This seems to be why my iMac 27" was clicking...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by msw123307, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. msw123307 macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    Thought I would post this regarding the HD noise, since I think it may help other users.

    My iMac has the Seagate ST31000528ASQ

    My first 27, I restored completely from Time Machine, in other words everything (users, applications, settings, etc).

    The sound was terrible. So I got another 27 after Apple ran some Hardware tests and said it was a hardware, not software, problem. The tech seemed to think it was the fans. So I receive my replacement, same Seagate HD, 1 TB, etc. (Requested a WD drive but was told it was impossible) Restored completely from Time Machine again. Clicking was driving me nuts again.

    Talked to Apple, they told me to try and wipe the HD, start fresh, don't restore anything. I did. The HD was still way too loud (my 24 was silent), and distracting but the clicking problem reduced drastically. Apple told me I could restore back my files, just not the "settings" portion of the backup.

    (Side question - What settings do you actually lose by not restoring this? All of my 3rd party apps seem to be working as I left them, everything is the same in the menubar. Is it just a couple of the system preferences?)

    So I restored everything minus the settings. As soon as I booted back up and got on the Internet, the clicking started again and hasn't stopped since. It seems to have something to do with the TM backup, at least in my case. Or maybe the backup somehow conflicts with the drive in some way, or vise versa?

    This of course, is very disturbing, because I need to restore these files. I know in the Clicking thread some users had said that it didn't make sense for this to happen. But I can now vouch for this...and I felt it deserved it's own thread.

    Receiving a 2TB upgrade from Apple because of these problems, just hoping it works.
  2. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    After using it for a couple hours, I can definitely confirm this. It is constantly grinding and clicking, even if there is nothing going on. It's impossible to concentrate. Anyone else had this issue and tried what I did? Starting to worry my files are corrupt in some way
  3. frenchie0101 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2009
    i had the exact same issue and went for the 2TB which has developed the exact issue again, from TM i transferred only music pictures and documents i reinstalled software from scratch etc... but i still have loud belly grumbling grinding noises.... i am having another swap
  4. mtc595 macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2008
    Just a thought, it could be spotlight reindexing after you restored a large amount of data.

    I don't believe Time Machine backs up the index files.

    My experience has been that some hard drive models / manufacturers tend to be noisier than others. It stands out more because the iMac is so quiet to begin with. I agree it can be very annoying.

    It's too bad that Apple doesn't include a preference pane to allow you to put the HD in acoustic mode to lower the sound. You loose a bit of performance, but it will be quiet. Most PC bios allow you to do this.
  5. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    It has nothing to do with time machine, I don't have that set up yet and also have the constant grinding. It has nothing to do with spotlight, as that was done indexing days ago.

    It has everything to do with the aggressive power management features of mac os x. In fact, this problem is not just on the new imacs and has also been reported as far back as the beginning of 2008. Apple released a firmware fix for some HD somewhere in the middle of 2008. If they wanted to they could probably do the same now.

    Read my thread for more info:
  6. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    I've seen your thread and if my 2TB does the same thing, I will try some of your proposed fixes, thanks for the info. Have you tried wiping your clean to see what happens? The tech from Apple had me repartiton the HD, and then do a new install.

    It may have nothing to do with TM for some users, but I can verify that it certainly does for me at this point.

    Some users said in the original HD sound thread that there was no way for TM to be related to the grumbling noises. I took their advice and didn't wipe my HD at the time and try to start fresh.

    Upon a recommendation from a tech. at Apple, I did so. The HD was still louder than it should be, but the grumbling was largely gone. When I restored my TM minus settings started again.

    It has now been running for 13+ hours, and the grumbling is constant, so I know it's not Spotlight. (I could hear it from across the room as soon as I walked in this morning)! I think there is more than one issue here, but all the evidence for mine points to Time Machine.
  7. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    I did a clean install on the first machine, and it didn't help.

    I really wish more sites would pay attention to this issue as well. Lots of talk about the screen flicker and yellow tint but not so much about the HD issue, which to me is quite a big flaw and I would like to see fixed.
  8. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    Yeah he had me repartition because he said it wiped out some root files that a normal erase wouldn't.

    I agree - not that we should be forced to 'live' with these issues...but I can't live with a HD that makes it impossible for me to focus. I don't have a great eye - I can notice the yellow tinge, but I can live with it. The HD on the other hand..not so much.
  9. macryan1 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2009
    I have a week 49 i5 with the Seagate 1TB drive. Occasionally I get a clicking. (sometimes it seems to be accompanied by the spinning beach ball) It seems most frequent after a restart. I am concerned that it might be the "click of death" meaning that the reader is searching for data and is actually banging against its stop, making the clicking sound.

    But this happens so infrequently, nothing for two days of constant use (snow storm here, so lots of noodling time)

    My current approach is to keep TM happy and listen for the clicking.

    I don't believe that SMART finds the "click of death" as a fault, so one cannot rely on SMART.

    Otherwise this is very silent machine, quite incredible actually.


    Since I rebuilt the drive with DiskWarrior, no clicking, none at all, restarts, etc.

    Several days of use.....back to breathing normally now.

    BTW I loaded SL on a USB stick and booted from that. Slow but works fine.
  10. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Back up your data NOW, and get a new hard drive. Clicking is BAD BAD BAD BAD when it comes to hard drives, especially since it can chew holes in your data and make you THINK everything is ok when in fact it most certainly is NOT.
  11. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
  12. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    my 24" was one of the original alum. models. luckily i'm just waiting until my 2 tb machine comes to restore back completely, i've saved the backup from my 24.

    i can just sit, after the display has been asleep for hours, and listen to this thing grind and click. safari/itunes may be open but nothing intensive is going on.
  13. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    There is still alot going on, even at supposed "idle". If you do these commands you may see what: (Though you probably cannot stop these events from occuring)

    In terminal:

    sudo iotop
    ps wwaxr -o pid,stat,%cpu,time,command | head -10
    iostat -w 1 disk0
    sudo fs_usage -f filesys

    All are safe to do, they simply output data about your file system usage.

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