unibody hard drive whir/noise

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jottle, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Jottle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    #1
    Searching around, it seems that the whirring of the hard drive (constant swoosh sound) in the bottom right part of the new unibody macbook pros is a normal sound. If you open up the bottom case you can see that there's only a thin piece of the aluminum frame between the hard drive and the top right of the palm rest area. I don't really mind hearing the whirring of my 320GB Hitachi that came with my macbook pro, but I'm wondering if it's possible to quiet it down some more with a little extra dampening between the hard drive and the inside of the right palm rest. Anyone who has a Hitachi 5400rpm drive in their unibody can easily press their hand on top of the right palm rest and hear the "whirring' sound of the hard drive platters decrease as your hand dampens the sound coming through. This gives me hope that I may be able to quiet the HD even further. It's just a part of the design, but perhaps there's some sort of material that can be placed under the right palm rest area. Anyone have any tips or tricks they've tried? I could try loosening the HD mounting brackets to see if that makes any difference, but the very fact that the aluminum is so thin there allows the whirring of the platters to be somewhat audible. My rubber brackets are in there tight and there's only a tiny bit of play when you try and move the HD around. I can't even hear my fans under normal use, so outside of the hard drive this thing is dead silent. Anyone who claims that their macbook pro's make no noise is obviously not accounting for the hard drive whir in dead silent environments (or they have SSD drives :) )We all also have different hearing levels and sensitivities. I've had three separate macbook pros in my home and each one has audible hard drive platter spinning.
     
  2. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #2
    My stock Hitachi 250GB 5400 almost silent, I've tried a Hitachi and Seagate 320GB 7200 drives, and they were both too loud and vibrated too much, the marginal performance boost was ruined by the noise for me.

    So I'm sticking with my 5400 for now, and upgrading to an SSD in the next few months once SanDisk releases their super fast cheap SSDs, it should force Intel to cut prices on their x25 as well.

    Loosening the mounting brackets does not help, believe me I've tried. I don't know what sort of material to use to for soundproofing the case, but if you find something that works, please report your findings.

    As a temporary solution, when the hard drive noise annoys me in quiet environments I put on some music :p
     
  3. Jottle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    #3
    I'm actually thinking about using rubber grommets to isolate the drive from the inside of the palm rest area. There's just no dampening between the HD and the case at this point. Kind of crappy...
     
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #4
    Apple has solved this vibrating issue in the new 17" Unibody by using 4 tiny bits of plastic between the aluminium plam rest and the hard drive

    Watch this guys Hard Drive removal video and you'll see:
    (its at 04:46)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKMBMd6kuWg

    so im sure you could do something similar in a 15" Unibody :)
     
  5. Jottle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    #5
    I'm pretty sure that mine has this as well. Are you talking about the pieces that are attached to the hard drive itself? The drive doesn't have the plastic pieces, but it does have the rubber guard on the side that isolates the drive from the top and bottom of the holder. But this video doesn't really show anything different in terms of insulating the drive from the top part of the case. The 15'' also has the drive secured so that it doesn't directly touch the metal, but it is still very close.
     
  6. Jottle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    #6
    I'm pretty sure that mine has this as well. Are you talking about the pieces that are attached to the hard drive itself? My drive doesn't have the plastic pieces, but it does have the rubber guard on the side that isolates the drive from the top and bottom of the holder using similar rubber grommets on the side. Any idea where I could buy those little plastic pieces? The weird thing is this video doesn't really show anything different in terms of insulating the drive from the top part of the case. The 15'' also has the drive secured so that it doesn't directly touch the metal, but it is still very close.
     
  7. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #7


    Take a look on ifixit.com under the new 17" Unibody dissasembly instructions for a closer look:

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/First-Look/MacBook-Pro-17-Inch-Unibody/618/1

    Doesnt look like anything rubber to me:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jottle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    #8
    I see. They're little metal screws. I'm not sure how much this isolates the drive though. Hopefully I can try to rig up something similar, but it will probably require sticking rubber grommets onto the top of the drive instead of the side. Apple's design allows for very little back and forth play when the drive is connected as its intended in the 15''. Here are the pictures from the 15'' ifixit disassembly. Note the rubber bumper that are not attached to the drive itself, but are doing the same job in the bottom left hand corner of the first and second pictures. They're attached to the case itself apparently. Maybe the 17'' HD isolators do a better job.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jottle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    #9
    Update for those reading this:

    I made the metal screws more secure, but I can still hear the whirring. I even used rubber grommets to isolate the drive a little bit more from the case. No dice. It's still just as audible through the aluminum case. I'm going to be purchasing two new HD's in an attempt to find one that's a tad quieter on idle. I'll probably go with a WD Scorpio Blue and a Seagate drive. Both will be 5400rpm drives in order to minimize vibration as well.
     

Share This Page