View Full Version : Ticking MacBook Pro Hard Drive

25th August 2010, 04:16 PM
This afternoon my early 2008 MacBook Pro hard drive started to make a gentle ticking sound ó I thought something on my desk was unbalanced. It's definitely coming from the HD area.

I have back ups!

Is it time to get the Hard Drive replaced under Applecare?

[Replacements so far 1 x logic board and 1 x optical drive.] Applecare is so worth it!


25th August 2010, 04:22 PM
If the hard drive is making a ticking noise there's a strong possibility it's faulty. I'd be looking to get it confirmed and, if that's what's faulty, replaced.

25th August 2010, 09:35 PM

26th August 2010, 07:48 AM
Back it up twice and confirm the backups are good and will work.

Have the drive confirmed as being faulty by an authorised service agent.

Arrange to have and witness the drive being Zeroed (Nuked) as all your personal information is on that drive and can be accessed by just about anybody who comes in contact with it. From service agent staff to couriers to Apple staff - do you trust them all?? Damned sure I don't.

While I don't disagree with the concerns over data privacy, it isn't really Apple's (or the repairer's) job to take responsibility for your data. That's your job.

If you're concerned about your data being compromised - zero the drive yourself.

Remember, too, that if the drive is faulty, it may not be possible to wipe it.

At that point, your choice then becomes buying the drive and destroying it.

26th August 2010, 08:07 AM

26th August 2010, 01:17 PM
Does it sound something like these...
Faulty Hard Drive Sounds provided by Excalibur Data Recovery, New England's data recovery specialists. (http://www.excaliburdatarecovery.com/faulty-drive-sounds.htm)
especially "Bad Head 2 "
If so then yes your HD is starting to fail and should be replaced.

And if you are paranoid about your personal info like MarkW, then drag all your mail, email, docs and other personal info into the trash, download ShredIt 5.8.7 and run it before taking it in.

" Files can be recovered from your computer trash. Protect your privacy with this easy to use file shredder and hard drive cleaner that will secure delete files so they canít be recovered. Whether you want to clean a hard drive or erase a file, ShredIt for Mac OS X is the computer privacy software for the job. Wipe files, disk free space, a hard drive, external drives, USB Flash and more"

Apple - Downloads - System/Disk Utilities - ShredIt X (http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/shreditx.html)

Just leave a workable OS on the HD so the geniuses can have a look at it.


26th August 2010, 02:26 PM

26th August 2010, 05:12 PM
You also need to consider the interest an every day tech has in your data. - NONE.

The equations are all simple

If you want 100% protection of your data then follow instructions of how to format/erase and destroy the data before taking it to a service centre.

Your concern about a blank drive just highlights your ignorance about how a drive works and what the diagnostic procedures are when testing them. If it's still a concern just tell them that you wiped it when you book it in....

If you don't want to wait in the queue like everyone else then pay a priority fee to have your machine looked at straight away.

It's clear that you wont be satisfied with someone addressing your concerns though. You obviously have all the answers and wont be satisfied with anything someone does for you.

BTW - To the OP, ticking can be one of two things. The sudden motion sensor kicking in. The SMS can kick in when you pick up and move your laptop while it's still running or if your working on a movable unstable surface. (ie bed) Vibrations in the environment your working in can also set it off. If your machine is on a desk with no vibrations in the area it shouldn't be going off.

The other possibility is that it's a hard drive with the beginnings of mechanical failure.

A good service centre will be able to establish what is going on and fit a replacement drive for you.

You need to consider the logistics of how this stupid system works. A person would have to take a relatively working (or totally stuffed) HD still fitted to your mac to the Apple Service Agent. If the HD had already been wiped then there might be justification for the agent to say "there is nothing wrong, it just doesn't have an operating system". Once you hand the mac to the Service Agent you loose all control with what is done with your data.

Somewhere between the tech advising that you have a legitimate claim and you permitting the work to be done under the Apple Care Warranty, the drive needs to be wiped effectively.

Depending on the company size the security of your mac may already be compromised before the tech legitimises your claim. A service agent for Apple at Prospect wanted to keep my MBP for a week before even looking at it. No thanks.

26th August 2010, 07:17 PM
A ticking HDD is a very very bad sign. Back up and get it replaced.

26th August 2010, 10:54 PM
Does it sound something like these...
Faulty Hard Drive Sounds provided by Excalibur Data Recovery, New England's data recovery specialists. (http://www.excaliburdatarecovery.com/faulty-drive-sounds.htm)
especially "Bad Head 2 "
If so then yes your HD is starting to fail and should be replaced.

My Gawd, if my HD ever sounds like any of them I think I'd be ducking for cover or running or something. They can't be real can they?

28th August 2010, 11:56 PM
Oh I've heard worse than that Sirstaunch.
A friend has a couple - one an old SCSI HD and an IDE that we hooked up to work outside a computer or case and it was amusing/terrible the sounds coming from them when fired up.
I'm sure anyone here that does tech support has heard a few humdingers too.

And just for your amusement Sirstaunch, here are a few more...

Failing hard drive sounds - Datacent.com - Datacent (http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php)