Print 103 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Aug 14 at 9:22 AM

The latest in a string of problems afflicting the new MacBook Pros, users are now reporting poor hard drive performance, random beeping, and clicking noises reportedly coming from the drives. The issue appears to be with the Seagate 500 GB drives shipping with many of the new MacBooks.  (Source: Apple)
More problems plague Apple's latest laptops, but a fix may be in store

Apple's MacBook Pro laptops certainly have their upsides.  Cut out of a block aluminum, they feature the attractive unibody design and industry leading battery life, while keeping to the ultra-portable 4 lb. and under weight range.  And their Core 2 Duo Intel processors and 9000 series NVIDIA graphics would seemingly make for a good experience, whether you were booting Windows Vista (or Windows 7) or OS X.

However, the newly launched luxury notebooks have not been without problems.  Early on their SATA speeds were found to be capped to 1.5 Gbps -- an update removed the cap and allowed transfer speeds of 3 Gbps.  Additionally, some of the new MacBook Pro laptops have experienced display issues, with many users reporting failing graphics.

Now Apple has another quality headache on its hands.  At least a couple hundred users have reported that Seagate 500 GB hard drives on their new 15" and 17" MacBook Pros have been experiencing poor performance, as well as making random beeping and clicking noises 20 or more times a day.  The Apple Support forum has an 82-page, 1000+ comment thread on the issues.

Describes one user who goes by the screenname Wessto:
I recently purchased a new MBP 15, 3 Ghz, 500 GB 7200 rpm hard drive, build-to-order. The hard drive appears to be a seagate ST9500420ASG. I am experiencing a strange hard drive click followed 80% of the time by a beep. It is definitely not a beep from the speaker. Additionally, it happens at any time, even when the computer is sitting on a perfectly still table. It is exactly the same sound as what is documented at" rel="nofollow

and mine too appears randomly approximately 15-20 times per day. It does not appear to matter if the computer is under light or heavy use and it seems truly random when it occurs. Another user on youtube has also experienced this with their new MBP 15 and sent me a wav file with the same sound mine is making. So far, his experience is that it does NOT occur under bootcamp. This leads me to believe that it is something specific to OSX. Turning off the "put hard drive to sleep when possible" does not seem to make any difference. I have not personally tested bootcamp on my machine to confirm that mine is the same, but the original poster of the youtube video linked above also seems to think it is OSX specific.

Some users are reporting that the beeping is becoming less frequent, possibly due to a firmware update.  Other customers, though, are becoming frustrated.  Stated one MacBook owner, speaking to Apple blog site AppleInsider, "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.'  Also, some of them are recommending doing a complete reinstall, when this issue is factory related."

Apple reportedly is working on a full fix for the problem.  Representatives from Apple, according to affected customers, reportedly have told their customers that Apple is "highly aware" of the issue and that finding a fix is one of the company's "highest priorities."  However, they ask that for the time being users "live with" the problems plaguing their pricey purchases.

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No surprises
By PascalT on 8/8/2009 11:52:32 PM , Rating: 4
What do people expect from a $2000 laptop? You get what you pay for.

RE: No surprises
By SlimCharles on 8/9/2009 1:25:16 AM , Rating: 4
What are you talking about?! MAC DON'T HAVE PROBLEMS. THEY JUST WORK.

RE: No surprises
By chick0n on 8/9/2009 3:01:35 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly ! What happen to the "They just work?" shit ?

Oh wait, Apple is Full of shit all the time.

hmm ...

Nah no way ... its not our fault ... Its someone else ... Yeah we just make it look like its someone else's fault ... oh yeah lets send them a letter saying if they dont shut up we will sue them ! Lets release another rip off so we can shift the attention on the new rip off.

RE: No surprises
By mattison71 on 8/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: No surprises
By damianrobertjones on 8/10/2009 5:25:18 AM , Rating: 4
As posted before, 35+ Dell desktops, no problems apart from '1' machine needing a new mainboard. 8+ years old.

Still got the same Toshiba Laptop, 5 years old.

Overall, the 80/90 maqchines of all types within this building don't actually give me any major problems, let alone major parts failing here and there. There are millions of people out there and a solitary single experience can't really be used to push a single units faults.

If you mention Creative Labs, then we can all start shouting :)

RE: No surprises
By Chocobollz on 8/10/2009 5:41:55 AM , Rating: 3
How can you blame Apple for this?

Why? Because the failing Seagate harddrive is being used in an Apple notebook? This is a simple fact and yet you've missed it.

Now in reality, this is a Seagate drive, made at the Seagate Factory

That, would be true if you're making a DIY PC. But here, we're talking about a failing Mac , and Apple supposedly to make it just works while in reality, it isn't , right? And the talking about Microsoft is just way off topic here. What, you want us to sue MS because some PC, whether it is being made by Dell, HP, etc. had a failing Seagate harddrive? Don't you think it's weird?

Let's be intelligent when posting comments.

You should say it for yourself before making such assumption to others (see above).

RE: No surprises
By Pneumothorax on 8/10/2009 9:10:10 AM , Rating: 3
Did you even read the article? This does not affect the older unbodies. This affects the new 13/15 released on 6/09. Not only are the 7200rpm 500gb BTO's affected, but also many of us who installed 3rd party drives like the WD Black/Blue drives and then updated the firmware to 1.7 (this was to enable SATA II 3gbps speeds) and are now experiencing random freezes/lockups.

RE: No surprises
By Pneumothorax on 8/10/2009 9:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
One more thing... I did have the older 13" Macbook (which was flawless BTW) and "upgraded" to the 13" MBP for the battery life/firewire 800. Now I'm suffering for it with my WD 320gb 7200rpm drive which constantly freezes. Which runs flawlessly when put back in my older 13" MB. Of course, Apple has given me the finger as "We don't support 3rd party drives"

RE: No surprises
By invidious on 8/10/2009 9:50:15 AM , Rating: 5
I bought my dell laptop 5 years ago and nothing has ever broken. I still use on business trips and personal trips including road trips and cruises. It can play HD video and the video card has even aged well and can handle modest gaming. Whats best is that I didn't have to pay $2000 for this miracle product, it was only $1200 and that includes a lot of options that I paid extra for.

Sorry to burst your bubble but Apple isn't anything special, making hardware that "works" is the industry standard for any large company that wants to have a good reputation. And for the record Sony is not a laptop company with a good reputation, your problems with the Vaio are a clear case of you get what you pay for, crap for crap.

RE: No surprises
By mattclary on 8/11/2009 1:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Now in reality, this is a Seagate drive, made at the Seagate Factory, correct? I bet the very same product is having the same issues in Microsoft equipment too.

I think you might be mistaken. According to Ars, the problem seems to be a conflict between the drive's inate anti-shock system annd Apples Sudden Motion Sensor. In a nutshell, poor QA.

RE: No surprises
By drycrust on 8/9/2009 1:57:53 PM , Rating: 5
My first "modern" computer was a Mac. It had a strange problem: suddenly the hard drive would get wiped. Then one day I noticed this happened just after the fan speed had changed. So I got to thinking: why do the fans, which are working at full speed, change speed, and what could possibly cause a hard drive to get wiped? Then the penny dropped: there was a problem with the power supply. So I took the computer back and told them I wanted a refund because it was a manufacturing defect, so they said they would have to look at the computer to determine if it was a manufacturing defect. They later rang me to say it wasn't a defect and they don't know what the problem was, but they had updated some firmware.
But it was too late, I had bought a PC by then, so after I picked up the unit I contacted a friend at church who had a Mac notebook, so I asked him if he would like it - for free. Strangely enough, he had been praying for a new computer and so, obviously, felt this was an answer to prayer. I was also relieved to have got rid of the thing: a win win for God!
When I took it around to his house I offered to set up the computer, to which he agreed. When I finally plugged the computer in I was amazed to hear the fans were barely audible. Then I knew I had been right all along.
The point of this is good design and mediocre quality control is worse than mediocre design and good quality control.

My take on this is it sounds like a problem with the HDD. Also, why does the case have to be cut from a block of aluminium? Why don't they just press it from a sheet of aluminium, or is that what they mean? Oh, why bother. I use an HP running Ubuntu so I'm happy: It just works.

RE: No surprises
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 4:29:39 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with you that quality control is very important. I like that the EU mandated that warranties must be for two years on all electronics.. forcing all big companies to raise their game all over the world as they don't make one product for the EU and another for the US.

Apple usually comes top of customer satisfaction surveys for the computer industry. Having said that, there's no reason for complacency considering how important information loss can be... it isn't like a lawn mower failing.

As for machining the Aluminium case:
Think about a wide flat but thin object.. flex is difficult to control.
Now put sensitive electronics in it.
Now heat them up for some thermal expansion.
Now bounce it around a bit.

Those are some serious stresses on a laptop... and we rightly demand quality control.

A machined case is going to allow for greater rigidity in a thin design because of how you can introduce cross walls and screw into metal. The aluminium is going to allow for heat loss.

You could mould a cheap plastic, which is better at returning to shape, but you'd have to use the fan more, screws don't grab well, and it would be a bit thicker. Handle one of these 'unibody' MacBooks and, regardless of other personal preferences, it's hard not to be impressed by the build quality.

RE: No surprises
By MonkeyPaw on 8/9/2009 10:15:13 AM , Rating: 5
What do people expect from a $2000 laptop?

DT, please correct this horrible error. Apple just cut their prices, and it's not fair to mention their old pricing like that.

RE: No surprises
By Griswold on 8/10/2009 7:23:56 AM , Rating: 3
Pah, they should wait until the legal department calls - not a minute sooner!

RE: No surprises
By seraphim1982 on 8/10/2009 10:14:10 AM , Rating: 3
Uhhhh Macbook Pros do cost that much..... esp with the specs mentioned in the article.

RE: No surprises
By invidious on 8/10/2009 10:00:02 AM , Rating: 2
Saracasm? For most companies other than Apple you can get a perfectly fine laptop for under $1000.

Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By xxeonn on 8/8/2009 10:51:38 PM , Rating: 5
I bought one of those drives recently and I am having the same problem. First there is this click followed by a beep, and occasionally my computer will freeze for a few seconds.

I actually don't think this is a Mac OSX problem, as I am using a Dell E1505 and it happens regardless of the Operating System I am using (Windows XP and 7). Even on the product page a few people who have purchased the drive are experiencing the same problem.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By ksherman on 8/8/2009 11:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
I had to RMA my Seagate 500GB 7200rpm drive as well, but not for any clicking/beeping issues. One day the SMART status read "Failing" and got it replaced, though I used it fine for a few months.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By jmurbank on 8/9/2009 1:06:25 AM , Rating: 2
I agree it is not Apple's fault that a hard drive brand is giving them a bad name.

The sounds from the YouTube video and what people are hearing are normal sounds for hard drives from power up. One of the reasons that people hear these sounds now is the computer is noiseless, so they will hear sounds that was not there in past notebooks. The beeps are from the voice coil of the hard drive. Just like a speaker, it can also create sounds that are audible. Seagate drives produces more audible noises compared to other brands that I have used. Seagate drives does have issues while the power supply is aging, so they are not reliable.

To tell if a hard drive is failing compare the loudness from the first time it is used and later. As hard drives ages they get louder. I used this to figure out when one of my hard drives will fail. I caught it within months while S.M.A.R.T. did not have any evidence that the drive will fail.

Another way to tell if a hard drive is failing is comparing the amount of ECC that it does from different times as it ages. A program like Spinrite can check this. Lower ECC values is best because this value means the hard drive is new and data integrity is excellent. High ECC values means it is aging and integrity is getting poor.

Of course using S.M.A.R.T. can be used to check the drive, but this is not as good as the health monitoring for SCSI drives. S.M.A.R.T. requires the electronics to be in working order to monitor the health of the hard drive. S.M.A.R.T. is run as a daemon or as a service in the electronics while the electronics is controlling the mechanics of the hard drive. If electronics are not working or glitches, S.M.A.R.T is not reliable. I have experience a working hard drive while S.M.A.R.T has stated it as a bad drive.

I never have recommended Seagate drives to anybody. I stick with Western Digital and Hitachi. Also I now include Fujitsu in the list of hard drive brand recommendations because of their performance VS power consumption ratio is very good.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By Pirks on 8/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By otispunkmeyer on 8/9/2009 3:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
best drive for the mac's is the WD Scorpio Blue 500Gb drive

just as quick as the 7200rpm 320GB scorpio black drives and they use less power and are quieter than everyone elses 500Gb drives.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By Samus on 8/9/2009 10:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I use the WD Scorpio 500GB in my Wii (don't ask) and it produces negligable heat and is VERY quiet. It's been in there at least 6 months now, ever since the Homebrew/HDD loader app launched, and no problems.

7200RPM in a laptop is like asking the drive to commit suicide. Especially when you use the system like a DTR instead of what its thermal design envelope is designed for; occasional use, no more than 10 hours/day. You leave one of these laptops on with non-stop HD crunching I give that 7200RPM hard drive a few months at best.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By sprockkets on 8/10/2009 8:45:26 AM , Rating: 2
When Hitachi came out with their 7200 rpm drives, they put out the same amount of heat as their 5400rpm drives due to improvements all around. Same power usage too. I've been using 7200rpm drives now in my 5400rpm "only" laptop for years with no issues.

Sometimes things you feel to be true aren't.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By Samus on 8/10/2009 11:42:41 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but I've personally replaced at least a dozen of those 7200RPM Hitachi drives in a number of Thinkpad T61 laptops, all failing between 3-24 months. They were under warranty, but that's not the point. The data was lost and the downtime for the companies are at least two days.

I've never seen a 5400RPM drive fail in a T61 (or any modern Thinkpad) because heat aside, the active drive monitoring system usually prevents significant shock damage. Additionally, the drive monitoring system doesn't work as well with higher RPM units because it takes longer to park the heads and spin the platters back up.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By Griswold on 8/10/2009 7:22:05 AM , Rating: 5
I agree it is not Apple's fault that a hard drive brand is giving them a bad name.

Of course its apples fault. QA, ring a bell? If there are issues with a component of their product, apple needs to take the finger out of the buttcrack and be pro-active. I'm saying this because apple has barely ever been pro-active when there are issues with their products. Most of the time its silence, denial and eventually a fix with a 50/50 chance you have to pay for it.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 4:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
pro-active is tautological... as in rapidly-fast.

If your intention for the 'pro' part is to say 'in favour of'... how can one be active without being in favour of being active? Just take out the 'pro and it means exactly the same thing.

Sorry for the pedantry but that word BUGS me! ;-)

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By Captain Orgazmo on 8/9/2009 3:55:35 AM , Rating: 2
I had the same problem with a 500GB Seagate 7200.10 SATA desktop drive. It kept getting louder and more frequent, so I returned it and got the 7200.11 as a replacement. Once in a while it goes nuts with loud seeking noises (different than the click and beep sound), and my Vista installation on it was inexplicable corrupted within a week of installation, so now I just use it as a garbage storage drive.

Since then I bought a Western Digital SE16 640GB, and it is fast, silent, and going on over a year without problems. Also bought the WD Green 1.5GB, and it is also very good (as a low-heat, silent storage drive - and is plenty fast for transferring files or streaming a couple HD movies at once).

I am done with Seagate for now (and probably for a long time, as I haven't bought a Samsung in about 8 years after experiencing a number of crap-outs with them too).

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By ipay on 8/9/2009 5:31:46 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed - no more Seagates for me, ever.

Due to price-gouging in the lovely third-world country I live in, WD drives have always cost more than Seagate, which has regrettably led me to buy a number of the latter.

However, since the firmware debacle earlier this year, and the fact that half of the 4 Seagate drives I've owned have failed (as opposed to the 10 WD drives I have that are all still going strong) - I'm buying nothing but WD from now on.

If Seagate want to undercut their competition in order to sell more drives, that's fine - but cutting the QA budget to achieve this is exactly the wrong way to attract customers.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By Hieyeck on 8/9/2009 6:16:18 AM , Rating: 1
On the same note, I can just as easily say you guys treat your drives like trash. I have 6 Seagates for my use alone, along with 4 in my brother's computer. Of these 10 drives, 3 are older than 6 years. Not a single one has failed me. Furthermore, I have about 5 MORE Seagates just lying around because they're too small, but they STILL work fine.

15 working Seagates in my house.

If anything I'd be careful of retailers. I went to buy a new drive and they "accidentally" brought me a refurb.

RE: Seagate 500 GB Hard Drives
By Ranari on 8/9/2009 10:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
You can take this for what it's worth:

I used to do warehouse work for a computer store here in Clearwater, FL. Like CPUs, hard drives are made in batches. It's funny, because I've run into a lot of people who *swore* by certain brands: Asus, Gigabyte, Western Digital, Seagate, etc because they've always had good luck with them. But what's interesting is that if one of the products goes bad, it's generally a trend you'll see across the entire batch.

As for Nvidia, I can understand, but isn't this the second time they've done this? Quality control gentlemen, quality control! Learn it!

Apple's fault, SIMPLE
By clarkey01 on 8/9/2009 11:57:44 AM , Rating: 5
How can you say it's not apples fault? do they not extensively test these things? B.S it's not there fault. Of course they knew, either that or there incompetent.

RE: Apple's fault, SIMPLE
By Hieyeck on 8/10/2009 6:42:31 AM , Rating: 2
Well the answer should be obvious then, they're incompetent. ;)

Jason Strikes again!
By Proteusza on 8/10/2009 8:49:13 AM , Rating: 1
Why is he doing all of the journalism on Dailytech these days? Quality <> Quantity.

Cut out of a block aluminum, they feature the attractive unibody design and they feature one of the industry leading battery life, while keeping to the ultra-portable 4 lb. and under weight range.

I know this is English, but it sounds like you outsourced it to India. It should read:

"Cut out of a block aluminum, they feature an attractive unibody design and battery life among the best in their market, while keeping to the ultra-portable 4 pounds or less weight range."

And their Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics would seemingly make for a good experience, whether you were booting Windows Vista (or Windows 7) or OS X.

What about Intel processors and Nvidia graphics cards make them good? What if it were an Intel Pentium 3, is that still a good processor for this machine? Or an Nvidia Geforce 256? How about that? That statement is completely meaningless! Qualify that statement with what specific hardware the MacBook has.

And you just listed all of the x86 compatible operating systems except for variants of Linux/Unix. So whats the point in listing them? You may as well say "whatever operating system you are booting."

Really.... I'm going to stop browsing Anandtech if this sloppy journalism continues. I'm sorry to be harsh like this Jason, I know what its like to work hard at something and have your work not appreciated, but this isnt good enough for an international site like Dailytech.

RE: Jason Strikes again!
By Spivonious on 8/10/2009 10:10:43 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that Jason's writing leaves a lot to be desired, but I wanted to point out that Dailytech is no longer associated with Anandtech.

RE: Jason Strikes again!
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 4:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
Jason loves to play the Apple troll ad revenue card.

RE: Jason Strikes again!
By johnsonx on 8/10/2009 12:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, DailyTech has become DailyMick. I counted a day or two ago, and of 12 or so Top Stories on the left side, all but 2 were Mick.
Also, whatever happened to Kristopher Kubicki? He hasn't posted and article or blog in over a year.

Quality director.
By Tsuwamono on 8/9/2009 8:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
They should fire their quality director and hire someone competent. How could they possibly release THAT MANY faulty chips out to the market?

It seems like they aren't testing nearly enough chips before shipping.

RE: Quality director.
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 4:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty difficult to do long-term in house stress testing on all components prior to product shipment. When a component is new you specify your tolerances and trust the manufacturer's word and reputation. If you get let down you change supplier.

I imagine the only people who take things a stage further are NASA and critical components in aviation.

Apple was pretty good at giving people new iMacs a couple of years back when faulty capacitors got into the PC market. Normally Apple tries to protect its leadership in customer satisfaction... normally... let's see.

Seagate drives
By BradMacPro on 8/9/2009 9:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
Apple messed up and bought the wrong model drives. The problem drives are 7200 rpm Momentus drives from Seagate, model ST9500420ASG. That last "G" stands for G shock protection. Seagate also makes the same unit without the G shock protection. Any third party vendor, say like Other World Computing, sells the ST9500420AS, without the G. These work just fine without the pause, click and squeak sounds that mess up smooth playback or recording or just plain annoying. The G shock protection seems to be incompatible with their motherboard functionality of the sudden motion sensor, as even the ST9500420ASG drives work OK in Windows laptops. So unless Apple can replace the drives with the non-G models they have to come up with a firmware patch that turns this off. No other vendor has 500 GB drives at 7200 rpm. I've put in many ST9500420AS (non-G) drives in MacBook and MacBook Pro models and they don't have this problem. Others have reported the same. Any discussion about the bad NVIDIA GPU chips is a separate issue and not entirely Apple's fault. Apple is replacing motherboards with the bad chip and NVIDIA is taking a huge charge to cover this manufacturing defect.

RE: Seagate drives
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 5:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
What are you doing here?
You know what you're talking about!

Get back to SlashDot!

Quality Control Issue
By seraphim1982 on 8/10/2009 10:23:04 AM , Rating: 2
Most Fanboys are stating the fact it was a Seagate HDD Issue and I couldn't agree more, but IT IS also Apple's fault as well, for 1) Not testing that HD model throughly enough (I work for an OEM and there normally quite a bit of testing when releasing new models) 2) Rushing a product into the market, with a few issues still ie. SATA 3.0Gbps 3)Their subpar support stating "Its normal behavior,' (and) 'Apple´s Working on a fix.' Also, some of them are recommending doing a complete reinstall, when this issue is factory related.". Come on reallly!?

Rather than take some of the blame, which should far on their product engineer's they love to blame other people.... Nvidia, Seagate, the end user, Microsoft ads... etc. etc. Apple loves to b*tch, and their users follow like sheep

RE: Quality Control Issue
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 5:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Apple loves to b*tch, and their users follow like sheep"

Thanks for explaining that to us, seraphim1982.

Could help us out with cherubim vs Archangel Gabriel: who wins in a punch up?

New feature
By Sazabi19 on 8/10/2009 11:18:12 AM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with this? It's Apples new iBeap feature, it lets all your friends know that you have a certified macbook.

Friend: "Hey dude, what's up?"
You: "Oh you know... just chillin"
Friend: "Oh hey man, you have a macbook? Big spender, all i have is a normal laptop that isn't an Apple and it just sits there... no beeping." *looks sad*
You: "Yup, it just works" *looks smug*
*graphics cut out*
Friend: "Hey, what the hell happened to your screen?"

RE: New feature
By just4U on 8/10/2009 12:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
You: It must be a new energy saving feature!

By Cheesew1z69 on 8/9/2009 10:57:59 AM , Rating: 2
One of my 3.5in Seagate randomly beeps as well, I am taking it as a bad HDD as none of the other drives are doing this.

I am running 2 x Seagate 500gb in RAID 1 and 2 x WD Raptor 74gb currently, I will replace the drive when it fails as it doesn't seem to affect performance, but also, the RAID 1 is not my bootable array, just for storage.

Nothing but trouble...
By swizeus on 8/9/2009 8:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
Is apple getting old ? They just full of troubles these past months. I do like apple and its standard but when there are a LOT of troubles and handicapped that shouldn't have been there, many people may consider quit buying apple products. Too bad though

Confusing headline
By Biggiesized on 8/10/2009 11:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
HD = high definition
HDD = hard drive (disk)

Thats apple for you
By toyotabedzrock on 8/11/2009 1:02:24 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps if they convince Seagate to stamp the hard drive with the Apple logo it would all be better?

By raabscuttle on 8/11/2009 12:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
Blame Quanta, Compal oe ASUS or whomever the contract manufacturer / engineer was for the - or place the blace where it really belongs, at the feet of Seagate. Honestly, APple doesn't deserve the rap here.

I was right about Nvidia
By crystal clear on 8/12/2009 8:52:40 AM , Rating: 1
This is for all you ignorant fools who are just too ready to downrate me at the first instance + all those who refuse to believe/accept my comments.

Just to remind you that I research/verify my comments before posting them -

In July 2008, NVIDIA announced that some notebook computers with NVIDIA graphic processors manufactured with a certain material set were failing in the field at a higher than normal rate. Since that announcement, Sony, in cooperation with NVIDIA, has been looking into any possible effect to VAIO® notebooks with NVIDIA graphic processors. Until recently we had not identified any VAIO models that were affected by this issue.

However, after closely monitoring the situation, Sony has now determined that a very small percentage of VAIO computers with the NVIDIA graphics chips may experience this issue. These PCs may exhibit distorted video, duplicate images or a blank screen due to a failure of the NVIDIA graphics chip.

Applicable Models
This issue only applies to the versions of these VAIO® computer models that came with a NVIDIA® graphics chip:

VGN-AR1xx, VGN-AR2xx, VGN-AR3xx
VGN-FZ1xx, VGN-FZ2xx, VGN-FZ3xx, VGN-FZ4xx
VGC-LT1xx, VGC-LT2xx

RE: I was right about Nvidia
By crystal clear on 8/12/2009 8:56:42 AM , Rating: 1
Now you can expect ALL the OEMS to do the same like Sony using these Nvidia chips, including APPLE.

sounds like low power issue
By crleap on 8/9/2009 1:34:50 PM , Rating: 1
Sounds like a power issue to the HDD. I have one of those little 2.5inch maxtor externals that uses 2 usb plugs to supply enough power to it. If only one plug is plugged in, it does that clicking/beep noise, due to insufficient power to the drive. I'm guessing it's a seagate inside this maxtor shell.

Jason biased?
By Nyu on 8/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: Jason biased?
By crystal clear on 8/8/2009 9:11:30 PM , Rating: 3
Now let the Apple & Jason bashing start....downraters wake up .

Pirks get ready to respond....ding ding

RE: Jason biased?
By Pirks on 8/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: Jason biased?
By crystal clear on 8/9/2009 12:40:36 AM , Rating: 1
OH ! Ja das ist gut....

Thats the spirit...

An Apple a day keeps boredom away at D.T.

RE: Jason biased?
By crystal clear on 8/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Jason biased?
By ChristopherO on 8/8/2009 9:28:07 PM , Rating: 5
I'm sure the guy is just trying to make a living. It's easy to filter opinion from fact, and he doesn't seem to be inventing problems -- just colorfully exaggerating them.

In regards to Apple, the only thing I hate is the smug marketing attitude. They make okay products, but they're prone to errors like every other manufacturer. I'd wish they would dispense with the "our stuff is perfect" attitude and coexist peacefully with other manufacturers. Somehow BMW, Rolex, and other "luxury" brands make a huge profit without being quite so arrogant about it. Their ads don't slam competitors, and they don't pretend their products don't succumb to problems.

Someone suggested it was nVidia's fault, but that would be impossible if the drive behaved in boot camp. It sounds like it could just be a buggy SATA driver, or a combination of bad drive firmware and driver if the driver is requesting an improperly implemented feature, etc. Heck, the initial crop of SSDs on Vista were quite problematic.

Personally I just wish their stuff was cheaper. I bought a Vaio recently to replace a work-loaner, and the closest thing Apple had was twice the price, but it still wasn't comparable in hardware (I would have considered it with boot camp). If it were comparably priced, their stuff would probably fly off the shelf. Granted their margins would be in the toilet, and presently they have the highest profit margin of any hardware company. They probably aren't treating consumers the best they could, but their shareholders are thrilled (they have 24 billion in the bank and no debt, which is a far cry from the mid 90s).

RE: Jason biased?
By crystal clear on 8/9/2009 1:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
Someone suggested it was nVidia's fault

HD problem is in addition to the still existing faulty chips problem, even though nobody is talking about.

But their disclosure of their 2Q result show it-

A charge of $119.1 million for its Q2 this in addition to the earlier $196 million charge during last year's second fiscal quarter.

That shows the problem still exist ...looks like a massive coverup.

RE: Jason biased?
By ChristopherO on 8/9/2009 3:46:21 AM , Rating: 2
...looks like a massive coverup.

No idea. I thought this was one of those issues where the parts were discovered before they shipped. Unfortunately bad spins happen all the time (contaminants in the wafer, etc). For example I had a Microsoft Ultimate TV in 2001 (Tivo competitor for DirecTV). There was a manufacturing defect in the tuners that caused them to short in 2-4 years. It was the best DVR I've ever had, and died due to some weird problem by an esoteric 3rd party supplier.

Mind you, there is no excuse for not replacing faulty laptops provided they notify customers and eat the replacement costs. Since I don't have a Mac or any other impacted machine, I have no idea how they're handling it. Granted we're talking about enough money that CNBC, Wall Street Journal, etc, should look into it from a shareholder perspective and report on what's happening. I don't really trust a tech site to have enough clout to get through the morass (since I haven't ever seen one impact share price, however you get a bad report on CNBC and you can quickly have a negative day on the markets).

RE: Jason biased?
By crystal clear on 8/9/2009 7:05:28 AM , Rating: 2
Remember Microsoft & the Xbox episode...they denied the existance of the problem ,until one day they took upon themselves a HUGE multi million dollar charge for the defects/repairs/replacements etc.

Hey you cant trust anybody these days.

RE: Jason biased?
By ChristopherO on 8/9/2009 2:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
Multi-billion dollar charge actually. That's an interesting one... I don't know if they actually knew at ship time, or if it was something that only became apparent when consoles had a couple-year burn-in. Realistically, those things were probably QA bench tested for a couple weeks before deeming the hardware good-to-go. I don't think anyone had a problem in the early days, it might have been months of usage before they started failing.

Microsoft ultimately did the right thing. Not sure if it was public pressure. However they did behave semi-correctly. A company shouldn't admit fault until they can prove the problem. It's almost like the lawsuit answer -- "We don't talk about pending litigation". It stinks to be on the receiving-end of that answer, but a firm needs to protect itself until it can figure out what's going on. It's annoying for customers, but better for the shareholders (i.e. almost everyone on the planet with a 401k).

In this case it was frustrating to be a user, because it obviously existed as an issue. I like the fact that they back-refunded everyone who had that problem. In the end they were okay. It's unlikely we'll ever know why they did that. I'm guessing they would have done it anyway, not because they're good human beings, or even public pressure, but millions of people would have never trusted their name again, and they couldn't afford that level of alienation. Companies have to keep their customers, and not "making good" would have ended the Xbox brand.

RE: Jason biased?
By crystal clear on 8/9/2009 7:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
Remember reading an article on consumer protection- a quote from that.

"contains no material hidden defects of which the transferor [the seller] was aware at the time of the transfer."

RE: Jason biased?
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 5:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
US consumers should demand the standard 2 year warranty that Europeans get.
90 days is pitiful.
Of course nothing is free... but it sets a quality bar for manufacturers to meet.

RE: Jason biased?
By MrPoletski on 8/14/2009 9:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
Someone suggested it was nVidia's fault

It's Clintons fault.

RE: Jason biased?
By SunAngel on 8/8/2009 9:50:42 PM , Rating: 5
You know, this is getting rather interesting - the Jason Mick backlashings.

Several years ago when Kristopher Kubicki was writing he would burn any and everything that made Sony the company they continue to be today. He would also give AMD, Apple, and anyone one else that blazed their own path and butted heads with Intel, Microsoft, Toshiba, and Cisco heavy -strike that- unrelenting rips. I critized him several times. There was, and maybe still is, a sizeable group here that became aware that DailyTech was biased and were epiphatized (excuse the creation of a new word here). It became more of a crusade to refute the bias of his articles and make readers think more about what was being written.

Then came time for change (i.e. AMD grew in popularity, Sony became an industry-standard in several areas, Apple started dominating in user-friendly devices, etc.) and slowly his articles moved to more of informing the crowd of future releases and less opinionated passages. Now, he writes nothing.

One thing I have noticed in Jason Mick's articles is he gets a little excited and accepts the writing of others as facts and reprints them. His articles do not seem to be biased based on his own judgements. Now, assuming we will eventually get a piece that comes directly from Jason's head, maybe reserving comments about his inabilities, lack of knowledge, and one-sidedness to that time will be more appropriate.

Disclaimer: In no way as so far as to believe the facts of said articles represent undeniable facts. More so the unquestionability of the author to persist with lack of independent thought is clearly observed.

RE: Jason biased?
By HotFoot on 8/9/2009 4:44:05 AM , Rating: 4
The thing is, if this were journalism (and I'm not saying it is), it's simply not good enough to quote someone else all the time. If someone is saying something, yes, quote them, but you also have to dig into the issue, trace the information sources to the start, and actually put some work into it. So much misinformation gets passed along over and over until it's accepted as fact because some journalists are lazy.

RE: Jason biased?
By dhalilahma on 8/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Jason biased?
By geekman1024 on 8/10/2009 8:52:58 AM , Rating: 4
Journalism? I'll tell you what is journalism.

You know Frank West? He's a journalist.

He bashes zombies' face with hot frying pan. He rams zombies with trucks/sport cars. He mows 'em down with a pink lawn mower. He wears women dress. He takes erotic photo of dead body and refugees.

He'd covered war you know?

That's what a journalist does. That's journalism.

Did Mr Mick do any of the above? No? Than he is not a journalist. ;-P

Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By crystal clear on 8/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By ksherman on 8/8/2009 9:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
And its because of these nVidia parts that I have experienced a ton of problems with my MacBook Pros. Its too bad. nVidia needs to get their crap together.

By ksherman on 8/8/2009 9:16:53 PM , Rating: 1
I should also clarify that I mean over the last two years, with different models. Bought the first one in July of 2007, got a newer one in January of this year. Same problems, numerous 'logic' board replacements, crashing all that.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By chmilz on 8/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By headbox on 8/8/2009 9:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
That's what you call "anecdotal evidence" and is unreliable logic at best. Some day you'll go to college and learn it for yourself.

I had a Dell Precision Pro that was $2,500 and needed the screen replaced twice, the mainboard once, and the hard drive once. I've had two MacBook Pros for $2,000 without any problems. So using [u]your logic[/u] Dell computers are more expensive and will break repeatedly, while Apples are cheaper and reliable.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Tsuwamono on 8/9/2009 8:54:42 AM , Rating: 5
While I agree with your view on his comments I disagree with the Apple being cheaper and more reliable then a PC.

More reliable then a DELL well for sure, my 95 dodge neon with 2 cyl. misfiring was more reliable then a DELL.

Cheaper though? Well not really since the cheapest Apple you can get is what? 1500$ where as the cheapest dell you can get is like 600$

Why would you spend 2500$ on a Dell btw? lol ESPECIALLY being that you're obviously somewhat tech savvy if your on here.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Pirks on 8/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Tsuwamono on 8/9/2009 3:38:52 PM , Rating: 3
my bad, only double the cost of a dell with the same quality lol

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Pirks on 8/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Griswold on 8/10/2009 7:27:34 AM , Rating: 3
And after buying all the necessary "extras" we're back up near 1500, arent we?

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By just4U on 8/10/2009 12:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's a talking point used by Apple. Not really relevant as you can get all those necessary "extras" or their equivelents for free.

By damianrobertjones on 8/9/2009 3:47:18 PM , Rating: 3
Ummm... bad luck if you ask me.

35 Dell desktops... 8 years. Only once has a mainboard been replaced on one machine.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By NesuD on 8/9/2009 5:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
That's what you call "anecdotal evidence" and is unreliable logic at best. Some day you'll go to college and learn it for yourself.

Taking 196 and 119 million dollar charges in the 2nd quarter of 2 consecutive fiscal years is hardly anecdotal. While the Apple portion can be called partly anecdotal anything to do with nvidia mobile gpu's is definately not. That is a very real problem that affects any OEM using their parts including Apple. Combine that with all the weird behaviours being attributed to OSX bugs and I can see where the poster is coming from. Ultimately Apple chose to use Nvidia parts and Apple chose to Use 500 gig Seagate drives so they have to bear the responsibility if those parts dont live up to their customers expectations.

By crystal clear on 8/8/2009 9:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
The people buying are normally mainstream buyers who lack the professional knowledge/expertize about computers & in specific Apple.

Nvidia has ensured that Apple & the rest of the OEMs do not publicize this issue of faulty components.

Most of the Apple users/buyers are NOT aware of this problem,its only when a class action suite is filed that people get to know about the existance of this problem.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Gio6518 on 8/8/2009 10:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
all my laptops have been windows based with nvidia chipsets never had a problem.
still running my asus G1s for about a year and a half never had a problem with overheating performance or nothing.
even with vista home premium x64 and it couldnt run sweeter.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Pirks on 8/8/09, Rating: -1
By StevoLincolnite on 8/9/2009 2:54:08 AM , Rating: 4
I have an old Toshiba Satalite with an ATI Rage and a Pentium 2, running perfectly fine without an issue. :P

That's what? Over a decade now?

Regardless the components are man made, and everything mechanical/electrical is bound to break down eventually, Apple, Dell doesn't matter which company it WILL fail one day, probably the more important thing to worry about is failure rates and how good the warranty is.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By encia on 8/8/2009 11:40:28 PM , Rating: 4
Due to the GeForce 8600GT's design fault, my ASUS G1S was replaced by ASUS G1SN.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By TSS on 8/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By ImSpartacus on 8/9/2009 8:47:59 AM , Rating: 3
I have an HD4890 running a 24" 1080p monitor and a 19" 1280x1024 monitor. It works fine. I can game on the 1080p panel @ 1080p (TF2, L4D, nothing stressful) with a 720p movie and IRC running on the other monitor.

My 8800GT could also do this without a problem (although I wasn't getting more than 30-40fps on some pretty unstressful games).

I have never had any problems with either company. Maybe I'm just damn lucky?

By Alexstarfire on 8/9/2009 3:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, he said a monitor and a TV, not two monitors. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

By StevoLincolnite on 8/9/2009 8:55:17 AM , Rating: 2
My Notebook with the built in LCD screen works perfect when working in tandem with my 42" LCD screen, in-fact I have never had issues with that kind of thing with ATI drivers for many years now.

By Tsuwamono on 8/9/2009 8:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
had an X850 with a 19inch LCD and a 17inch CRT and both ran fine.

By otispunkmeyer on 8/9/2009 3:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
my june 2007 mbp has had two new logic boards now due to the graphics/display going tits up

i wonder how long the third will be as im about to boot camp XP to play fallout 3

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By ipay on 8/9/2009 5:00:23 AM , Rating: 3
How exactly are problematic Seagate hard disk drives related to problematic nVidia graphics chips?

The nVidia thing is old news, and ATI hasn't had completely smooth sailing on Macbooks either. I suggest that you stick to the topic at hand, or STFU and GTFO.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Danish1 on 8/9/2009 1:54:11 PM , Rating: 1
My last 2 Nvidia cards burned out on me and when I got the last one I got a identical for a friend which also burned out, within a month of mine.

Needless to say I won't buy Nvidia again unless ATI screws up to the point where I have no choice but reconsidering.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Griswold on 8/10/2009 7:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
I've come to this conclusion 2 years ago. It was because of the drivers (mobo and vid card) for vista debacle. Never again, I say.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Pirks on 8/10/2009 12:53:21 PM , Rating: 1
Strange, no matter what ATI/mobo combo I used I always start getting atikmdag.sys BSODs sooner or later on my Vista, so no ATI crap for me since nVidia cards work years and years without a single glitch for me. Anecdotal evidence, eh?

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By kilkennycat on 8/9/2009 4:06:30 PM , Rating: 4
The usual bunch of nVidia fud-generators are at it again.... Must be bosom friends of Charlie D. at "theInquirer".

I just happen to have built 4 PCs for family and friends using 9300-based motherboards about 3 months ago. Nary a problem on any with either the graphics or hard-disk accesses. (Western Digital drives). Actually no problem of any sort. The 9300IGP and 9400IGP (used in the Macbook Pro) have identical silicon except that the 9400 is binned just for higher Graphics clock rates.

Seems as if Apple have either got a driver problem or more likely they have just got a bad batch of Seagate drives (or with a faulty hard-disk BIOS update). Not really surprising, since Seagate's hard-drive reputation has not been stellar of late..... And the described symptoms point strongly at a hard-disk-oriented issue anyway.

By the way, my son has a Macbook Pro (with the nVidia 9400IGP) purchased about 6 months ago. No problems at all. Works like a champ.

By crystal clear on 8/12/2009 9:01:04 AM , Rating: 1
The usual bunch of nVidia fud-generators are at it again.... Must be bosom friends of Charlie D. at "theInquirer".

You are ignorant & stupid & make a fool of yourself when you post your comment.

In July 2008, NVIDIA announced that some notebook computers with NVIDIA graphic processors manufactured with a certain material set were failing in the field at a higher than normal rate. Since that announcement, Sony, in cooperation with NVIDIA, has been looking into any possible effect to VAIO® notebooks with NVIDIA graphic

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By Flunk on 8/9/2009 5:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not all Nvidia products have issues. I'm typing this on a 2 year old Nvidia chipset laptop made by HP that has no issues at all. I think Apple deserves a good share of the blame for this one.

Dell also sells notebooks with nearly identical components (Studio XPS series) with little reported issues. I think the Macbook Pros are too thin and inadequately cooled (which has been an issue with older Macbooks as well). Apple designs with a form over function philosophy that seems to yield fairly poor reliability, perhaps they need to take a page from other manufacturers and make reliable products.

The HD playback issues are due to the lack of video acceleration support for the GPUs used in the new MPB, this is a flaw that only applies to Mac OS X and has nothing to do with hardware.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By aj28 on 8/10/2009 3:26:43 AM , Rating: 3
Wow, really? You're rating this guy down? He's absolutely correct!! I've replaced countless HP notebook motherboards for exactly this packaging issue. It's not something that's going to go away either, because all of the new motherboards? Refurbished. And no, not with new solder, with epoxy. Pretty much every product shipped with the affected chips is guaranteed to fail. Yeah, all electronics will go eventually, but these will fail long before their time, and even under normal operating circumstances, which is not something that you can pretend isn't happening.

This isn't some biased industry commentary, it's a very serious reliability issue and nVidia needs to take responsibility.

RE: Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By sebmel on 8/10/2009 5:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
DailyTech is like that, unfortunately... there are readers here who vote down anything that strikes them as critical of PCs. It's irrelevant to them if it's informative or not.

The site doesn't do anything to restrict adolescent moderation... but I think it's intentional. They know their audience.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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