Why would my hard drive fail twice in 5 months?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by The Loaf, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. The Loaf macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2007
    Hi there and thanks in advance.

    I have a 1.5GHz 15" powerbook running 10.4.8 that has been pretty reliable in the (almost) 3 years I've had it. But then this fall I was getting kernel panics, freeze-ups, etc. and the Apple Store replaced the hard drive. All was good for about 5 months and then I got kernel panics again. They said it was 3rd party RAM. Removed it, but there's still a problem (when running the Disk Utility I get this msg: "First Aid failed" and "Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit," and they now want to replace the hard drive again.

    Is there anything that could be making my hard drive(s) die? I would like them to deal with any problems before my AppleCare expires in May. What does the logic board do? (a friend suggested having them look at it...) I'm not a computer guy, so know little about how this equipment works.

    One last note. The only other thing I noticed during the 5 good months: every once in a while I would have something weird happen, for example when using the Finder I would be unable to rename folders until I restarted the machine. Or, occasionally using Mail, options I normally set in preferences would disappear, and I would have a different looking set of "New Message" options, as if I had changed my preferences, though I hadn't.

    These seemed like little things and I never dealt with them because things seemed to go back to normal, but perhaps they were symptomatic of something larger? Any advice appreciated. I'm taking my computer in tomorrow or Sunday to have them replace the hard drive, and just want to relay as much info to their techs so they check out everything. Thanks again!
  2. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
    Electronics Reliability

    OK. You can trace failures with time on a graph, and you get the Bath-tub curve.

    as found here:


    Early life products failure rate is high by sheer probability. You get a kinda survival of the fittest. Once you reach this low point, it stretches until the failure rate increases again which'd be due to the sheer age of the electronics. This is why you get the 'U-shaped' curve. Your HDD's are currently in Infancy Failure.

    You might be looking for an issue external to the HDD Apple keep putting in - but I think you're just getting the unlucky ones. Keep running Hardware Tests, if they come back OK - then there's not alot you can do apart from what Apple say.

    If there are no image glitches, or overheating, I think its just unlucky HDD failures. Unless you play sport with the Mac on your back or do something very physical. Bring on Flash based drives. That would solve your probelm - no mechanical parts to screw up.


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