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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Throw those Nvidia chips out.
By crystal clear on 8/8/2009 8:58:30 PM , Rating: -1
Its again Nvidia in the news with faulty components-

<IDG News Service - Nvidia Corp. on Thursday disclosed a charge of $119.1 million for its second fiscal quarter, ended July 26, to cover costs related to a faulty die and weak packaging material used in its graphics chips.

It was Nvidia's second charge related to the faulty chips. Nvidia recorded a $196 million charge during last year's second fiscal quarter to cover warranty and product replacement costs associated with the issue.

Nvidia last July reported that some graphics chips were overheating due to weak packaging material and the thermal design of some laptops. PC makers such as Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Apple Inc. used the faulty graphics chips in their products.

The charges were revealed as part of the company's second-quarter results. Including the charge, the company recorded a net loss of $105.3 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $120.9 million reported in the second quarter of last year. Not counting the charges,


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.

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