symptoms of a dying hard drive?

cjddrum1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2006
122
0
I get this weird noise sometimes when I used my computer which is sometimes a buzzing like GURRRRRRRR sound (not the monitor)...what are some other ways I can tell its dying?
 

Fleetwood Mac

macrumors 65816
Apr 27, 2006
1,265
0
Canada
I get this weird noise sometimes when I used my computer which is sometimes a buzzing like GURRRRRRRR sound (not the monitor)...what are some other ways I can tell its dying?
Most sounds a hard drive makes are completely normal, but for piece of mind fire up Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility and check the "SMART" status of your hard disk.

Just because your hard drive probably isn't dying doesn't mean you shouldn't backup. If you don't already, its a very good idea.
 

cjddrum1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2006
122
0
ok i guess tahts good news...so im in disk utility, how do i check the smart status?
 

Fleetwood Mac

macrumors 65816
Apr 27, 2006
1,265
0
Canada
ok i found it it says verified??
That means it should be fine.

The drive is able to sense mechanical problems, sometimes before they become a big issue. If something was wrong, it would say failed. I should stress that the SMART status can not detect all problems.

If the sound you here is just a faint grinding sounds, then its normal disk activity.
 

CISC-Mac

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2007
19
0
Faint grinding is fine...loud clicking and high pitched squeals (like that from a speaker with interference) is bad. no boot, and hard drive not visible with disk utilities...bad.
 

wstohner

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2004
36
0
NY
I've had a few hard drives go on me over the years. I have always been able to tell they're going before the SMART status reveals anything. Usually, the computer will start acting really slow and you will hear loud clicks. Unfortunately, Apple (if you're still under Applecare) likes the problem to be found by the disk utility before they will replace the hard drive ("my hard drive is dying... it's slow and clicking loudly" doesn't always do it for them). If this is the case, back up, and help the dying process along (perform some HD intensive functions, let it get too hot, and ultimately it will die).
 

CISC-Mac

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2007
19
0
how loud would you consider loud clicking?
You would hear it from a normal distance over ambient sounds, such as fans, music, etc. (sitting at the system using it, not with ear at the case), and definitely see a performance drop, or possible "pauses" (1-2 seconds) while attempting to use the menu before it would pop up. This is what happened when my hard drive went out after only 6 days, but the issue was already there from day 1.

Unfortunately, Apple isn't very friendly when it comes to just sending you a new hard drive (like all the other manufacturers would do for me). I ended up just getting a new one off a website with 5yr warranty from manufacturer. AppleCare was estimating about 2 weeks for a turn around on the entire system. Hard drive is about the easiest piece (field replaceable unit) to install, especially if you are competent enough to even troubleshoot the system.
 

e12a

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2006
1,881
0
Any grinding noise or constant friction noise is an indicator. Loud tapping rhythmically even when the computer is sitting idle is also an indicator.
 

DA-Steve

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2007
122
0
Adelaide Australia
hmm.. mine is quite audible, but pretty hard to hear over a tv, or music playing.. I do seem to be getting the little pinwheel pop up alot though when doing relatively simple tasks..

ughh.. just got to writing "simple" above and it paused and the harddrive started working/clicking away then suddenly caught up with itself.. only thing im doing is downloading apple updates?

think ill go into the local apple store to compare noise :(
 

Twyntub

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2007
47
19
hmm.. mine is quite audible, but pretty hard to hear over a tv, or music playing.. I do seem to be getting the little pinwheel pop up alot though when doing relatively simple tasks..

ughh.. just got to writing "simple" above and it paused and the harddrive started working/clicking away then suddenly caught up with itself.. only thing im doing is downloading apple updates?

think ill go into the local apple store to compare noise :(
Take a look at this video - that's the kind of sound (tick-tick-tick), in time with the lockup:
http://www.dataclinic.co.uk/data-recovery-ticking-hard-disk-head-problem.htm

In my experience, SMART data often completely misses obviously failing drives.
 

ravendawson

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2010
1
0
failing hard drive symptoms

I just bought my new Seagate hard drive last week, but today it started producing some grinding sound. Is this normal? I'm still observing my drive, but if it persists, then I have reasons to think it's one of the failing hard drive symptoms and I must return it to the manufacturer soon. According to the site, a healthy hard drive is one that should be silent.
 

pyroo

macrumors member
Oct 19, 2007
90
0
Checking the S.M.A.R.T status alone in disk utility is not always best to determine if the HDD is failing. I had a Seagate 7200.4 RPM that was failing, disk utility said that the S.M.A.R.T status was verified. I found it that it was failing because the laptop would freeze randomly when doing simple tasks, such as opening safari, mail, etc. I would hear the HDD click randomly when the laptop is left idling, I could hear it speed up and speed down. Also, when you try to repair the HDD using disk utility and it fails to do so and says something like "invalid node structure," it could also mean that there is something wrong with your HDD. Starting up the laptop can also take as long as 10min or it can not start up at all unless you go through safe mode. If you haven't had any of these symptoms, you should be fine.