Apple looks to fix bothersome beeps in MacBook Pros

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
MacBook Pro owners plagued with annoying hard drive beeps and clicks have not yet had Apple publicly address their issue, but as the number of complaints continues to swell, reports suggest the Mac-maker is quietly working on a fix.



In a thread hundreds of posts long over at the Apple Support forums, countless users have complained that their 7,200RPM hard drives will randomly click and beep, and some have experienced slower access times. The issue appears to have grown since it was first reported in January.



In recent days, numerous users have posted in the thread on the Apple Support forums, stating they were told on the phone by AppleCare representatives that the company is working on a fix. On Friday, user jgcamil wrote that he was told by Level 2 support that Apple is "highly" aware of the issue and it is one of the company's "highest priorities." But, he was also told he would have to "live with" the issue until an update is made available.



Last month, MacNN reported the issue may have arisen from the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 G-Force hard drives, specifically that the drive's protection system may be incompatible with Mac hardware. In addition, the G-Force technology is not needed on the MacBook Pro, which has pre-existing anti-shock protection.



One AppleInsider reader whose MacBook Pro beeps occasionally said he's frustrated that Apple has remained quiet on his costly investment. He said after researching the problem, he believes it's caused by the original firmware for the hard drive.



"The crazy thing is that you can read comments about AppleCare Engineers stance on this issue: 'Its normal behavior,' (and) 'Apple´s Working on a fix,'" he told AppleInsider. "Also, some of them are recommending doing a complete reinstall, when this issue is factory related."



Users have also uploaded numerous videos demonstrating the problem to YouTube. Below are a few examples:







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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    nite41nite41 Posts: 41member
    Exact same hard drive (Seagate 7200.4 G-Force 320GB). I upgraded it from the earlier Hitachi 120GB hard drive. And the same problem. Beeps and clicks (but doesn't freeze yet). Let's see.
  • Reply 2 of 63
    sggincsgginc Posts: 13member
    Why are so many owners with this issue so upset? Apple has stated this is normal behavior designed to protect your investment. You should be happy they have your investment covered. Would you rather have your laptop go belly up? If it is irritating and limits its usefulness, at least you know its going to survive and last a long time.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    When annoying issues such as this and the SATA 3.0 issue crop up, I don't doubt that Apple does care since they eventually fix it. I just wish they'd do a better job of communicating about it rather than remaining silent or saying it's normal behavior before suddenly dropping a patch. A lot of the time it just seems like they are just doing damage control by fixing issues once they get too much media attention.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Well this is a pretty ridiculous issue to have. I'd be justifiably upset.



    Seems there's nothing that's actually faulty, but rather the decision to include this model of Seagate hard drive wasn't the best one in terms of compatibility.



    Anyway, don't Hitachi and Samsung make better drives?
  • Reply 5 of 63
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 410member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Well this is a pretty ridiculous issue to have. I'd be justifiably upset.



    Seems there's nothing that's actually faulty, but rather the decision to include this model of Seagate hard drive wasn't the best one in terms of compatibility.



    Anyway, don't Hitachi and Samsung make better drives?



    What is it with Apple and Harddrives - in the last 2 years we have had 5 laptop drives go out with 3 on laptops less than a year old. The others we 2 years old. The last one this past week was on a machine less than 7 months old. But my 13" MacBook that I think is 5 years old and abused by my kids playing pbskids is still working great.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post


    What is it with Apple and Harddrives - in the last 2 years we have had 5 laptop drives go out with 3 on laptops less than a year old. The others we 2 years old. The last one this past week was on a machine less than 7 months old. But my 13" MacBook that I think is 5 years old and abused by my kids playing pbskids is still working great.



    Bad luck, I'll wager. Either bad luck or the computer is being tilted or jostled with some regularity, though it seems like you've got an idea of that with the comment about your kids. Apple generally sticks to the better models of hard drives, but there isn't a whole lot of variance in hard drive choices between different laptop manufacturers—similar hard drives are found in other brands. Your computer doesn't really do anything that could stress the hard drive (though the subject issue might) outside user preferences such as whether it spins down and how often the computer is on.



    I've never had a hard drive go out on one of my Apple laptops, ever. And I'll attribute a fair bit of that to good luck, given I've been using Apple hardware almost as long as Apple has been making it.
  • Reply 7 of 63
    Can they come up with a fix for the bothersome, extra-loud clicking noise from the Touchpad?
  • Reply 8 of 63
    For anyone who has ever owned an external Seagate HD (e.g., I have 400GB and 500GB 3.5" units), and I suspect the same for the 2.5" units, Seagates have some kind of power management feature that makes the HD spin down after something like 5 min. of inactivity. Sounds all nice and green, only it royally sucks when you go to access the HD and you have to wait for the drive to spin back up and go to work. And yes, there's a beep and a click sound that typically accompanies the spinup. I've gotten used to listening both for that and the sound of the drives spinning down when they go to sleep.



    From everything I've read, this sure sounds similar. I know my 3+ year old MacBook Pro (2.0GHz Core Duo) came with a 100GB Seagate Momentus (and over the years Apple has used Hitachi and other brands as well), but in the past few years, Seagate's reputation has gone in the toilet. Between all the firmware issues with their 500GB/1TB/1.5TB and who knows what other drives, where random power up sequences could kill the drive, and the fact they dropped their 5-year warranties down to 3-year warranties on some of their drives earlier this year (in their words, "which is more in line with the rest of the industry"...yeah, right) calls their quality control into question. If Seagate no longer stands behind their drives the way they used to, why should I?



    Anyway, I feel for anyone suffering from this. I'm lucky in that my old MBP is chugging along nicely (granted, using a 320GB Western Digital drive I put in earlier this year, though my 100GB drive was still working fine at the time). But I know my external Seagates annoy me to no end in that I have absolutely NO control over their power management settings. The only way to prevent those drives from going to sleep is to artificially "tickle" them with some kind of access every 3-4 min. But that's just ridiculous. But the ~5 second delay in spinup gets on your nerves when your workflow involves pulling a file, doing some work for ~10 minutes, then pulling another file. The ability to change those firmware settings would be nice, but Seagate seems to think they know best.



    Maybe the long-term solution is for Apple to consider switching to a different HD manufacturer until Seagate gets its act together. I can't say which, but what I can say is that, unlike 4-5 years ago when I would wholeheartedly recommend Seagate as the drive of choice, I can no longer do that.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sgginc View Post


    Why are so many owners with this issue so upset? Apple has stated this is normal behavior designed to protect your investment. You should be happy they have your investment covered. Would you rather have your laptop go belly up? If it is irritating and limits its usefulness, at least you know its going to survive and last a long time.



    please take your meds

    Don't make stuff up.

    The seagate drive 7200 rpm g-force in 320g and maybe even 500 g drives beeps stutters slows down and stuff.



    The apple quick motion software made to prevent data loss when dropped knocks heads with the seagates drives same kind of sudden motion data loss prevention code/



    A few loud people are making a big stink.I have a new 15"MBP 7200 rpm 500 g drive and it does not beep .

    Yet seagate is famous for its fkubs.



    I read every post in 9 forums about this and its the almost same 20 or 30 owners desperate for a fix.And i still have no clear answer



    .So it's GLOSSY thing but with sound.



    HOw can i tell if my seagate is the g one ??.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Well this is a pretty ridiculous issue to have. I'd be justifiably upset.



    Seems there's nothing that's actually faulty, but rather the decision to include this model of Seagate hard drive wasn't the best one in terms of compatibility.



    Anyway, don't Hitachi and Samsung make better drives?



    SEAgate makes the only 7200 rpm drives .



    SAMSUNG rocks
  • Reply 11 of 63
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fseesink View Post


    For anyone who has ever owned an external Seagate HD (e.g., I have 400GB and 500GB 3.5" units), and I suspect the same for the 2.5" units, Seagates have some kind of power management feature that makes the HD spin down after something like 5 min. of inactivity. Sounds all nice and green, only it royally sucks when you go to access the HD and you have to wait for the drive to spin back up and go to work. And yes, there's a beep and a click sound that typically accompanies the spinup. I've gotten used to listening both for that and the sound of the drives spinning down when they go to sleep.



    From everything I've read, this sure sounds similar. I know my 3+ year old MacBook Pro (2.0GHz Core Duo) came with a 100GB Seagate Momentus (and over the years Apple has used Hitachi and other brands as well), but in the past few years, Seagate's reputation has gone in the toilet. Between all the firmware issues with their 500GB/1TB/1.5TB and who knows what other drives, where random power up sequences could kill the drive, and the fact they dropped their 5-year warranties down to 3-year warranties on some of their drives earlier this year (in their words, "which is more in line with the rest of the industry"...yeah, right) calls their quality control into question. If Seagate no longer stands behind their drives the way they used to, why should I?



    Anyway, I feel for anyone suffering from this. I'm lucky in that my old MBP is chugging along nicely (granted, using a 320GB Western Digital drive I put in earlier this year, though my 100GB drive was still working fine at the time). But I know my external Seagates annoy me to no end in that I have absolutely NO control over their power management settings. The only way to prevent those drives from going to sleep is to artificially "tickle" them with some kind of access every 3-4 min. But that's just ridiculous. But the ~5 second delay in spinup gets on your nerves when your workflow involves pulling a file, doing some work for ~10 minutes, then pulling another file. The ability to change those firmware settings would be nice, but Seagate seems to think they know best.



    Maybe the long-term solution is for Apple to consider switching to a different HD manufacturer until Seagate gets its act together. I can't say which, but what I can say is that, unlike 4-5 years ago when I would wholeheartedly recommend Seagate as the drive of choice, I can no longer do that.





    GOOD GUESS but a bit off

    But go to apple support and read up /
  • Reply 12 of 63
    I've got one of these beeping hard drives. I'd say the main reason I'm perturbed by the beep is not that it's beeping at all (I can get used to that), but rather that I have no idea why it's beeping. I'm somewhat paranoid about keeping my laptop in great condition since it was such a costly investment, and when it starts doing things that I'm not expecting (such as this beeping), I get worried. Is it ok? Is something wrong? Is there anything I should be doing that it's not?



    I think that if Apple/Seagate/Whomever were to include why the drives are beeping, then there'd be a lot fewer people who're upset about it. I certainly would be one.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    SEAgate makes the only 7200 rpm drives .



    I'm sure Western Digital and Hitachi will disagree with you.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    drdbdrdb Posts: 99member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    SEAgate makes the only 7200 rpm drives .



    SAMSUNG rocks



    That's funny because my 7200 drive is Hitachi.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    cdycdy Posts: 10member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    You are full of shit,



    A few loud people are making a big stink.I have a new 15"MBP 7200 rpm 500 g drive and it does not beep .

    Yet seagate is famous for its fuckups .



    I read every post in 9 forums about this and its the almost same 20 or 30 owners desperate for a fix.And i still have no clear answer



    .So it's GLOSSY thing but with sound.



    HOw can i tell if my seagate is the g one ??.



    Your post is very difficult to parse.



    I think you are saying you don't think it's a big deal. Well, I am one of the people who is experiencing this issue and it is a big deal. I have not posted to that Apple support discussion and have been quietly waiting for Apple to issue a fix. I am confident one will be forthcoming.



    The issue for me is not the beep. It is the fact that my hard drive is constantly parking itself and spinning down. This is NOT good for the drive and shortens its life as it happening every few minutes for me -- especially when Time Machine is backing up my drive. Also the entire OS freezes when this happens.



    Since you are not having this issue, perhaps you should just go back to your corner? Why did you feel the need to belittle the people who are having the issue when you have no idea what their experience is like?
  • Reply 16 of 63
    cdycdy Posts: 10member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davedelong View Post


    I've got one of these beeping hard drives. I'd say the main reason I'm perturbed by the beep is not that it's beeping at all (I can get used to that), but rather that I have no idea why it's beeping. I'm somewhat paranoid about keeping my laptop in great condition since it was such a costly investment, and when it starts doing things that I'm not expecting (such as this beeping), I get worried. Is it ok? Is something wrong? Is there anything I should be doing that it's not?



    I think that if Apple/Seagate/Whomever were to include why the drives are beeping, then there'd be a lot fewer people who're upset about it. I certainly would be one.



    I, too, have a "beeping clicking" drive. The beep does not bother me. What bothers me is that my drive is parking itself over and over thus shortening its life span. This happens all on its own even if my laptop is sitting on a hard flat desk all by itself with no motion whatsoever, also, so it's clearly a bug in the firmware.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    jpdlvmhjpdlvmh Posts: 72member
    No problems experienced after I fitted a :



    Hitachi Hard Disk Travelstar 7k320 320gb 2.5in Sata 7200 Rpm 16mb



    It's a nice drive, faster as well and virtually totally silent.
  • Reply 18 of 63
    I don't have one of these 17 inch machines with the beeping/freezing, but my friend who has one disabled apple's sudden motion sensor, and after he did that the problem with the two sensors conflicting goes away. It uses the HD's sensor and will still park the heads when need...might be a temp fix until apple decides to do something.



    Just my 2 cents.



    Support article on disabling sensor:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1934
  • Reply 19 of 63
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cdy View Post


    Your post is very difficult to parse.



    I think you are saying you don't think it's a big deal. Well, I am one of the people who is experiencing this issue and it is a big deal. I have not posted to that Apple support discussion and have been quietly waiting for Apple to issue a fix. I am confident one will be forthcoming.



    The issue for me is not the beep. It is the fact that my hard drive is constantly parking itself and spinning down. This is NOT good for the drive and shortens its life as it happening every few minutes for me -- especially when Time Machine is backing up my drive. Also the entire OS freezes when this happens.



    Since you are not having this issue, perhaps you should just go back to your corner? Why did you feel the need to belittle the people who are having the issue when you have no idea what their experience is like?



    HEY DUDE no way . YOU mis-understood my post i am sorry for that .

    , I am very upset that seagate again has screwed up

    My MBP 15"7200 RPM 500 G DRIVE HAS the same possible problem as you .

    YOU have not stated what kind of drive you have or why you haven't posted over at apple .



    THERE are 3 known issues with apple drives , Only one issue has the seagate 500g 7200 rpm beeping thing. So its important to be clear what exactly your drive is and what exactly happens .



    First off. have you cleaned up your permissions ??

    Second make an appointment and bring your MB to your local apple store.



    This known sea gate issue is very small right now but people have been very vocal is all i said or meant to say>> Just like the glossy boys

    i never belittle apple brothers.



    peace

    9



    ps let us know what happens .
  • Reply 20 of 63
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post


    I'm sure Western Digital and Hitachi will disagree with you.



    i may be wrong i guess>>Some one said that apple still uses seagate after all thr beep beep stuff because seagate was the only vendor doing 7200 rpm . Some apple employee sataed this over at apple support boards



    i feel like switching mine out now .



    thanks for the heads up
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