New Hard Drive Noise - What is going on?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I just installed a Seagate 7200.7 8MB 120GB hard drive into my Blue Dalmatian iMac G3 500 and there is a noticeable improvement in speed and response (think snappier.)

I've also noticed a lot more noise than the original 20GB (oddly enough, it was a Seagate as well.) Specifically, there are two noises:

1) Whirl/spin of the hard drive. I can now tell when the computer is on. The pure silence is over, but the performance and space are worth it.

2) The second noise is why I'm posting. It happens when the computer is idle. There is the usual hum of the spinning hard drive and then a sudden burst of (what sounds like) writing/activity for 30-60 seconds, and then it stops. 1 or 2 minutes later, it's busy writing(?) again. It's starting to get to me.

Anyone have some advice? Is it the 8MB cache?


  • Reply 1 of 4
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    Writing the cache to disk sounds possible.

    Could it be defragging as well?

  • Reply 2 of 4
    There are a number of processes that write little bits to logs every few minutes, that is probably what it keeping your HD awake.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Nope, it's not a question of the hard drive being awake. When the hard drive spins down, it makes absolutely no noise.

    When I'm surfing the net or checking mail, it makes a soft hum and has several seconds of writting/seeking (chirps and clicks.) All totally normal and expected.

    I'm concerned about some strange moments where the drive sounds like it's busy or writting/seeking and nothing but the OS is running. The iMac is happily sitting there (waiting to do something) and then the hard drive starts making a noise (similar to seek/activity.) It's so strange. Is it normal?
  • Reply 4 of 4
    I wouldn't worry about it. As Karl says, it will just be writing logs etc. OSX keeps logs for pretty much everything, which are updated all of the time, so it will just be saving one of these to disk.
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