capacity: 1 TB (1,000,204,886,016 bytes)
    Model: WDC WD10TPVT-00HT5T1
    Revision: 01.01A01
    Serial Number: WD-WXB1AB0T3611
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk1
    Rotational Rate: 5200
    Medium Type: Rotational
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Capacity: 209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)
    Writable: Yes
    BSD Name: disk1s1
    Media HD:
    Capacity: 386.61 GB (386,612,887,552 bytes)
    Available: 99.27 GB (99,267,100,672 bytes)
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    BSD Name: disk1s2
    Mount Point: /Volumes/Media HD
    Media HD 2:
    Capacity: 613.11 GB (613,113,806,848 bytes)
    Available: 409.97 GB (409,971,826,688 bytes)
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    BSD Name: disk1s3
    Mount Point: /Volumes/Media HD 2

    Much appreciation in advance for any help.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Are you positive that it's the spinning hard drive that's stalling, not the SSD? I've heard of stalling problems with some versions of the firmware on the OCZ Vertex 2, which seems to be what you're using and sounds exactly like the behavior you've seen with two different spinning hard drives.

    Here's a thread at OCZ's support forum discussing the issue:

    Assuming you haven't already, you might want to rule that out before you assume that it's the spinning hard drive causing the hangs.
  3. ambys thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    Thanks. Yes, 100% positive it's the HDD and not the SSD that is hanging.
  4. ambys thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    Problem solved! Wanted to post the solution in case anybody else stumbles into this.

    I downgraded my EFI to 1.6 and that seems to have done the trick. Got the idea here and used the instructions here.

    Pretty irritating that this got broken since 1.6 and I'll need to be careful about future software updates, but I'm happy for now.

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