MacBook Pro 7200 hard drive high pitch noise

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by astro21, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. astro21 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009

    I bought a MacBook Pro 17" unibody last month, with the optional 7200 rpm hard drive. Everything worked fine, until recently when I noticed that every time I would do something "intensive" for the computer (e.g., using Handbrake to convert a video for my mobile phone) the hard drive would emit a constant high pitch whining noise. It's like a high frequency noise, and it's there for the whole duration of whatever I'm doing (e.g. if rendering files in iMovie takes 3 minutes then it will make that noise for 3 minutes). This is not a noise which I have to get my ear close to the keyboard to hear -- it's very much audible, and it's extremely annoying.

    Does anyone else have the same issue? Is this normal? It's very annoying given that the computer is not even one-month old. I have run the tests with the OS X disc, and it didn't show any problems. I think that I might have to take it in to my local Apple store, and it's a drag.

    Thanks for any input.


    EDIT: I have run further tests and this is what I found. The high pitch noise only seems to occur when the MacBook Pro is set to Higher Performance graphics mode, not when it runs in the Better Battery Life mode. I wonder whether this is not a hard drive issue but something to do with the graphics chip that is used in the Higher Performance mode.
  2. brent0saurus macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2006

    not to alarm you, but a whining sound CAN be bad, but not always. I just upgraded my HD in my powerbook and it's making a clicking sound occasionally so i looked on their support page and it says a high pitched whining sound can be considered abnormal, but if it's just when the hard disk is spinning up, then it's normal.
    here's the source

    i hope this helps and good luck!
  3. tanujt macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I have a Macbook Pro 13 of a 2009 make. Just a week ago, I faced the white screen of death problem. I had started hearing the high pitched whine about a couple of months back, and from what I read online, it was mostly the hard drive. When I got it checked at the Apple store, it turned out the cable connecting the drive to the board was busted. So they replaced that along with the drive, and gave it back to me. I recently connected the previous HDD to my Mac (through SATA-USB), and once it was up to full speed, it started the high pitched whine. It didn't even show up in /dev until about 4-5 minutes later. The data is thankfully intact. So I guess the whine AND the white screen problem were both due to the HDD.

    I would backup all my data, and see the Apple people asap. Incidentally, I was also converting videos when my drive started whining and the computer shut down with the white screen.
  4. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I was getting that high pitched noise to until I put the intel SSD in my macbook pro and now its dead silent.

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