Ranstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2017
24
2
I just got a HDD for my golden oldie Mac.
In a classic example of the disadvantages of on-board sound, when the HDD writes or reads, the static byproduct coming through my speakers/headphones sounds like an there's an Atari game running in the background.
I have two older HDDs attached, and neither have this issue.

I'd be interested in Ideas on how to lower the static pulses and waves whenever I interact with it. I'm editing sound a lit, and it makes it difficult.
All Ideas are welcome, and as I'm just learning on why HDDs can even make this interference in your headphones, I'd love any tips, or things you think I might need t know/got wrong.
This isn't dangerous, is it?

Information of varying Realivence...

Machine Name: iMac
Machine Model: iMac4,1
CPU Type: Intel Core Duo
Number Of Cores: 2
CPU Speed: 2 GHz
L2 Cache (shared): 2 MB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 667 MHz
Boot ROM Version: IM41.0039.B00
Serial Number: W86061BRU2P
SMC Version: 1.1f2



HDD that's (indirectly) giving me issues.

http://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/wd-2...s&acd=123088137920560&VEN3=810603787653400825

Bonus points:
How do you spell "Realivence"? Google doesn't know. ;)
[doublepost=1512433902][/doublepost]Also, my Mac has frozen up thrice since I plugged in the new HDD. On average I get 5 freezes a year.
 

jerwin

Suspended
Jun 13, 2015
2,895
4,649
relevance...

and now I'm doomed to answer your question.. ah well.

Ferrite beads might help.
Or, using the WD Drive Utilities, you can switch the LEDs off...

The instability is more than somewhat worrisome.

Personally, I have a headphone amplifier/DAC connected via optical cable.... My mac isn't noisy, per se, but when I had a PC back in the 1990s, it was a great way to avoid the static associated with the sound card to CD connection. Fun times.
 
Last edited:
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,205
8,252
Re-arrange cabling at back of computer.
Put the new WD drive connection -furthest from- the headphone/speaker port, and orient the cabling away from the port.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
489
Cornwall UK
I have an iMac ok newer (2007) with a HDD stuck to the stand below screen not issues with sound. My HDD is connected via a mains powered USB hub.

how is yours connected?
direct or via hub?

maybe new cable needed for the drive if 2 others are fine?
bad earth in the caddy causing ground leakage thus hearing sounds in audio?

I used to record sound from a desktop pc to my Toshiba laptop...
if laptop was plugged into mains got this high pitched sound over recording but not if on battery.
This is why I though earthing issue.
 

Ranstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2017
24
2
I have an iMac ok newer (2007) with a HDD stuck to the stand below screen not issues with sound. My HDD is connected via a mains powered USB hub.

how is yours connected?
direct or via hub?

maybe new cable needed for the drive if 2 others are fine?
bad earth in the caddy causing ground leakage thus hearing sounds in audio?

I used to record sound from a desktop pc to my Toshiba laptop...
if laptop was plugged into mains got this high pitched sound over recording but not if on battery.
This is why I though earthing issue.

hey Elf69. You just helped me find two USB ports on the back of my keyboard... (Another post)

I'm connected directly to the desktop, plugged right into the back. No USB hub.
My ground is flooped up, and my set up is a crime against electronics.
I have a Surge protector-
https://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/SPP3060Y_17/home-electronics-surge-protector
-connected to a ... I think it's a power strip... I don't think it's another surge protector.
Anyway, yeah, the Mac is connected to the power strip, daisy-chained back to the outlet.
Please don't make fun of me. :'(

The main surge protector is connected straight to the wall (For this example, I removed the power strip from the setup; the mac is plugged directly into the surge protector connected directly to the wall.) and it has a green light that glows when it's grounded. Here's where things get odd...

If the surge protector is standing on it's own, with nothing connected at all, it reads "Not grounded"
If the Mac is plugged into the surge protector, and the Mac is powered off, the surge protector reads "Grounded"
If the Mac is plugged into the surge protector, and the Mac is powered on, the surge protector reads "Not grounded"

This house is over 160 years old.
The house's electrical socket has a grounding prong.
The surge protector is screwed into the center screw of the house socket.
The wiring was probably done in the 60-70s.
I have no evidence that the grounding prong in the wall socket is more then aesthetic.


BTW, I apologize that I use this site as a trouble shooting guide. I know it's a social forum. Sorry.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
489
Cornwall UK
try the HDD in a POWERED usb hub and plug the hub psu in same extension as the iMac, thats how mine setup.
they should be on same earth potential that way.
 
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Ranstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2017
24
2
try the HDD in a POWERED usb hub and plug the hub psu in same extension as the iMac, thats how mine setup.
they should be on same earth potential that way.

So, powered USB hubs go from 5-100$ USD. I'm new to USB hubs. Whats too cheap?
Secondly, do you believe this will solve my problem with a fairly high degree of confidence?
I'm poor. Can't be slinging cash around wildly. :')
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
489
Cornwall UK
I cannot say 100% no.
All I can say is what works for me.
$5 may not have a strong PSU.

IMG_20171202_213734.jpg

This is mine, 7 port hub stuck to base.
The two black usb is for the HDD which is stuck to base behind the hub.
I had to buy a PSU as was not powerful enough.

Can you borrow a hub from a friend?
 

Ranstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2017
24
2
Can you borrow a hub from a friend?

I haz no friends. :3

I can experiment, I guess. One can learn a lot from Amazon reviews.
I have options to try, and that's a lot to be honest. I'll cross reference the power requirements of my HDDs with the USB hub.

In the meantime, I can transfer my files that don't require audio to work with to the new HDD, and only use my old HDDs for audio sensitive projects. I have TB or so of raw video footage, that's not directly referenced in the final project.

Thanks for the Ideas... Ill leave this thread open, and see what I can do... If I figure it out, I'll explain my steps and lable this solved for the next user.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,598
285
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
FWIW: I have solved most all of my USB 3 interference problems with either ferrite beads, better shielded cables, or both. You can get the ferrite beads at Amazon, you need to measure the outer dimension of your cable to get the right size to clip over the cable. Use at the "noise source" end of he cable (usually the computer), or at both ends. Quality cables can also do wonders to prevent noise radiation.
 
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Bart Kela

Suspended
Oct 12, 2016
865
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Searching...
From my experience there are A.) good cables, B.) bad cables, and C.) bad cables that work better with ferrite beads. I toss the latter two.

Life is too short trying to figure out why a garbage $5 cable with ferrite beads won't work as well as a $10 cable.
 
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Ranstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2017
24
2
From my experience there are A.) good cables, B.) bad cables, and C.) bad cables that work better with ferrite beads. I toss the latter two.

Life is too short trying to figure out why a garbage $5 cable with ferrite beads won't work as well as a $10 cable.

I was just harvesting used ferrite from old power adapters, and making my own chokes out of duct tape.
Life may be short, but my paycheck is shorter. XD
 
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