Which is broken, my HDD, or my OS X install?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Madmic23, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2004
    Hi everyone, a few months ago, I bought a 2.5" 500GB 7200RPM SATA Seagate HDD for my MacBook. I could definitely notice a speed boost in boot times and loading over the stock 120GB Seagate drive that was in my MacBook.

    Last week, I noticed the new drive was taking longer to boot. I thought it may have been because the drive was filling up. However, midway through the week, my computer wouldn't boot. It would just sit on the grey screen with the Apple logo.

    I put in my OS X install disk, booted from there, and went to disk utility. I tried to verify the disk, but the verification failed. I tried to repair the disk, and that failed too.

    I bought an external enclosure for the drive, put my old drive back in the MacBook, booted up and the 500GB drive mounted fine, but OS X told me I needed to back up the drive and then format it. I've backed everything up now.

    My question is, which is broken here? The drive, or OS X? I'm asking because my drive is still under warranty. Should I send it back for a replacement, or if I format it and reinstall everything should it work ok? If it's an OS X issue, than I would feel fine keeping the drive, however I'm leery of that because this really did just come out of the blue.

    What do you think?
  2. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    I'd think the drive is not meeting whatever criteria and thresholds OS X is expecting to be met (only Apple will know the details, but the criteria shouldn't be too different from other Operating Systems except for file system differences). OS X is unlikely to change that criteria -- at least not in a short timeframe -- so it is a drive "problem." You can reformat and run the verify/repair and see if the problem goes away -- or send it back for a warranty replacement.
  3. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Your hard drive is broken. Get it replaced.

    Hanging at the grey screen with the apple logo, OSX telling you to back up the drive and reformat, disk repair failing... those are signs of a failing drive. Eventually it will get worse and worse until the drive does not function at all.
  4. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Well, it certainly seems as if A drive is broken, but when you say that OSX tells you to backup and reformat 'the drive' its not clear if you are referring to the old 500GB one or the new one.
  5. Madmic23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2004
    When I plug the 500gb drive in via an external drive enclosure os x tells me I should back it up and reformat because the drive couldn't be verified. The odd thing is, I can still read all the contents of the drive. I think I'll play it safe and have the drive replaced as mentioned above once I clear all my personal data off of it. This is the first time I've ever had a HDD fail on me. It's a good thing I've been using Time Machine.
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    It's dying just forget about it your just wasting your time futzing with it. Since you have a backup you can toss it. Smash it up if it has sensitive data. If you could get it working again it can not be trusted to be reliable.

    Personally when a drive starts giving me problems I pitch it. Since drives are so cheap. It's not like the days when I had to spend hundreds for just a mid range hard drive.

    You could also open it up and look at the shiny disk inside:rolleyes:.
  7. nufanec macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2005
    Since it's under warranty I wouldn't do any of those things... Do a zero pass erase and send it back if you have to.

    It could just be a logical error on the hard drive where the file format has become corrupted. In that case, erase and install should do fine. If it is a logical failure, it could be a precursor to a mechanical failure so keep a constant back up just in case.

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