Why No HDD Activity Light?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by anirban, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. anirban macrumors 6502a

    anirban

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    Houston, TX
    #1
    I am a PC user, moving on to Mac, with a new MBP.

    However, all the Macs that I have used in the past, I have never seen an Hard Drive activity LED in them. Does anyone know why Apple did not put them in?

    It seems kindda helpful to me on the PCs, and I guess it will only be beneficial on the Macs.
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #2
    Probably because it makes the design look less appealing. I would rather use something like menumeters anyway, it's much more convenient.
     
  3. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #3
    If you need to monitor it, you can use Activity Monitor (in your Utilities Folder). Personally, I'm very glad I don't have it flashing in front of me, but that's just me. It's one of the "little" things that makes the MBP. (things like: if a MBP is sleeping, and the screen is open, the brightness of the sleep light is controlled by the light sensors)
     
  4. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #4
    Interesting, but I never even noticed. :rolleyes: Macs have been so trouble-free, it has just never been something which ever needed attention.
     
  5. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    #5
    Disk access is so frequent with modern operating systems... is a HDD activity light really of any use at all?
     
  6. Nosebleed macrumors member

    Nosebleed

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    #6
    If the HDD is reading/writing then the machine will do what you ask it to, and everythings OK -- why the need for a light to tell you that?
    If the HDD has 'frozen' you'll get the beachball -- easy as :D
     
  7. anirban thread starter macrumors 6502a

    anirban

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    #7
    As coming from the Windows environment, my eyes constantly veer to the activity LED whenever a program takes a while to load.... if the light is not blinking/active- its time for the three finger salute (ctrl+alt+del).

    So how would I figure out in Macintosh machines if a program is unresponsive, if I do not have an LED to see if the HDD is actually busy, or if its idle, and I have to force quit the app?

    As the MBP is going to be my first Mac, I would most likely expect it to behave like windows (call me functionally fixed)... so my eyes will always be looking for the HDD activity LED!

    Thanks for all the replies!
     
  8. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

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    #8
    If a program is unresponsive, you'll almost always see the "beachball of death."

    As others have said, a HDD light is less visually appealing than just a simple white light like all modern Macs have.
     
  9. anirban thread starter macrumors 6502a

    anirban

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    #9
    Hahah, that sounds a lot more favorable than the BSoD that I see every other day! Good to know that.
     
  10. Nosebleed macrumors member

    Nosebleed

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    #10
    Judging from your latest reply--you don't yet have your machine.
    Just be cool till it arrives, then use the tools listed above.

    Being an ex PC user myself (shhhhhhh) I can tell you you'll soon forget all about that activity light, and the only 3 fingered salute you'll need is for...

    There are a couple of visual clues for 'freezes':
    1. Applicatoin icons will bounce in the dock when you try to open them
    2. The spinning beach ball

    But until you actually have the machine, its hard to describe.

    Trust me, you won't need it
     
  11. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

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    #11
    dont forget the 3 fingered salute as you call it... is different on a Mac
     
  12. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

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    cali
    #12
    usually you can tell an app isn't responding if it doesn't load within a few secs. to confirm the app is indeed non responding or to give the "three-finger salute," you can:

    i.) hit option+command+esc

    ii.) launch activity monitor

    iii.) or simply right-clicking the app on the dock:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

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    #13
    Nice touch on the image
     
  14. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    i thought you guys might like it. :D
     
  15. anirban thread starter macrumors 6502a

    anirban

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    #15
    Hahah I didnt see that at first.
     
  16. makku macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2006
    #16
    One of the reasons HDD activity led is useful is for protection against physical damage. On portable computers where you might be moving around the machine, it is safer to make sure there is no HD access when moving it. Ofcourse they do have motion detector and have the heads in the HD move to a safe locked position but sometimes it is not fast enough.
    I hope Macs will have SSD soon so we can stop worrying about this.:)
     
  17. crazycollie27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    #17
    yeah, except not really. The beachball pops up whenever something is taking a longer time than expected to load, or when waiting for an external thing to respond (such as a network or something). It's really helpful actually to know for sure when something is loading but being slow versus when you need to force quit because something just isn't going to work. That's the function of an HDD light on a windows machine, so it's slightly annoying that macs don't have this feature, although the Activity Monitor can help. If it's an application you can always check to see if it is or is not responding: but if it's not an application that's the problem then you can be left wondering what you should do for a long long time. This can be particularly important when downloading or uploading, or when executing antivirus scans: because interrupting these processes can cause your files to become corrupted.
     
  18. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    Jan 19, 2015
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    #18
    Time to adapt. Work Different (a play on Think Different). :)
    I don't see Apple changing the hardware to add a disk activity LED. Check out reply #2 from iBookG4user. MenuMeters is free (well it's DonationWare) and has a Disk Activity Meter that you can display in the menu bar.
     
  19. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

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    #19
    This has to be close to a world record... resurrecting an 8-year-old thread. *Mind blown*

    And to answer the OP's question, because Apple put the LEDs typically used for that purpose in the bottomless pit along with the little blinky LED that blackberry wonks still want to see on the iPhone.
     
  20. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    #20
    I sure sure got suckered. A 7 freaking year old thread! How embarrassing. :oops:
     
  21. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #21
    I was surprised that the OP did not ask why Apple does not put stickers on the keyboard side of the computer like you see on Windows laptops.
     

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