MBP(Late 2008) - Noisy Hitachi 320GB/7200RPM - SOLUTION

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by romanb, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. romanb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone!

    I had one "minor" issue with my otherwise flawless MBP (late 2008): When idle, the hard drive made a clicking and then fan-like noise every 10-30 seconds. Kind of annoying. After some research I read that Hitachi drives are most notorious for this stuff and that is has to do with overly aggressive parking of the disk heads... anyway. Now i found this little tool:

    http://mckinlay.net.nz/hdapm/

    It works like a charm. I increased the value step by step, starting from the default (128) until the drive remained silent, even when idle, my value is 210.

    So, anyone having the same issue with this hard drive, there is an easy solution! I am so happy about this that i wanted to share it. Hope this helps someone.

    (PS: a thread with further information where i found the link to this tool: http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=4746596)
     
  2. jomama7366 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    #2
    Hoping for a little help here...

    I installed this program and am not sure if I have the right settings. The program seems to be in my usr/local/bin folder (when I "Go to Folder" usr/local/bin the program is there), and the plist file is in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder. I restarted. And while I *think* there's less clicking (heads settling) happening, the drive isn't totally silent. Is yours? I mean, in a truly quiet room?

    But, I wanted to ask: how did you set the value to 210?
     
  3. Coolnat2004 macrumors 6502

    Coolnat2004

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #3
    Am I the only person to not have a problem with this drive? It's silent and doesn't vibrate at all.

    However, I appreciate the information in case my drive does start this behavior.
     
  4. macrem macrumors 65816

    macrem

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #4
    Same here, not a peep.
     
  5. mknawabi macrumors 6502

    mknawabi

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    May as well contact apple care and have them ship you a better drive.
     
  7. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    I have a Hitachi 5400 drive that does the same thing. Those of you with noise were they all installed by you or from Apple? It's not just the Hitachi drives.
     
  8. jomama7366 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    #8
    Mine is also a Hitachi 5400. And I did actually have mine replaced by apple. They put in a brand new one (same brand) and there was no difference, which is why I don't think the drives are faulty, but it's rather an issue of the computer interacting with the drive.

    I'm telling you this so you don't waste time replacing the drive.

    FWIW, I installed the hdapm, and I think it's helping (the drive does seem much calmer, and thus a bit quieter. Not totally silent, perhaps, but not as noisy). It will take a couple of days to really know, but I think it's worth a try for anyone having this issue.

    I would like to know, though, if there's a way to find out if it's installed correctly and if it's actually doing it's thing? It doesn't seem to show up in Activity Monitor...
     
  9. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #9
    In a silent room do you still hear it clicking? That's what it changes. Nothing else.
     
  10. Jottle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    #10
    This is absolutely an acoustics issue, and jomama has identified it. The Hitachi drive has platters that are always circling (that's the whirring sound you're all hearing). It gets quieter when you put your hand on top of the right palm rest area because your hand dampens the sound that's coming through that thin piece of aluminum between the hard drive and the top of the case. There's nothing you can do about this short of

    A: getting a new brand of hard drive that might have a quieter idle speed or getting a SSD drive.

    B: figure out what kind of rubber heat resistant dampening material you can apply to the inside of the macbook pro where the bottom of the hard drive meets the aluminum case.

    This isn't a faulty drive issue. The Hitachi's are slightly louder than other drives apparently, and the design of the new ultra thin macbook pros allows more sound to come through the top of the case where the hard drive rests. It is kind of annoying to have to listen to the high pitched whirring sound in very quiet environments, but replacing the drive with another apple branded hitachi will not do any good. They will sound identical because of the acoustic properties in the unibody. Everyone who has a unibody macbook pro regardless of their hard drive brand/speed can make the whirring sound quieter by pushing their hand on top of the right palm rest area. This is confirmation that what you're hearing is the NORMAL sound of the HD resonating through the aluminum case. It sucks that there isn't more dampening there, and I'm personally trying to find some material to help reduce the noise. Unless you switch to a SSD drive, you will hear this whirring sound in quiet environments no matter what. Please try the steps I've mentioned above to make sure that you're hearing the hard drive and not having a faulty fan issue which sounds like a constant clicking in the upper left or right hand corners of the keyboard. These are separate sounds/issues.

    The other complaint in this thread is a seemingly random single click that the hard drive makes every 5 to 20 seconds when idle. THIS IS ALSO COMPLETELY NORMAL BEHAVIOR. Do not assume your hard drive is breaking. Mac OS has an aggressive hard drive head parking command that makes your drive park its heads frequently to avoid data loss and save power. If you can't deal with this noise, then please do try the hdapm software mentioned previously in this thread. I hope that clears some of this up. I am by no means an expert, but I've gleaned all this info from other threads and the 3 separate macbook pro's I've been using for the last three months.

    EDIT: I'm going to try some rubber grommets between the inside of the right palm rest area and the hard disk. These grommets should isolate the drive from the chassis and hopefully reduce the noise that's transmitted through the aluminum body of the mbp.
     
  11. Coolnat2004 macrumors 6502

    Coolnat2004

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #11
    I don't know if this is related, but my Hitachi failed last week and Apple replaced it with another Hitachi. We will see if it lasts more than the 3 months the first one did. I still hear pretty much nothing out of it, though.
     

Share This Page