iMac HD dying?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BilldaCat, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. BilldaCat macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2008
    Purchased an iMac off Amazon back in April of 2010, running Snow Leopard.

    Recently, the machine occasionally will start whirring/clicking.. best I can explain is a 1 second whirr, followed by a click, repeat. I can't consistently get this to happen. The machine typically has to be force powered off, and then it comes up on a reboot. Two reboots ago, it didn't come back up, it just kept going with the whirr/click. Force power off/on again, and I'm here typing this.

    All my data is backed up to Time Capsule, no worries there.

    Yesterday, I took the machine into my local Apple Store. They ran some diagnostics on it (Disk Verifier, then I believe an fsck from the command line).. found some minor errors regarding number of files/volumes or something if I recall right, and fixed. After that, I was unable to reproduce the whirr/click, so I figured ok, maybe we're fixed, took the machine home.

    Was fine for about 18 hours or so, when I just got the dreaded whirr/click again.

    What's my next step? Back to the Apple store for a HD replacement? Could it be any other part of the computer? If the HD is dying, I'm surprised I'm able to boot back up the majority of the time and continue working for hours.

  2. mark76 macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2011
    That clicking sound is usually hdd thats going to break. Better taking that to the dealer. Well its strange, that it works time to time.
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    The first thing is BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!!!!!!!!!

    Next I'd recommend listening to these recordings of failed or failing HD's to see your sound is close to any of these:

    Next I would run Apple Hardware Test in Extended Mode, it may require 2-3 attempts to uncover any errors. Once you have the error codes you can take it back in for a HD replacement. Please be patient, this test is time consuming. Hopefully you bought AppleCare on this machine, if you did there will be no costs incurred. However if you did not and the machine is a year or older you will need to pay for the repair. Here is the link for running AHT:
  4. BilldaCat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2008
    No applecare here. Was hoping I'd fall under this:

    but my serial number isn't in the affected group sadly.

    I'll try the AHT tonight - thanks.

    Also, none of those Seagate sounds really match what I have going on.

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