updated 12:05 am EDT, Thu July 9, 2009
MacBook Pro defect?
(Updated with OWC commentary) Some owners of Apple's latest MacBook Pros with faster 7200RPM hard drives are reporting strange clicking and beeping noises along with performance issues. Though the cause of the problem is unclear, an Apple Support forum has many users suggesting that it is caused by an incompatibility between the Seagate's G-Force protection system and MacBook hardware. Some users have called Apple Support or taken their computers to an Apple Genius Bar both of which have tried fixing the problem by running a "capture" or resetting the computer's PRAM during start up -- neither of these solutions seem to have resolved the issue fully according to users in Apple's support forum.
This issue could possibly affect users editing video, or those whose computer use requires sequential reading and writing. Users are also disputing where the sound is coming from within the computer with each user suggesting the sound comes from opposite sides of the computer making the rumor all the more uncertain.
The problem seems to only affect users with 7200RPM drives as users with 5400RPM drives are not reporting any similar problems.
Apple has not acknowledged any factory defects and has not made any comment regarding the sound and performance issues.
Update: A member of storage maker Other World Computing observes that the issue may be with Seagate's Momentus 7200.4 G-Force hard drives, which in the case of MacBook Pros may be creating a conflict. Affected units are said to spin up and down frequently, which may be generating the sounds reported by users. Beyond hurting access times, the behavior could pose a risk to the lifespan of a drive by producing unnecessary strain. The G-Force technology is said to be mostly irrelevant on Macs in the first place, as a result of pre-existing anti-shock protection.