Why No HDD Activity Light?

anirban

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 9, 2007
689
0
Houston, TX
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.
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,298
48
~119W 34N
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)
 

Nosebleed

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2006
34
1
New Zealand
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
 
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anirban

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 9, 2007
689
0
Houston, TX
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!
 

FadeToBlack

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2005
1,836
0
Accoville, WV
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?
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.
 

Nosebleed

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2006
34
1
New Zealand
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
 

biturbomunkie

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2006
991
0
cali
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:

 

makku

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2006
60
0
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.:)
 

crazycollie27

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2015
1
0
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
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.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,455
899
Oregon, USA
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.
 

dwfaust

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2011
5,479
6,177
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.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,285
375
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.
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.