Problems: 3,170,000(!!!) HDD load cycles on MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by UnreaL, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. UnreaL macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2006
    Bought a macbook pro last month (13" base configuration 7,1) which I transferred my old 500GB Samsung HM500JI (Purchased September 2009, 1 year ago) which had previously been in a Late 2008 Macbook (MB402*/B).

    Dispite running Onyx and passing all SMART tests, I am getting applications not responding, and very slow, not responsive. Massive memory leaks(?) where Safari will reach 1.5GB memory usage even though only 4 tabs are open...

    the cycle load is rocketing (viewed using both smartcntl and SMART Utility):

    3,172,601 at 11:02 today
    3,172,682 at 11:12 today
    3,172,821 at 11:22 today

    that means 660 load cycles per hour!

    Running Snow Leopard 10.6.4, see full log below!

    Recommendatons appreciated!

    SMART Utility output:
    location: /dev/disk0
    partition count: 1
    partitions: OS X 500GB,
    SMART Support: Supported
    Last SMART Error: *not set*
    Model Family: *not set*
    Model: SAMSUNG HM500JI
    Serial Number: xxxxxxxxxx
    Firmware Version: 2AC101C4
    Capacity: 500,107,862,016 bytes
    ATA Version: 8
    ATA Standard: ATA-8-ACS revision 6
    Health: Passed
    Overall Health: PASSED
    Offline Data Status: 0
    Self Test Status: 0
    Offline Data Collection Time: 8340
    Data Collection Capabilities: 5B
    SMART Capabilities: 3
    Error Logging Capabilities: 1
    Short Self Test Time: 2
    Long Self Test Time: 139
    Conveyance Self Test Time: 0
    Attribute Log Revision: 16
    Attribute Count: 22
    1 Raw Read Error Rate 0x002F 100 100 051 Pre-fail Always Never 0
    2 Throughput Performance 0x0026 252 252 000 Old age Always Never 0
    3 Spin Up Time 0x0023 090 090 025 Pre-fail Always Never 3150
    4 Start/Stop Count 0x0032 098 098 000 Old age Always Never 2841
    5 Reallocated Sector Count 0x0033 252 252 010 Pre-fail Always Never 0
    7 Seek Error Rate 0x002E 252 252 051 Old age Always Never 0
    8 Seek Time Performance 0x0024 252 252 015 Old age Offline Never 0
    9 Power On Hours 0x0032 100 100 000 Old age Always Never 3045
    10 Spin Retry Count 0x0032 252 252 051 Old age Always Never 0
    11 Calibration Retry Count 0x0032 099 099 000 Old age Always Never 1362
    12 Power Cycle Count 0x0032 099 099 000 Old age Always Never 1276
    191 G-Sense Error Rate 0x0022 100 100 000 Old age Always Never 861
    192 Power Off Retract Count 0x0022 100 100 000 Old age Always Never 105
    194 Temperature Celsius 0x0002 064 058 000 Old age Always Never 35 (Lifetime Min/Max 14/49)
    195 Hardware ECC Recovered 0x003A 100 100 000 Old age Always Never 0
    196 Reallocated Event Count 0x0032 252 252 000 Old age Always Never 0
    197 Current Pending Sector Count 0x0032 252 252 000 Old age Always Never 0
    198 Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count 0x0030 252 252 000 Old age Offline Never 0
    199 UDMA CRC Error Count 0x0036 200 200 000 Old age Always Never 0
    200 Multi Zone Error Rate 0x002A 100 100 000 Old age Always Never 81
    223 Load Retry Count 0x0032 099 099 000 Old age Always Never 1362
    225 Load Cycle Count 0x0032 001 001 000 Old age Always Never 3172229
    Error Log Version: 1
    Error Count: 0
    Error Log:
    No errors logged.
    Self Test Log Revision: 1
    Self Test Log Count: 0
    Self Test Log:
  2. Reelknead1 macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2009
    I really can't help you to much but just wanted to say that i have the same problem with safari. I have to restart my MBP 15 i7 4gb of ram every day when i go to bed. By 11pm i'm swapping at least 100mb off my ssd. This wasn't like this in my old macbook

    In for responses.
  3. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    EFI issue

    Hey, I'll do my best to help because I had the very same issue today.
    I bought a new 1TB hard drive for my 15" 2010 MBP and I installed it yesterday. I was aware that the Western Digital drives have the potential to interact with Apple Sudden Motion Sensor but I said I'd try my luck.

    So anyway, everything was backed up and I swapped out my old drive for the new WD 1TB. Last night, as I was restoring all my movies, photos etc I started getting this random clicking noise from the hard disk and it became apparent that the HD was spinning up and down continuously. Not only that but my current generation MBP was getting the beachball every 10min or so. The beachball would last for 20-30 secs and then disappear again.

    To cut a long story short, I think the issue you're having is with the EFI of your MBP. I can't give you the tech specifics but basically a lot of new drives today have advanced power management algorithms which work well with Windows systems. Put these drives into a Unix based computer and you get into trouble.

    Apple applies certain firmware to the stock HDs so they play well with OSX power management. Thats why your aftermarket drive has such a high load cycle. It's continuously obeying the stock firmware to park the heads and spin down. Then OS X wakes it up again. In the space of about 24 hrs my load cycle went up to 1215.

    So I googled the issue and it turns out that there is a fix. For starters you need a SMART app. Smartctl is a freeware option and gives you a small icon in the menubar.

    Next up you need to download hdapm. Get this here:

    Now get yourself a copy of Lingon from here

    then visit this website and follow the instructions:

    If all goes well, the hdapm fix should stop your drive from parking the heads, spinning up and down, clicking etc. (Note even if you can't hear clicking, something is going on because your load cycle count is insane)

    Hope that helps
  4. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    i cant help you eiether but maybe re-calibrate the HDD? (idk if thats possible though)
  5. RWil85 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    great seagate momentus xt has, just tonight, began spinning up and down sounds and feels like its pulsating..

    anyway, can you please explain in more detail how we should install hdapm and what to do with lingon??

    also, i cannot find a download link for smartctl. (sorry for being challenged)

  6. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
  7. emiljan macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2010
    Your HD has passed the 600,000 load cycle count. If i were you i suggest you get a new drive and move everything over before it fails on you.
  8. RWil85 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    i followed it and got the correct confirmation text in the log in Console..however, it changed nothing that the drive is doing..I have loved the noticeable performance improvement the drive has given my MBP 13" - but, now the drive feels as though it is pulsating..very annoying while typing, or if it sits on a hard surface, etc..

    it seems as though it is continuously spinning up and down and up and odd and out of nowhere..

    anyone else experience this and what can be done?
  9. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    Honestly, I can't give you any more information than what I have in my post. When it comes to terminal commands etc I'm useless.I just followed the guide in the above link and it just worked.

    I will note however that my HD still makes the odd spin/spin down noise but the clicking is gone. Plus since my last post my stop/load cycle has only increased by 10 :)

    I'm not too pushed about the odd whirring noise from my drive so long as the stop/load cycle issue is fixed.

    Sorry I can't be of more help
  10. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    You don't have enough RAM and your drive is being used as Swap and Virtual memory, so you are loading RAM as hard drive space, it's eating you alive!!
  11. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    Did you verify that the hdapm thing is running on startup? If so, then you're golden in that department. It might just be the drive wearing in.


    Never mind, I should have read a little more. It might just be your drive wearing in causing it to vibrate a little. If you're feeling it pulsate, then that's more than likely what it is. It could also be a result of a bearing going bad... I don't know what to tell you...
  12. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    This thread has me concerned. I have an factory-configured MBP, 8 months old. 8GB RAM. Wonnnderful machine, used heavily. And, 417k unload cycles. Does that seem high? Any point of concern?
  13. emiljan macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2010
    Yes, its a little high, but it shouldn't be point of concern just yet, but your hd is wearing out prematurely because of the power management features of osx, it has a tendancy to park the hd heads often causing the high load cycles.

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