Is My Hard Drive Dying? Help!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by astrostu, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. astrostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    I've had a hard drive die every autumn / early winter since 2004. Almost like clockwork. But it's always been obvious the way they fail ... as in the click of death, or suddenly files show up as something else (I had an external fail last year and it manifested as I opened a file that read "Judge Judy" and a scene from "The Mummy" came up).

    However, I'm at a loss this time and would like to know if anyone's encountered this issue: I go to turn on or restart my desktop (Mac Pro, that's why I put it in this forum), and I just get a grey screen. Stays like that for many, many minutes. Turn off and back on and it worked the first time (a few days ago), but had to repeat that again a few minutes ago.

    Is this an early sign of a main disk death? Or is there something more worrisome going on?

    And yes, I just verified that Time Machine is backing everything up except my caches, FCE docs, and Parallels image, the latter which I do separately weekly and am doing right now.
  2. SkyNite macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Have you made sure you don't have directory or file system errors on your disk? What does Disk Utility report? Do you have DiskWarrior? I run it periodically as a preventative measure.

    You are having some seriously bad luck with hard drives. Do you use a UPS to protect your devices? I have lots of hard drives going 24/7, and rarely has one failed in after a year's use.
  3. astrostu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    Thanks, SkyNite. I just ran Disk Utility. It verified fine. There were a few dozen permissions that were wrong, but all but four were in the AirPort Utility application. The others were Java and httpd.conf.

    DiskWarrior similarly shows no permissions issues now. The SMART status of the disk is fine.

    Let me quickly clarify about disk death -- I have about 7 hard drives in use now. I've always had at least 3. It's not the same one dying once a year, it's one drive per year. In 2004, it was my main disk, last year it was an external. This main disk I write/read to/from A LOT, especially during the first year of use ... pretty much constantly for a 9-month period (I was running some intensive simulations). It dates to Feb. 2008, so I would not be shocked if it dies in the near future.
  4. SkyNite macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Cool. Did you let DiskWarrior build a new directory? IMHO that's it's most vital function.

    Ahh, I see now. I thought this was the same drive failing each year.

    Why not install OS X on a second internal drive, to see if it's a damaged OS that's at fault?

    I still recommend doing a DiskWarrior directory rebuild if you haven't already. :)

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