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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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!

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