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  • 450. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    jaister1981, can you tell your exact WD model name here? does it have FALS in name? cause FALS drive is definitely not silent. I believe the most silent drive in 2011 imacs is 512 gb WD.

  • 451. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    here is an interesting post from another thread

    I had a Western digital  die on me, since it was new they replaced it (21.5 " Mid 2011 i7) and it has the dreaded Seagate and its totally quiet I have a friend with a late 2010 with the same drive and it makes that grumbling sound. Why two drives both with the same serial numbers can sound so different is beyond me, unless its a firmware update on the later drives.


    from: https://discussions.apple.com/message/17598686#17598686

  • 452. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    derekfromwishaw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    What I can't understand is that I have a virtually silent imac at work, 21.5 inch model and it has a WD drive, but it's 500GB.  Another option I've thought about is getting firewire external (with a long cable) and tuck it away from my work space.  Switch off this seagate thing and run OS off that?  Not sure if that would be possible.  I have a 1TB USB WD external so storage is not a major problem if I need to go SSD.  But why should I have to pay for this?  I've emailed the senior apple care guy  again yesterday with a link to these pages urging him to take action.  He's not got back to me.  I simply cannot believe that apple would treat its customers like this.  We've spent a fortune on these machines.  All I want is the same apple mac experience that I've had for years - vitually silent machines!  I bought a mac for music-making and this thing is simply too noisy! 


    <Edited by Host>

  • 453. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    Spinnn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh my god... I just found out that the iMac hum/vibration is related to the desk it's on. I tested it by lifting the iMac from the table - hum stops - and then I put it on another (more solid) table. The hum stopped. So, this means that the desk is acting as a resonance system. I'm trying to figure out the best way to stop the coupling of the iMac and the desk. Probably I'll need a better table top instead of the cheap (but fine) IKEA one.... I'll post when I find more about this, but there are some discussions around that mention this desk resonance effect.

  • 454. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    that's a know issue that vibration/humming from wd fals drive can be greatly reduced by placing imac on a silicon pad. as it creates a resonanse with a table (don't you think you should not have this issue for such amount of money)?

    but with my hitachi drive it does not help at all. it does not cause the case to vibrate but only to hum. maybe it's better than WD FALS - I had no chance to listen to that wd drive yet.

    I have a little hope that the hum will decrease with a time, as somebody wrote that the drive's mechanical parts sound louder when new. but it's a very little hope.

  • 455. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Derek, you can use that firewire solution, but it will work only with mac os x and not windows. Again, don't you think it's not what Apple customers supposed to do as they advertise iMacs as the best computers in the world?

  • 456. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Derek, you can also try to install Mac OS X (or just clone your existing system with Disk Utility) on 128 or 256 GB USB flash drive and use it as your boot device.

    Unfortunately, speedy USB 3.0 drives are not supported by Apple.


    Solutions like this one seems to be better but I never saw such drives on sale


    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/Kanguru_Releases_First_FireWire_Flash_Dri ve/

  • 457. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    unfortunately, firewire SSD drives are also expensive as ****

    even 120 GB


    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/827862-REG/Glyph_Technologies_PG50SB_120_1 20_GB_PortaGig50_SSD.html

  • 458. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    derekfromwishaw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Thanks for the suggestions.  I think the USB flash drive sounds like what I will have to go for.  The guy from apple care still hasn't got back to me. Here's the a link to an apple web page that I was directed to as part of his response to my noise issue.  It basically shut the door on my complaint although I'm still completely unhappy at the overall situation.  My argument is that as a previous mac owner I've hardly heard any noises from my machines; therefore, when I up graded my mac I in no way could expect it to make this level of grumbling noise and it gets in the way of my work when undertaking music taks.   Also, I own 21.5 inch models at work that are vitually silent.  Therefore, when I got mine at home I was shocked and unhappy at the level of noise coming from this thing's HD.  I was watching live TV last night on it and you could clearly  hear the taps and grumbles from the drive above the TV stream audio!  Even now, as I'm writing this you I can hear the HD growling away.  I bought a mac to get a mac, not to spend a fortune on a computer that sounds like my coffee perculator.  Consequently, it's not acceptable.



  • 459. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    Spinnn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    The hard drive on my iMac is a 1 TB Seagate ST3100528. Well, and the computer hums like crazy... I thought this problem was related to WD drives!


    I'm thinking about buying a new desk, so that it does not vibrate. There is one dining table at my flat that doesn't vibrate when the iMac is standing on it. So, this is really a resonance effect of the hard drive going through the case and getting amplified by table tops. I just hope the new table stops the hum, otherwise, I'll ask for a replacement iMac or refund.


    I, too, had a good iMac before the hard drive replacement, so there are silent iMacs out there...

  • 460. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Derek - I saw that Apple page long time ago - and that page tells nothing about the constant humming!

    The funny thing is Hitachi drive has ho grumbling sounds at all (they are very very soft and hard to be heard). But it has a constant humming which can be heard from 2 meters in a quiet room! And Apple never told about that.

    Actually I was asking about the hard drive noise before purchase and I was told there is no noise. So I was cheated.

    Derek, you could also try to request a downgrade to 512 GB WD drive - but first visit an Apple shop and request to test a standard model with 512 Gb drive in a quiet environment.


    Spinn - obviously that humming is caused by a specific acoustic of the aluminium case, as I am sure the old plastic cases have a lot better sound isolation.. Well, it's a design flaw anyway.

  • 461. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    derekfromwishaw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    that's an idea, but I've no need to visit my local store.  I've got a 21.5 inch imac at work, WD 512 drive and I took it into a really quite area of my work - virtually silent.  Thing is, i said all of this to apple care and even told them I'd be willing to accept this drive, but all the did was send my mac back from repair with another 1TB seagate!!!!

  • 462. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    DizzyDown Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Apple services are very limited in what they can do - Apple dictates all rules. They cannot even order the part they need if it does not match Apple records for this Mac.


    Derek, just curious - please comment whether your iMac has a fan-like constant humming (caused by HDD rotation) with this 1 Tb Seagate drive? I am just trying to understand whether this humming is unique to some drives, or it's caused by design of the iMac case. I don't mean read/write "grumbling" caused by the movement of HDD heads.


    Spinn: why to spend on a new table if you can just put something soft between the stand and your table? Some people report it helps to reduce vibration but some humming will be still there.

  • 463. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    derekfromwishaw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    There is a humming sound from the same area as the grumbling comes from on my mac, so the answer to your question is yes.  However, there is also a hum also from the macs I have at work (they are all 21.5 inch) although I have to say I don't really notice this due to the building's ventilation fans.  As I've had my ear to the back of my work machines (when trying to compare the grumbling with my own mac at home), I can though confirm that a hum is there in the 21.5 inch models.  Some of the macs I have at work have WD drives so they also seem to make this humming sound too. 


    Just now things are extremely busy for me with a number of work based deadlines; however, when I've the time I'm going to bring one of my 21.5 inch macs home and sit it beside my 27inch model which has the seagate 1TB.  I'll make and audio and video recording of the 2 machines together, both undertaking the same tasks. One will be vitually silent, one will sound like a coffee percilator.  I'll put these on youtube.  I'll take all of this evidence into the genius bar of my local mac store (along with my 27inch mac - not easy to take into Glasgow city centre) and not leave until they give me an answer that I'm happy with.


    Thing is, I have dropped in to this store several times and asked staff about this.  All seem completely baffled that I can hear any noise from my mac.  Also, I know these stores are really noisy but I have had my ear right up against the back of 27inch display models while the machine is loading up and running software such as logic and garage band.  A member of staff has operated the store mac for me.  I can't hear anything.  I do the same at home, running the same software (playing music in my room and having an old PC on that is really noisy) and the hard drive goes into a grumbling frenzy.  I don't even need my ear at the back of the machine to hear the grumbling and growling.  I've checked the HD on the display models in the mac store and it's actually the seagate!  Same serial number as mine.  The olny difference is that the store mac has Lion and I have Snow L. 10.6.8 - What is going on?

  • 464. Re: 27" iMac hard drive noise
    Andy9l Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Would there be any downside to replacing the HDD in my iMac myself? I've put up with the grumble/popcorn sound for about 15 months now and would like to get rid of it as I find myself using the Mac more and more for work.


    Which HDD could I switch it for? I've read that the temperature control breaks when you swap the HDDs, so you have to manually control the fans?


    Any help/guidance appreciated - this is something I really would like to get sorted now. I can't believe this thread is still ongoing, my first post in this thread was in on October 4, 2010!


    Current HD: Seagate 1TB (ST31000528AS)

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