Loud HDD could be fixed by firmware

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wesleyh, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #1
    Apparently, dell's already done it.



    Responses?

    If dell can do it, apple can do it.

    You can read the thread here: http://en.community.dell.com/forums/p/19248285/19548257.aspx

    Also interesting:

    Now, there are tools out there that allow you to modify the AAM / APM. Unfortunately, AAM is not available on seagate drives, but APM is.

    Would someone please test this software and change the APM to 255 and report back? You need to do this in windows (boot).

    http://sites.google.com/site/quiethdd/


    Here's some more info on AAM from apple discussion forum:

     
  2. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #2
  3. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #3
    Well, I just tried the hdapm utility. This is what I get:

    imacplus:bin wesley$ /usr/bin/hdapm disk0 max
    disk0: ST31000528ASQ
    Setting APM level to 0xfe: FAILED: APM not supported

    Is everyone getting the same error message? Either the utility does not work on newer drives or the seagates have no way to access the APM? Which to me would be a serious fault.. Someone should still try quiethdd though.
     
  4. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #4
  5. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #5
    All these views and not a single reply. Maybe I shouldn't bother any more.
     
  6. frenchie0101 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    #6
    wes i changed to the hitachi 2TB and im getting exactly the same grumbling noise, so it's some kind of an acoustic problem imo
     
  7. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #7
    Yeah well either it's to do with mac os x and it's severe power management features, or with the HDs themselves, or with the enclosure. If you think it's the third someone should just remove the HD from the imac and test it in an outside enclosure.
     
  8. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #8
    I just tried smartctl to see if anything is wrong. Output below. Anyone see anything wrong? Have had it for just a few days.

     
  9. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #9
    So no one wants to try the hdapm / quiethdd tools? No one wants to see this fixed? Come on.. it requires team effort.
     
  10. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #10
    I would also like someone to do smartctl. Even if you don't have the clicking, would love to compare. I don't quite understand how to read these values though. For example, first row: value = 108. Worst = 100. Does this mean it can't go below 100 or it's already way too high? (starts at 0 or what?)

    You can find a smart reading utility here:
    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/smartutility.html

    Attached is the smart output.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #11
    These people also used APM to get rid of this problem in the past (on macs):

    http://ocroquette.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/how-not-to-kill-a-brand-new-hard-disk/
    http://dougitdesign.com/blogs/blog_12_08_mac-clicking-hdd-hard-drive-noise-hdapm_old.html


    Unfortunately it looks as if APM or AAM are not available on these seagate drives. Even tried a ubuntu live cd. APM not supported. Would love if someone else tried.
     
  12. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #12
    Here's some commands you can do in terminal for anyone who wants to investigate this further:

    Code:
    sudo iotop
    ps wwaxr -o pid,stat,%cpu,time,command | head -10
    iostat -w 1 disk0
    sudo fs_usage -f filesys
    
     
  13. Ptyger macrumors member

    Ptyger

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #13
    My i7 iMac is still on order, so I don't have a loud one with which to check out these various things you've discovered, but if it is a problem when I receive it, I will be happy to put it through the wringer.

    I would, also, like to thank you for your efforts in finding information as to the nature of the problem, and the various potential solutions you've posted. Looking through this thread, I can't believe that more people haven't responded in any way whatsoever in regards to this information.

    At any rate, should the hard drive in my new machine prove to be troublesome in this regard, you can be sure of my support in experimenting with these (potential) fixes.
     
  14. spoonerist macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    #14
    I reinstalled the OS the other day.* Before this, my hard drive was completely silent. After the reinstallation, I can hear it making noises when I do anything at all, from opening a Finder folder to transferring files. It sounds pretty normal for a hard drive - I have a really loud external hard drive on my desk, so I'm used to the sound - but the iMac hard drive has never been loud since my re-install.

    *The Mac OS X install disc that came with my iMac was faulty. I had to wait 10 days for Apple to send me out a new one. Check that yours isn't faulty!
     
  15. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #15
    I haven't reinstalled os x so i doubt it has anything to do with the installation disk. The os that is preinstalled on the macs is the same (duplicate) everywhere.

    Anyway, ptyger, thank you for your comments. I suspect it has something to do with the holiday season. We'll see in a few days if there are more replies or not.
     
  16. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #16
    Guys, I've asked this before and no one did it, so could someone please do this. It only takes a minute.

    Download this application: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/smartutility.html

    It will show you your SMART values. Please upload a screenshot and add it to this thread.

    Here is mine about a week ago.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the "raw" value for "Raw read error rate" is 15687547. Seek error rate is "25770991096" and Hardware ECC recovered is the exact same value as raw read error rate.

    Airflow temperature has a raw value of 41 and a value of 59. In red.

    Yet when I test this in disk utility it shows SMART as OK. I also tested with seatools and it also said everything is fine.

    Is this within spec? These kinds of errors? Keep in mind that at the time the screenshot was taken there were only 27 power on hours (as detailed in the SMART report).

    Now, I've heard that this is normal for seagate drives:

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-224921_14_0.html

    They basically say that raw values can contain whatever, and you should only look at the value and worst column compared to threshold. If it goes under threshold, then you're in trouble. I don't know if this is true.

    To compare, let's check my old imac G5.

    [​IMG]

    Now, it seems to have some problems of it's own, but lets ignore those.

    This one has 18518 power on hours. 0 raw read error rate. 0 seek error rate. Airflow temperature raw value is 17, value is 89. Red.

    I have done a couple of hardware tests and today I did another smart test on my new imac.

    This is the updated figure:

    [​IMG]

    This is one minute later:

    [​IMG]

    Keep in mind I'm not doing much of anything. Just writing this message. The errors seem to be increasing very fast.

    So, if someone could please add their smart output as well, that would be very much appreciated.

    I also did a couple of hardware tests with hdtune pro for windows. You can see some graphs here:

    [​IMG]
    The reading seems to have a downward trend and sometimes sudden spikes lower. Is this normal? Average read is only 98MB/s.

    I did the test once more to confirm:

    [​IMG]

    Here i also tested the smart:

    [​IMG]

    I admit, I don't know much about these smart tests, what does the "value", "worst", and "treshold" column signify? What is the difference between value & raw value?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  17. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #17
    I wrote a new blog about a clicking, loud, seeking, grumbling, HDD in my Dell Mini 10v running 10.6.2...no real answers except HDAPM will not work at all on this configuration!

    Apple only fixes (some of) the clicking HDD's that come in their standard laptop configurations...

    many clicking HDD's out there.
     
  18. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #18
    Yeah, for the standard seagate in the imac, neither APM nor AAM are available. AAM I can understand because seagate doesn't do this. But APM? My guess apple removed it because they use their own custom firmware on these drives.

    I would really like it though if they made some option in system preferences for accoustics management..

    Btw, still no responses to my earlier question? 2 minutes of someone's time (who's got a seagate)? Come on...
     
  19. Ptyger macrumors member

    Ptyger

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #19
    Here is my SMART Utility capture from today:
     

    Attached Files:

  20. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #20
    Thanks for posting! Do you have a noisy HD or not?
     
  21. Michieli5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    #21
    Its funny.. Overall SMART status says failing :/ with a yellow background. Im running the test now. but nothing seems to happen.

    ok here it is
    [​IMG]

    And its kinda noisy. but not all the time. more when im downloading. and sometimes when im browsing the web.
    Hope this helps solve the problem ! keep it up.

    cheers Michiel
     
  22. Ptyger macrumors member

    Ptyger

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #22
    Quiet as a mouse, actually. Though I understand the problems could creep up with further use, so I was going to wait a week or so to be definitive about it.
     
  23. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #23
    Ok,so it seems those values are normal. Darn. Hoped there would be an anomaly but there doesn't appear to be one. Thanks for posting though.
     
  24. Ptyger macrumors member

    Ptyger

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #24
    Let me know if there's anything else you'd like me to look at. I'm definitely interested in helping the community out.
     
  25. wesleyh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #25
    I'm fresh out of ideas. since these seagate drives don't have access to AAM or APM there's not much that can be done about the HD sound. The only thing to hope for is that apple updates the HD firmware to get rid of these issues.

    Of course, if anyone else has any ideas, please do contribute!
     

Share This Page