MacBook Pros suffer 7,200rpm drive issue; Korea iPod nano recall

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Owners of new MacBook Pros configured with faster, 7,200rpm hard drives are paradoxically facing slowdowns as the disks occasionally pause -- and often make unwanted noise in the process. Simultaneously, Apple is recalling the first-generation iPod nano in South Korea due to battery fires.



MacBook Pro 7,200rpm hard drives suffer freezes, noises



Those who've custom-ordered MacBook Pros with the 500GB, 7,200rpm hard drive option are facing multiple problems that appear related to the drive's behavior.



Participants in Apple's support forums and elsewhere note that the affected hard drives, most of which appear to be Seagate Momentus 7200.4 models, will periodically click and then beep. Most of the time, the drive will also temporarily stop accessing data, stalling out the system until it resumes. At least one owner with a custom-installed Hitachi drive also reports the issue.



Many of the buyers already believe that it's the anti-drop sensor in the drive which is at fault, but the problem occurs even when the system is level and motionless on a desk. Talking to MacNN, Mac upgrade house Other World Computing speculates that the Seagate motion sensors may be conflicting with what Apple itself offers to guard the drive, confusing the disk and forcing it to unnecessarily wind down.



Customers say that Apple support now appears to be aware of the issue but doesn't have a permanent fix in place. Some report that the most recent hard drive replacements under warranty are solving the problem, but this hasn't been broadly confirmed as of this writing.



The issue isn't the first that the new MacBook Pros have encountered; enthusiasts buying third-party solid-state drives found their SATA speeds halved, at least until Apple provided a firmware update.







Apple recalls some iPod nano models in South Korea



Macs aren't the only Apple devices facing a confirmed flaw this week, as the company's South Korean branch is now recalling early iPod nanos.



The move will let owners of original iPod nanos, sold in the country between October 2005 and December 2006, receive a replacement if they believe the battery might overheat and trigger a fire. Four instances of overheating or even exploding batteries have been reported in South Korea since December of this year, drawing media attention and encouraging the company to take action before its image hurt any further.



Korea's recall follows a similar gesture made for Japanese owners after a number of publicized incidents were reported in the neighboring Asian state.



While one of the largest companies pressed to exchange products over battery concerns, it isn't the last. A total of 46 fires and minor explosions have been reported in South Korea over the past five years and prompted a new law taking effect this month that will require all devices with lithium-ion batteries undergo extra testing to minimize the risk of fires from the environment or from shock damage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member
    I was thinking about upgrading my MBP HDD with this Seagate drive. I think I will wait a little longer!
  • Reply 2 of 58
    I have a month-old 13" MBP with a bog-standard 160GB Hitachi drive. No 7200rpm or anything like that. It's my first machine with Leopard, and it has sporadic issues with things just hanging for 10 seconds or so. "spindump" kicks in, and reports in the console logs that it's monitoring process such-and-such, then when things un-hang, it reports that it's stopped monitoring. I haven't figured out just yet how to get more detailed info on WTF is going on, but it's a totally stock machine, never been taken apart, etc.



    Seems to happen especially when I run Safari, so I've been using Firefox the last few days.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    loungepoploungepop Posts: 71member
    I called an "Apple Expert" and he of course said there is no reference to this issue in the Apple system and that I should delete my cache folders. I mentioned the Apple forum posts and other references to articles where many people with my exact computer are having this issue, but he said "most complaints are made up". I have a BTO MBP 17" with a 7200rpm 500gb HD, and while I haven't heard it beeping (I'm in a busy office) it does freeze and lockup where I get the spinning ball. The mouse will move around but everything else is locked up. After 45-60 seconds everything comes back. Usually this is followed by another 30 seconds of slow performance before it get's going like it should. This is my 8th mac and 5th Apple laptop. I'm not stupid or imagining this issue. Annoying.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    esemonoesemono Posts: 1member
    I have same problem with my MacBook (13", ~2 years old) and Seagate 250GB 7200RPM HDD P/N ST9250421ASG
  • Reply 5 of 58
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    Stuff happens! These things are made by humans, not God. They don't grow on trees, they come from Chinese factories. Expect bumps, and learn to live with it.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    I didn't think the motion sensor was on the hard drive, but rather on the logicboard. I know the SMS sensor isn't hard drive specific. Unless the Hitachi hard drives have a SMS sensor on them. Unless there's a sensor on the hard drive, I find it hard to believe its a sensor issue. If it was, it would be happening to any configured MacBook Pro.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Loungepop View Post


    I called an "Apple Expert" and he of course said there is no reference to this issue in the Apple system and that I should delete my cache folders. I mentioned the Apple forum posts and other references to articles where many people with my exact computer are having this issue, but he said "most complaints are made up". I have a BTO MBP 17" with a 7200rpm 500gb HD, and while I haven't heard it beeping (I'm in a busy office) it does freeze and lockup where I get the spinning ball. The mouse will move around but everything else is locked up. After 45-60 seconds everything comes back. Usually this is followed by another 30 seconds of slow performance before it get's going like it should. This is my 8th mac and 5th Apple laptop. I'm not stupid or imagining this issue. Annoying.



    I just ordered the 15" MBP with a 7200 rpm 500 g drive .

    How can i tell if its a seagate ?



    damn
  • Reply 8 of 58
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    I just ordered the 15" MBP with a 7200 rpm 500 g drive .

    How can i tell if its a seagate ?



    damn



    I know for a fact that Apple doesn't ship to the methane seas of Neptune, so you're safe.
  • Reply 9 of 58
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member
    Seagate is currently the only company making a 500 GB 7200 rpm notebook drive.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    loungepoploungepop Posts: 71member
    Mine is a Seagate ST9500420ASG.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    jrhsrjrhsr Posts: 1member
    Purchased drive 2 weeks ago. Drive has latest firmware and performs excellently . It is smooth does not get warmer than original Fujitsu. Speed of computer is much improved with no obvious loss of battery life. No clicking or sounds or pauses noticed. My disk does not have the Seagate drop protection.
  • Reply 12 of 58
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Nothing a firmware update can't fix.
  • Reply 13 of 58
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post


    Stuff happens! These things are made by humans, not God. They don't grow on trees, they come from Chinese factories. Expect bumps, and learn to live with it.



    Another brain surgeon joins AI...



  • Reply 14 of 58
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    The "ASG" (G for G-force) drives are not supposed to be used in Apple computers (conflict between drive's built-in G-force and Apples on-board G-force. So I would be surprised if Apple themselves are installing these drives. These drives can be used, but it is recommended that Apple's G-force be turned off in terminal. I have one of the "AS" drives with no problems.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    That's a new experimental warning system that Apple is using that acts like an artificial horizon. It takes measurements around the longitudinal (pitch), and lateral (roll) axes, and yaw.



    Just kidding, but why was the video upside down?
  • Reply 16 of 58
    demenasdemenas Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    I didn't think the motion sensor was on the hard drive, but rather on the logicboard. I know the SMS sensor isn't hard drive specific. Unless the Hitachi hard drives have a SMS sensor on them. Unless there's a sensor on the hard drive, I find it hard to believe its a sensor issue. If it was, it would be happening to any configured MacBook Pro.



    The Seagate drive comes in a version with a motion sensor and one without. One can Google around for the appropriate part number .



    Steve
  • Reply 17 of 58
    sennensennen Posts: 1,466member
    Touch wood. No issues with the Seagate 7200 500gb drive in my week and a half old 17".



    touch wood.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    It is interesting to read this post tonight as this exact situation with the 7200RPM HD happened to me this week.



    I bought a 3.06GHz 4GB RAM, 500Gb 7200RPM MPB the week they were announced. For the first week after I got it, it was normal, except for the weird electronic beeping coming from the HD. At first, I thought it was just a new HD technology that occasionally made noise. Then, performance got progressively worse. I usually give this machine a workout -- running VMWare virtual machine with a host of other apps on the MAC side. It started to get sluggish after about 2-3 days. The Hard drive would seem to hang up... Then, on Monday of this week, 2 weeks into owning the machine, a cold start first thing in the morning took 10 minutes. After it booted, any click on an icon rendered the MBP useless -- beach ball and unresponsive. Sometimes, after about a minute, the machine will carry out the task you clicked to do, but then immediately go back to being unresponsive.



    Tonight, I took it into the local Apple Store so they could see problem first hand. I had already gone through a PRAM and SMC reset, scrubbed for viruses (unlikely!) and even let the battery drain completely to see if the machine would reset. The Genius was shocked by what he was seeing on the machine... He even created a new user account and reset the opening set-up animation. When he did, even the open animation stuttered and failed to play cleanly!



    So here's what he did... Because the 7200RPM is a "CTO" (custom to order) addition, they cannot swap the MBPs in store. The only way to get an authorization to get a replacement is to call 1-800-MY-APPLE. But he explained to me if he filed a Repair Request first -- and created a repair order number in the system -- the swap out process goes much more smoothly because if you don't have that number, they will make you sit on the phone with Apple Care first to walk through an hour's worth of diagnostics... So my advice is, if you're having this issue, make an appointment at a retail store, let them see the problem themselves, and then have them file the initial paperwork. Then call 1-800-MY-APPLE and have them process the replacement.



    So I received a FedEx shipment label which I have to use to ship my bad MBP back ... then when they receive it, they will authorize a new machine to be built.



    My question is... have they solved the problem with the sudden shutdowns on the 7200 because I'm about to get a new machine with the same configuration... and I don't want another bad drive. Or is this just a matter of a firmware update? This seems pretty serious all around. I am planning to call customer service again tomorrow to raise this question.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by montypython View Post


    I have a 13' MBP with a custom 7200 RPM drive. (Seagate 500GB 7200/16MB 2.5" Mobile SATA Model: ST9500420AS SY) I have not had an problems with this drive at all. Running at full speed along with the DVD drive (when installing the OS again) made the MBP hum loudly, but other than that it has been perfect. I don't know if this drive has a sudden motion sensor or not, but it is a great drive and has really made a difference especially when I am running two OSs, loading video, taking notes and all of those everyday tasks. No extra heat, noise, vibrations or power consumption that I can see.



    Hope that I have not jinxed myself. No matter what I will be keeping an eye on this thread!



    If you're just upgrading, you can use an external drive enclosure and Super Duper (or some other drive imaging/copying program) to simply copy your old drive to the new and swap drives. No need to reinstall the system just for a drive upgrade. It saves a lot of time installing, entering keys and updating all your software. If you think you're getting software problems or your drive died without a backup, then that's different.



    The drives did get very warm for me during the transfer, but once it's been transferred and the drive installed, it's pretty cool running. That probably depends on your use.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by isaidso View Post


    The "ASG" (G for G-force) drives are not supposed to be used in Apple computers (conflict between drive's built-in G-force and Apples on-board G-force. So I would be surprised if Apple themselves are installing these drives. These drives can be used, but it is recommended that Apple's G-force be turned off in terminal. I have one of the "AS" drives with no problems.



    Newegg is selling the AS drives, so good for me. I just installed this version of the drive into two notebooks this Monday. Quite nice, it makes the computer feel a lot newer.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    iphone1982iphone1982 Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgoldman View Post


    It is interesting to read this post tonight as this exact situation with the 7200RPM HD happened to me this week.



    I bought a 3.06GHz 4GB RAM, 500Gb 7200RPM MPB the week they were announced. For the first week after I got it, it was normal, except for the weird electronic beeping coming from the HD. At first, I thought it was just a new HD technology that occasionally made noise. Then, performance got progressively worse. I usually give this machine a workout -- running VMWare virtual machine with a host of other apps on the MAC side. It started to get sluggish after about 2-3 days. The Hard drive would seem to hang up... Then, on Monday of this week, 2 weeks into owning the machine, a cold start first thing in the morning took 10 minutes. After it booted, any click on an icon rendered the MBP useless -- beach ball and unresponsive. Sometimes, after about a minute, the machine will carry out the task you clicked to do, but then immediately go back to being unresponsive.



    Tonight, I took it into the local Apple Store so they could see problem first hand. I had already gone through a PRAM and SMC reset, scrubbed for viruses (unlikely!) and even let the battery drain completely to see if the machine would reset. The Genius was shocked by what he was seeing on the machine... He even created a new user account and reset the opening set-up animation. When he did, even the open animation stuttered and failed to play cleanly!



    So here's what he did... Because the 7200RPM is a "CTO" (custom to order) addition, they cannot swap the MBPs in store. The only way to get an authorization to get a replacement is to call 1-800-MY-APPLE. But he explained to me if he filed a Repair Request first -- and created a repair order number in the system -- the swap out process goes much more smoothly because if you don't have that number, they will make you sit on the phone with Apple Care first to walk through an hour's worth of diagnostics... So my advice is, if you're having this issue, make an appointment at a retail store, let them see the problem themselves, and then have them file the initial paperwork. Then call 1-800-MY-APPLE and have them process the replacement.



    So I received a FedEx shipment label which I have to use to ship my bad MBP back ... then when they receive it, they will authorize a new machine to be built.



    My question is... have they solved the problem with the sudden shutdowns on the 7200 because I'm about to get a new machine with the same configuration... and I don't want another bad drive. Or is this just a matter of a firmware update? This seems pretty serious all around. I am planning to call customer service again tomorrow to raise this question.



    I know you're not supposed to include the entire quote for a reply but...



    You have 1 post to this forum.



    I don't doubt there is a problem with the battery/logic board etc. but you go into great detail to describe an entire scenario that just happened.



    People on this board know I'm not popular for my Apple enthusiasm, especially with Steve Jobs.



    Your one post goes into great detail that is just a little to convenient for me (IMO). I'll call BS on the post but think there is a problem.



    On other news my iPhone just happened to blow up today but I'm going to wait to post the details until I see an article on AI.
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