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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Noisy 100Gb 7200rpm disk on MBP

Noisy 100Gb 7200rpm disk on MBP
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mactest
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Aug 5, 2006, 04:50 AM
 
Hi all,

My MBP has a Seagate 7200rpm disk in it (ST910021AS).
In the last few weeks, there is a constant fast clicking noise coming from computer.
It sounds like the noise disk drive makes when accessing or writing to the disk, but in this case it is CONSTANT. I am pretty sure it is from the disk, because if I run something that accesses the disk constantly, the same noise becomes louder, and faster.

I tried to turn off spotlight indexing but that didn't help. The noise is there even with no user processes, ie. just the finder.

Display of 'top' command shows no busy processes (idle ~ 100%)

A sample of the noise can be heard here:
http://adsl.comms.net.au/mbp_noise.wav

The noise is loud enough to be come annoying in a quiet room

Has anyone seen the same symtoms on their MBP?


Thanks
Andy
     
mad cow disease
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Aug 5, 2006, 02:25 PM
 
Doesn't sound like the sound a disk typically makes when it's about to die, but the recording isn't terribly good, so not 100% sure.

Any chance you could provide brand information on the disk itself by checking under profiler? Are you experiencing unnecessary lagging or hampered performance when you open up huge files or run programs?

1.) Double-check your S.M.A.R.T. status in System Profiler under ATA (or perhaps SATA?) and make sure it says "Verified."
2.) Be sure you have a backup of your files, just in case.
3.) Run Diskwarrior? Disk could be highly fragmented.
     
Fusion
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Aug 5, 2006, 04:11 PM
 
I got the 7200rpm option in my PowerBook as well and it is amazingly noisy as well. Although, I remember when I first got it that I have the Toshiba drive, and that it is a very noisy drive, but those lucky enough to get the Seagate should be fine because it is much quieter, so I dunno.

I'm inclined to think that it's just normal though and you are going to have to get used to it.

I'd definitely trade my 7200 noisy drive in for a 5400 quieter one though.
     
mactest  (op)
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Aug 5, 2006, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by mad cow disease
Doesn't sound like the sound a disk typically makes when it's about to die, but the recording isn't terribly good, so not 100% sure.

Any chance you could provide brand information on the disk itself by checking under profiler? Are you experiencing unnecessary lagging or hampered performance when you open up huge files or run programs?

1.) Double-check your S.M.A.R.T. status in System Profiler under ATA (or perhaps SATA?) and make sure it says "Verified."
2.) Be sure you have a backup of your files, just in case.
3.) Run Diskwarrior? Disk could be highly fragmented.
SMART status is "verified". The disk is definitely a Seagate ST910021AS, and the performance is good. The speed is max 60Mb/sec, min 45Mb/sec
I installed Bootcamp to run the Seagate disk check program "Seatools" under Windows and everything seemed OK.
The strange thing is that after all that playing around with the disk last night, this morning the disk is ultra-quiet. I can barely hear the sound. It could be something to do with heat.
Fusion, I agree with you, I would prefer a quiet slower 5400rpm disk than a noisy 7200rpm
     
mduell
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Aug 5, 2006, 06:48 PM
 
Try a utility like SMARTReporter to see the 20 or so actual S.M.A.R.T. values, rather than just one summary word.
     
Simon
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Aug 6, 2006, 01:14 PM
 
I have the 7200 RPM HDD in my MBP too and it is indeed a 'loud' disk.

But the fast clicking noise you describe sounds more like something else to me. Are you sure the noise is coming from the HDD (under the left palm rest) and not from the right fan (roughly below F10)? I have such a fast clicking sound, as if the fan blades of my right fan were hitting something. Others have reported similar noises coming from obviously broken fans. This MBP is going in for fan repair as soon as I can get my hands on a Merom rev B MBP.
     
mactest  (op)
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Aug 6, 2006, 06:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
I have the 7200 RPM HDD in my MBP too and it is indeed a 'loud' disk.

But the fast clicking noise you describe sounds more like something else to me. Are you sure the noise is coming from the HDD (under the left palm rest) and not from the right fan (roughly below F10)? I have such a fast clicking sound, as if the fan blades of my right fan were hitting something. Others have reported similar noises coming from obviously broken fans. This MBP is going in for fan repair as soon as I can get my hands on a Merom rev B MBP.
Thanks, that is might be the case. I have been assuming it's the disk, but it seems related to heat/usage time (which would agree with the fan fault)

Also if I generate some disk activity (with "find" cli command), the noise gets louder and FASTER.
I didn't think about it much, just assumed that it's the disk activity that increased the frequency of the noise, but now that you mentioned, the disk would have its constant 7200rpm whether under load or not, so the clicking noise would be at the same rate if it was the disk?
Whereas the fan would have its frequency increased with the temperature of the MBP.

I will wait for the next time the noise appears and check the location of the noise again.
Regards,

Andy
     
glhart
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Aug 6, 2006, 09:21 PM
 
I put a 100 gb 7200 rpm Hitachi in my Powerbooik and am quite satisfied with it. It's quiet, very fast, and seems not to use any more power than the original drive.
     
Simon
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Aug 7, 2006, 02:41 AM
 
mactest, in my case the noise clearly correlates with the right fan speed. If I put load on the GPU the fan noise gets louder and the frequency increases. Maybe you could try something similar and see what happens.

The fan issue is noted on AppleDefects and there's a thread about it on this board.
     
mactest  (op)
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Aug 7, 2006, 07:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
mactest, in my case the noise clearly correlates with the right fan speed. If I put load on the GPU the fan noise gets louder and the frequency increases. Maybe you could try something similar and see what happens.

The fan issue is noted on AppleDefects and there's a thread about it on this board.
Thanks Simon and everyone, it IS the fan under the Delete/F10 key.

I maxed out two cores by doing "yes>/dev/null" in two terminal windows and it is like a jet trying to take off. Like the posts in other forums described , at low load the clicking is like a paper card touching the spokes of a turning bicycle wheel.

It is much more obvious when I held the notebook up, and put my ear in different parts to check the source of the noise.

I am reluctant to send the computer for repair, as I haven't got a substitute, and also I have heard a lot of bad stories about notebooks returned from repair (dent/scratches...)

Thanks again
Andy
     
Screwball
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Aug 7, 2006, 08:00 AM
 
Hey guys! I'm currently planning on buying a Seagate 100GB 7200RPM S-ATA hard drive...but seeing these reviews made me anxious! Will mine be by any chance noise and faulty too?
     
Simon
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Aug 7, 2006, 08:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Screwball
Hey guys! I'm currently planning on buying a Seagate 100GB 7200RPM S-ATA hard drive...but seeing these reviews made me anxious! Will mine be by any chance noise and faulty too?
Well I don't think anybody here has reported a faulty Seagate. The OP actually found out that the defect doesn't have anything to do with the HDD. That said, the Seagate is definitely louder than the Hitachi I use to have. But other than that it's fine. I wouldn't go so far as to say you shouldn't buy it. Just my 2¢.
     
Screwball
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Aug 7, 2006, 09:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Well I don't think anybody here has reported a faulty Seagate. The OP actually found out that the defect doesn't have anything to do with the HDD. That said, the Seagate is definitely louder than the Hitachi I use to have. But other than that it's fine. I wouldn't go so far as to say you shouldn't buy it. Just my 2¢.
i would definitely go for the Hitachi too...too bad i can't find it anywhere! Where did you get yours from?
     
mactest  (op)
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Screwball
Hey guys! I'm currently planning on buying a Seagate 100GB 7200RPM S-ATA hard drive...but seeing these reviews made me anxious! Will mine be by any chance noise and faulty too?
After finding out that the noise I originally reported was from the fan, I realise that the 100G 7200rpm seagate disk is not very noisy. I have to put my ear within 20cm of the notebook to hear it, and it is not annoying like the fan.
     
Burn
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Aug 7, 2006, 08:41 PM
 
Wow, my cpl month old 2.16 17" MBP with the 7200rpm 100GB drive is whisper quiet. I nnnnnever hear it. Ever. The whole machine is the quietest computer I have ever owned.. just a counterpoint to all the noisy mentions.

No noise for me. At. All.
     
Velocity211
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Aug 7, 2006, 09:16 PM
 
I ran diskwarrior on my HD and this is what I got. I can't do anything to it becuase it says it's the startup volume, should I boot up on an external HD to fix it?
iMac 24" | Core 2 Extreme 2.8GHz | 4GB RAM | 500GB HD
PowerBook G4 15" HR | 1.67GHz | 2GB RAM | 100GB HD
R.I.P 1995 Toyota Supra NA-T
     
Simon
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Aug 8, 2006, 03:49 PM
 
mactest, btw, there's an interesting discussion going on at the Apple board about bad MBP fans and the noise they make. There are even two audio files as examples just so you make sure. You can find the thread here:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....20771&tstart=0
     
mactest  (op)
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Aug 8, 2006, 06:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
mactest, btw, there's an interesting discussion going on at the Apple board about bad MBP fans and the noise they make. There are even two audio files as examples just so you make sure. You can find the thread here:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....20771&tstart=0
Thanks Simon, it is exactly the same noise.
I tried to blow compressed air into the fan from outside but that seems to help just a little bit, ie. the nois is a bit less now. It sounds like either the fan is touching something, or off-balance somehow.
While looking at the noise, I found an useful utility from versiontracker, CoreDuo temperature reader. It displays the current load, CPU temperature and clock speed of the Macbook Pro.
Andy
     
Simon
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Aug 9, 2006, 03:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by mactest
I tried to blow compressed air into the fan from outside but that seems to help just a little bit, ie. the nois is a bit less now. It sounds like either the fan is touching something, or off-balance somehow.
Exactly the same here. It really sounds as if it the fan blades were touching a bit of protruding tape or so. I tried the compressed air trick too, but it didn't really help a lot. This thing is definitely going in to get thoroughly fixed. I just need a rev B Merom MBP first.
     
mactest  (op)
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Sep 29, 2006, 11:23 AM
 
FYI, I had the right fan replaced (after 3 weeks waiting for parts) and the problem is fixed now.
No more clicking noise, just the faint sound of the disk and fans.
Andy
     
n8236
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Oct 17, 2006, 04:38 PM
 
I'm glad you your fan replaced, the thread you referred to was mine, and it happened once again, bt this time I caught on video and posted it on youtube. You can see it here, YouTube - MacBook Pro GPU (right speaker) fan noise

The noise now is still there and ticking, but nothing like the video as that was short-lived, but it still does tick and isn't a purring sound like the left fan. I'm hoping to mine replaced, got an Apple Store appointment at 2:30
     
Simon
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Oct 18, 2006, 02:55 AM
 
Have you guys with fan noise tried smcFanControl to see what speed your noisy fan has? My MBP's GPU fan stopped being noisy a while ago all by itself. When I recently tried smcFanControl I understood why. The fan has stopped working altogether and AHT now reports a motherboard problem.
     
Simon
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Nov 22, 2006, 04:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The fan has stopped working altogether and AHT now reports a motherboard problem.
I just wanted to report that in the meantime I have sent in my MBP for warranty repair. It came back in the same perfect condition I sent it in. The MLB and the right fan have been replaced.

The new motherboard requires 10.4.6 so I got new install DVDs (the originals installed 10.4.5).

The CPU whine is gone and the case heat has become better, but it's still quite a bit hotter than my C2D rev B MBP.
     
amazing
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Nov 22, 2006, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I just wanted to report that in the meantime I have sent in my MBP for warranty repair. It came back in the same perfect condition I sent it in. The MLB and the right fan have been replaced.

The new motherboard requires 10.4.6 so I got new install DVDs (the originals installed 10.4.5).

The CPU whine is gone and the case heat has become better, but it's still quite a bit hotter than my C2D rev B MBP.
O'Grady did a very revealing temperature comparison of the CD vs the C2D MBP, and the temperature differences are startling:

Comparing the temps of a Core Duo to a Core 2 Duo | The Apple Core | ZDNet.com

Definitely turns me off from considering a refurbed CD MBP...guess I'll have to wait for a refurbed C2D.
     
   
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