IMac hard drive failure

Discussion in 'iMac' started by crapaudblanc, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. crapaudblanc macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2009
    I know this post will draw a lot of critics from the Apple lovers, but I bought an iMac 24 inch in 2007. I was a PC converted user. Initially I was very happy about my purchase until for no reason the hard drive started failing. We have not moved the Mac, or done anything in particular when one day it started to fail. No signal, no error message, but the Mac will not boot. Anyway with all the hype about Mac, I found hard to believe that after spending over $2,800 and in less than 2 years the hard drive failed. Now to fix it, it is costing me the data recovery $400, the cost of replacing the hard drive $100, and all the hassles that come with it. I know there is lot said about PC’s poor Microsoft software, but in 20 years and multiple PCs and laptops I never encountered a hard drive failure or hardware failure. I had multiple laptops and they were true road warriors. If PC is software poor, Mac is hardware poor. Once this hard drive failure happened, I started asking around and even though it was not a scientific survey I found that 1 out of 3 Mac or iBook owners had experienced a hardware failure. One of the theories that Apple won’t admit is that they are trying to pack too much hardware in a small space, and that the hard drive tends to overheat and fail.
    My opinion is that Apple has a lot of hype, and they design great software, but the quality of their hardware is really lacking (I am not even speaking about Ipod failures). I would have thought that after spending thousands of dollars to buy a state of the art Mac, I would at least be entitled to buy a high quality machine…I guess I was wrong.
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I've had a hard drive go bad on me, and yes, it sucks - but your ire is misplaced. Apple doesn't manufacture hard drives. The hard drive in your iMac, whether it's Hitachi, Seagate, WD, or whatever - it could just as easily have ended up in a PC.

    It also seems to me that about $400 of your problem could have been eliminated by regularly backing up your system - you do keep regular backups, don't you? If not, please don't blame Apple or any other manufacturer; that part of this mess is on you, my friend.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Apple has a great OS. Do they "design great software"? Not in my opinion. They did great with OS 9 (my fav) and OS X.

    You are implying that somehow the hard drive failure is directly related to any OS. I do not believe this to be fact. I have had hard drive failures with both Macs and PCs, notebooks and desktops. I do not believe that you should somehow reserve yourself to the idea that you paid a premium for a Mac and therefore there should never be a problem. I just spent the last 3 weeks dealing with a MacPro repair that has been broken since the day I got it. The result, I got a new MacPro yesterday in exchange for the faulty one. Explain how Apple could be at fault for cramming too much into such a small space when you think of a Mac Pro.

    Do I agree that some people will not admit that Apple hardware does fail? Sure. All hardware fails. Your experience and your less-than scientific survey means nada though. Hardware that runs Windows fails at similar rates I'd imagine. Why? Apple doesn't make their hard drives and neither does Microsoft.

    I do think your theory of the hard drive failing as a result of excessive heat in a notebook is actually quite tangible, but I don't believe that your theory is Mac specific.

    Now, I have ZERO pity for people who pay for data recovery because hard drives, external hard drives, are so freaking inexpensive nowadays that it is truly astounding to me when someone doesn't have some redundancy set up.

    Finally, Apple is like Sony in my opinion. You are paying for a name of sorts.

    Your flaw is that you believe again that the price you paid "entitles" you to never having an issue. I paid more than you did on my MacPro alone and guess what? I had an issue. The only thing I thought I was entitled for was a repair or replacement free of charge. I got just that.

    Bottom line, Apple sucks as much as Microsoft, everything can fail ... no matter what OS I am using.
  4. elfjuice macrumors newbie


    Mar 10, 2008
    St Louis, MO
    I just found out that the hard drive in my iMac just died. Have had it less than a year. Ya it sucks, but I haven't lost any data (Thanks Time Machine) and it's covered under warranty.
  5. lewchenko macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2004
    News Flash just in :

    Hard drives can die in PC's as well as Macs. Ive never had one die in my mac, but have on a PC more than once, but I dont draw any conclusions from that. Ive had failures from Seagate, Western Digital and my latest build now uses Hitachi !

    Your venting is misplaced. It sucks.. sure, but it can happen to anyone, on any computer and if you had a proper backup routine in place you would not have had to pay $400 (which sounds like a rip off to me).

    Make sure you put all your important stuff on an external HD as well, and you will be fine next time.
  6. cybertron3 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2003
    I totally understand your anger here. I have had numerous hard drives fail across numerous systems.

    I just want to say something here because while people know it, they don't always take advantage: If your hard drive is making funny noises, get a new one. It doesn't matter how new or old it is, it will probably die soon (a day to a year- it is hard to say). I have done this multiple times and I have never had to use my backups yet after 5 HD failures (I have 11 or so hard drives in use at any given time across 5 systems).

    I know this doesn't help you crapaudblanc. But hopefully it will help someone else.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Had a MacBook HDD die a few days ago, several other drives in an assortment of computers; had 2 SMART errors on my music and Time Machine external the same day my MacBook HDD died.

    It happens.
  8. wakerider017 macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2006
    US of A
    There is no such thing as mac specific hard drives nor does Apple make their own drives.

    Apple uses quality hard drives from big name manufacturers. Hard drives do and will fail on both Macs and PC's.

    As far as the data you lost, hopefully you will take this as a lesson to get some sort of external storage. And if it is really important stuff, you should have some form of off-site storage.
  9. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    You should consider yourself lucky that the data recovery service only costs $400. Data recovery services can easily cost up to $2000 and even more if it is a RAID array that failed.
  10. Temporal Lobe macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2009
    Im a noob to the forums.......

    I know its an old post but I wanted to add something. At the end you will see why I came to this very thread.

    I have owned several PC's over the years, IBM, Gateway, Acer, etc. At work I owned a Dell because the company bought it and before that it was another brand I cant remember...

    Anyway I finally went back to college in 2002. I was attending Boise State University. Soon after I bought an iBook. I also purchased an Apple care plan for my iBook. First semester no issues. Then one day I had some issues with it booting up. I called apple and it was the battery. I called that evening when I got home from school. The next day in the afternoon I had a new battery sent via airmail.
    Then it happened again the battery messed up and they sent me another battery. At this time the iBook as getting very hot. I called Apple and the tech told me to send it in. The next day there was a guy from the same airmail company with a box. I placed my iBook and stuff in the box and gave it back to him. That was around 10am. The next evening I had my iBook back.
    About a month later I had to send it back in to get the mother board replaced. After that I had no issues. And it did not cost me anything and the customer service is better then any company I have ever delt with. Awesome!

    Then I my PC died. I decided to replace it with an eMac. So I bought an Emac G4 1ghz. That is the Mac I am typing on at the moment. It is still working top notch. I have never seen a PC last this long.

    The next year I purchased a second eMac 1.25Ghz G4. That eMac I still have and last week the hard drive died. That is how I came across this thread as I was looking for the commands to hack into the old HD. Was it Mac's fault that my HD died? Nooo..... But one thing that must be taken into consideration..... I have never ever had an Issue with any of my eMac's. Ever! The eMac that just died due to HD failure was rarely turned off. Its average day would be from 7-8am to 2-3am and some times just left on over night for Five Years. It was under constant use between myself, my wife, and my three girls. That eMac was a pack mule in our home. And after I try to hack into the HD to see if I can retrieve any data..... guess what... I have another HD to go right back into the same eMac and back into service it goes. :D

    Now.... lets see a PC do that....!

    I have never had an eMac crash on me..... even after the three year Applecare was up and I had a couple of the capacitors start t leak Apple replaced them free of charge. I get regular software and virus updates at no charge. There is an extensive data bank on Apples website to help with just about any need one might have.

    Our lives have been nothing but positive since converting over to Mac's. We dont even worry about having an issue like we did with PC's. They were always crashing, blue screen of death, freezing, etc..... We will be buying three more Mac's this year to replace the eMac's. I will be giving the eMac's to my mom and dad as they will serve them well for their needs.

    Sooooo 2002 to 2009.... some 7 years of nothing but awesome service from my Mac's.

    I think the guy that started this thread is nothing but a trouble making Troll!

    Sorry but thats my own opinion. I can say with full confidence that this guy has never even owned a Mac. He also must be from another dimension as all those things he claims to have never experience with an IBM or IBM clone... are the reasons many people decide to try a Mac and end up being hooked for life. I have worked for three companies and we were always having issues with the PC's and network crashes. As a federal employee we had the same issues with the PC's and many of the IT people actually own Mac's. I worked as a semiconductor engineer. So I know full well about computers. PC's are trying to be something that they can never become... a Mac. They copy everything we have, and do a lousy job at it, as well as many companies writing their software on Mac's for PC's.

    Ok I am finished with my rant. :)
  11. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Mar 19, 2009
    Kind of pointless blaming Apple for a failed hard disk.

    Next time you may consider a good backup regime, and you'll save yourself money in the long run.

    Get a new HDD, install it and move on. A lesson learned. Hard Disk fail. :(
  12. Gigahurtz macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    My ex girlfriend had a MacBook a few years ago (when they first came out) and the hard drive failed. She hadn't backed up her data and while I was mad about it I knew it was our fault for not having a backup plan.

    I recently had my hard drive replaced in my iMac due to failure. I had a backup in place and was happy that I didn't have to worry about that. I am a little concerned with how quickly this drive died and I do feel that the heat in the system took it's toll on it. I have decided I would shut my system down more often and hopefully this will help with this problem.

    Fact of the matter is you cannot completely blame Apple as hardware failure with computers is going to happen (I fix computers for a living and see it ALL the time). Apple makes computers that are pleasing to the eye but unfortunately, this doesn't allow for proper airflow on the system.
  13. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    You are so right about the hardware but Apple doesn't make HD's
  14. Broncoman13 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2009
    Hard Drive Issue

    Hello, first time poster here.

    I have an external hard drive and have backed up consistently for the past year, however my hard drive looks to be toast, or atleast is not being recognized. My question is, if I erase the hard drive and reinstall the operating system, will I still be able to access all of my back up files thru Time Machine? Again, Time Machine is backed up through an external hard drive and I have a ton of pictures and music that I am afraid to lose. The pictures more so than the music as I have the music on iPods and MP3 players.

    If I erase the hard drive can I still get my pictures back through Time Machine and will Time Machine still interface with a new hard drive if it comes to that?
  15. ntmurphy macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2010
    Late reply. Current issue. Story is nearly the same. PC user for years. Never any sort of meltdown. iMac purchase in May 2008. Hard drive failure Nov. 2009. Pretty weak.

    Sure... hard drives fail. Stand behind your product! If you're putting a bum hard-drive in a $2,800 machine, and it craps out after 1.5 yrs. ... replace it. Charging me $370 is absolutely NO way to generate sales. Not that I'll impact Apple sales in ANY remotely significant way, but you can bet I'll influence it $370 worth. It does Apple better if they stand behind a crap hard drive.

    I bought a new hard drive from Newegg for $80 (750GB, and a 5 yr warranty). I'll try to install myself, but worst case, I bring it to the Geek Squad at BestBuy, and they'll put it in for $50. Another $50 if I needed an OS install.
  16. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009

    Why should they? You've gone out of the warranty by half as much again.

    If you wanted it repaired, you should have invested in AppleCare.
  17. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    If you used an external HD as a target for your Time Machine, you will be able to recover all of that data once you install a new HD in your Mac. I did the same when my MBP HD went bad.
  18. Nighthawk4 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2008
    Well it hasn't failed yet, but SMART Utility is reporting bad sectors. Only 14 at the moment.

    I backup regularly with Time Machine and SuperDuper! - on separate external disks.

    My only gripe is that I have Seagate disks in several PCs - all easy to open and replace the disk - but have never yet had any problems with them. So it is annoying that my first Seagate disk failure has to be about 18 months old and in a sealed iMac.

    How do I get it replaced please? Is this really something I can hope to replace by myself? I have built PCs and upgraded others, but never anything like this. The last machine I tried to upgrade was a tiny Netbook. I successfully upgraded the memory in it but it has never worked properly since.

    Do I try to find someone who can replace the disk for me, or try to do it myself? If the latter, how do I do it please?

    The machine is:

  19. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    Heat kills hard drives

    Hard drives die more frequently in Macs because the design of the case makes all the components hotter.

    it's really that simple.

    I'm with the OP, for the money charged Apple hardware should be a lot better. Classic Apple...lots of talk, hype and spin....... not a lot of end product.

    Ultimate display anyone..??;)

    I've only had significant hardware issues with Macs, all the PC's are still purring away years later.

    It isn't as if they are burdened with volume compared to PC manufacturers, Apple only sold 3.2m desktops last year in total.
  20. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008

    you shouldn't have to, thats the point.

    Applecare is practically fraud anyway, this comes from someone who has successfully litigated against Apple 3 times now for hardware issues..
  21. lombjh macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    South Australia

    Made "THE SWITCH" in Dec 07. Very happy with the whole "Apple thing" for the first 18 months - I even convinced others to switch. Then, August 09 - hard drive failure. First the slow down, then the hanging, then the missing startup drive and then - KAPUT!

    OK - so it does happen to any computer system and Apple does not make the hardware and and and. Had it repaired (under Applcare warranty), restored through time machoine nad off we go again - happy but weary!!

    January 2010 - well, perhaps the new drive was just not "decade Proof". Yes, it must certainly be that. Surely two hard drive failures in the same IMac within 6 months is not possible! As if it was a replay of the previous failure, the same scenario started a few days ago, and today I once again hande the (not so) beloved Mac in for a new drive. Oh, did I mention that I relocated Imac to cooler place, switched it off at night and even installed surge protection after the first failure?

    C'mon people - this is not normal or acceptable. For 30 years I had worked on HP, Dell, Sony,and a whole heap of unbranded "stuff" and yes, while I have had failures of drives, I have NEVER had it this bad in a single machine.

    It is time Apple acknowledges that they have SERIOUS design issues and that they adress those now before they find themselves back where they were 10 years ago!
  22. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    That's called the Gamblers fallacy. If there's a 1/100 probability that a HD drive fails, and it does, the probability is not 1/10000 that a second one will. It's still 1/100.

    And the probability that any random hard drive will fail is much higher than that. Take a look at the HD reviews on Newegg. People report, for example, that they ordered 4 drives and 2 failed.
  23. lombjh macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    South Australia
    It is not the probability of failure that is important, it is the probability of those failures occuring in 1 machine, especially if the 2 drives in question are supplied from different batches and probably different factories, unlike the "4 ordered and 2 failed" occurance mentioned in your response.
  24. Kristenn macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2009
    Badly designed cases causing HD failure through heat?

    Yeah, uh huh, sure. iStat Pro on both 2007 iMacs and newer iMacs in my school show 26c to 32c on HD temp. This is normal heat for a HD, correct?

    Hard drives fail. Blame Hitachi or Seagate. Whatever brand is in your computer. But don't start saying it's because Apple designed the case wrong. I'm 99% sure 32c at the highest is completely normal temps for a hard drive.

    I try to back up my computer at least once a week on a 500GB Samsung HD. That way I won't be complaining when my laptop HD decides to die. Hard drives are time bombs, period.

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