Snow leopard and possible HD failure

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by howard, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    I installed snow leopard about 2 weeks ago. Since then my computer has not been doing well. iTunes won't open at all. This stop working for a few mins and then work again, such as safari and other programs. I haven't had time to diagnose the problem until this morning. I tried running disk utility but that wouldn't open. So I used onyx to do some repairs. Problems persisted so I tried to open disk utility again. This time it did open and it showed that my main HD is "failing". Not failed... but failing. I didn't know a hard drive could be on the verge of failure. I thought it would work, then die, no inbetween. Since the HD has worked flawlessly until I installed snow leopard, I'm wondering if this could be a software problem? Or if there is a possibility that snow leopard caused this.

    I'm backing up that computer right now and I guess I'll have to get a new hard drive to solve this. Unless I can find any other suggestions here.
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    What Mac do you own? How old is it? Good that you are backing up your data - fingers crossed you can get it all before your hard drive goes kabook.

    Most likely cause is that installing an OS means the hard drive is writing quite a significant amount of data (and depending if you did an upgrade, writing data all over the place), and if your drive was already on its way out, then doing an OS install was probably enough to tip it over the edge.

    P.S. Listening to your band right now - impressed. Nice chilled out music - what I'm in the mood for right now. :)
  3. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Sometimes hard disks fail catastrophically and all-of-a-sudden, sometimes they go fluky over a period of days or weeks. Sometimes the first symptom is noise. I've had all three happen to me: sudden death, gradual demise, and odd noises that presaged a total failure.

    My sudden-death experience happened right after I'd done a complete imaging backup. Such a process exercises the drive to an extreme. (In fact, I had one Windows notebook that would overheat and crash if I didn't throttle the processor before starting the backup.) Intensive procedures like that can hasten the demise of a drive... as in, it might fail right after. (Installing a major OS update is also a stress-test for a drive.)

    Sometimes a drive is kind enough to give you some warning before dying utterly. The OS or a tool like Disk Utility might note an increase in bad sectors, misreads or other signals that something is going wrong. Seems that's what's going on in your computer.

    I'd encourage you to replace your drive sooner rather than later. At this point you may be backing-up corrupted files, or will be soon. That might make your restoration process iffy.

    Fortunately, drives are cheap, and easy to replace if you're careful and have a modest amount of skill. Google for instructions, or have Apple or a qualified technician do the job. Take the opportunity to upgrade to a bigger/faster unit while you're at it... your RAM too!
  4. howard thread starter macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    it's a 3year old mac pro. 2.66ghz intel model. 250gb system HD.

    I'm going with your replacement advice sjinsjca, I just ordered a new HD (man have prices come down lately). I have 3 others in there, 1 of which I will use as my system drive immediately and this new one to make of for the storage of the lost one.

    Luckily no big loss, just the pain of reinstalling from the start. could be worse... but hey, it gives me the excuse to get a new, much larger, much faster drive.

    Thanks for the good words about the music. It's always great to hear feedback, and even better if it is positive!

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