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MacBook hard drive failure epidemic

87559 Views 91 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2007 3:40 PM by Kevin Duane RSS
  • pringbat Calculating status...
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    May 28, 2007 11:28 AM (in response to TroyAllen)
    "I think it is more than high time that someone from
    Apple responded to this thread."

    You must be new to Apple. lol


    Hahahaha. Far from new to Apple, and am ashamed of that moment of wild optimism!
    MacBook 2.0ghz/60gig, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • angusfan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 28, 2007 9:51 PM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    This just happened to me tonight too! My macbook pro is about 4 months old, i wanted to get a faster all around "better" machine than my very reliable and working great powerbook g4 i previously owned, now i'm regreting that. First a few weeks ago my fan was running constantly and tech support couldn't figure it out outside of saying i should bring it into a store. I did some searching and realized if you open activity monitor and see what is hogging up your cpu's, stop that (mine was some print thing?!) and that went away for most part. Now tonight i had the macbook pro plugged into the charger, nothing out of the ordinary going on, had the cover shut and was in sleep mode, went to open it and black screen which after a hard restart getting the folder question mark death screen. Tried everything listed above.....dead harddrive it appears, wonderful.

    macbook pro   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • Mexnexus Calculating status...
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    May 28, 2007 10:45 PM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    Fixing macs by the truckload gives a fair look at what is working and what is not, altough there are tons of macbooks out there in my experience the failiure rate of white 60 gb macbooks is medium to high, to make matters worse the event of dead hard drives make them imposible to recover and a pita on the user since most of the time they put the install DVD on the optical drive and then it gets stuck there!, like the dead Hd hangs the Macbook on startup and they take like 5 to 6 minutes to "give up" on the sata bus.

    The Macbook pro is another history since they fail randomly (modelwise) and they are not prone to dying like the ones on the macbooks.

    I hope Apple uses a diferent brand on the new Macbooks and also fujitsu and toshiba upgrade their S.M.A.R.T. inboard drive diagnostics, since I think (my humble opinion) that that is the problem with the dying drives...

    My recomandation, have backups and a nice applecare extension.
    Imac 24, Emac 1.25,Powerbook 17,Macbook Pro 15, Ibook G4 and some vintage stuff, Mac OS X (10.4.9), Apple veteran since 1986
  • John Gardiner1 Calculating status...
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    May 29, 2007 2:53 AM (in response to pringbat)
    Oh strewth, me too. My MacBook, not running as wildly
    hot as it sometimes does, and not sent to sleep/woken
    up prematurely - just editing a Word document.
    Clicking noises from inside followed by beachball and
    total freeze. I restart and get the question mark
    folder. Restart with system discs and no hard drive
    is to be found.

    I think it is more than high time that someone from
    Apple responded to this thread - there is clearly a
    serious problem with MacBook/MacBook Pro hard
    drives.

    I've owned about 6 different Macs over the last few
    years, including two Powerbooks, and have never had
    these problems before.

    MacBook 2.0ghz/60gig   Mac OS X
    (10.4.9)  


    Following previous post which gave a solution that at least got a new HD working in a round about way, just to add that like most of you on this thread, I was really surprised by these problems. Have had several Mac laptops and half a dozen dekstops of all types over the last few years and none have had any hard drive issues previously. Have swapped and added HD s to most of these machines and never before had a system that would not boot from System OS discs of an OSX installer disk and reinstall - had got complacent that reinstalling clean OS to a new HD was really easy and reliable with OSX. Didn't mention a run through every other tweak and even an attempt to boot into Open Firmware also failed.....so this is something very unique to this Macbook.....
    An added twist - the first failing HD I replaced a few months back - I now see the same behaviour pattern...it was 'sticking' and I was finding myself having to reboot from the spinning beach ball quite often...BUT, luckily before it completely fell over I changed the HD. Maybe this is why that new install was OK then?....because whatever gets screwed up happens when the HD completely fails? I kept both the replaced HDs...the first one that was just dodgy but still ran I can now slap into an external SATA enclosure and it works fine, can see all the data etc...but the second HD which I let truly grind to the rattling deathly halt we have all had, is completely unmountable and just clicks away in the external enclosure.

    Apple - this cannot be a rash of bad drives...! The stats are too many and from too varied an array of drives and too much tied to users of Macbooks..

    I guess the rule is if you find it locking up a bit more than you expect, back up your HD and slap in a new one BEFORE it totally fails - or have an external bootable FW drive to clone back the OS if your drive should meet this end.
    macbook 2GHz dual black, 2GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • AlfaGT Calculating status...
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    May 29, 2007 6:37 AM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    well, at the risk of being a "me too", me too?!

    I have a June 06 (10 months old) macbook with a 120GB Seagate drive I replaced last June after buying the macbook.

    Friday was working away and I get a busy curser saving a file, then the drive is making a clicking noise I can here, Mb became non-responsive so did reboot and question mark folder appeared.

    Now my seagate drive appeared dead, install could not see the disk, so I replaced it with original 60Gb fujitsu, and put the failed seagate in a USB enclosure to try.

    the drive is completly dead however, seagate support advise its likely the heads clicking and failed, drive spins down after 3 clicks and does not start so its not possible to interogate it and look at the SMART data.

    This is not normal in the is day and age for a 10 month old disk, I have many drives in my PC's from many manufacturers and this is the exception to the norm. My work Dell has done 4 years hard travel and is sound as a pound for example.

    I suspect, and this is my personal diagnostic, that the macbook gets so hot it is cooking the drive. I doubt it exceeds the 65c limit of the seagate drive, but I suspect operating at 50-60c a lot of the time has damaged the hard drive over time.

    Don't see apple doing a lot myself, just look at the battery issue (which also hit me the week before they announced it), they were being akward right up until they acknowledged the problem then it was batteries all round for affected people.

    I think they just made a big mistake with the thermal design of the original macbook... and now we are all paying the price in downtime and in some cases lost data (I have backups, but I don't backup daily - so I lost some stuff).

    Just thought I would add my expereince to the growing masses.
    MacBook, 60GB iPod (5G), Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • jimlee Calculating status...
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    May 29, 2007 6:53 PM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    same thing happened to my Macbook. Night before it was working fine...i used bootcamp to run Win XP and after that I shut down the computer. Next morning when i try to power it on, a white screen appeared then instead of the usual apple logo, a folder with a question mark appeared.

    THis is not the first time. It has happened at least a few times. The 1st time it happened I reinstalled everything cause at that time i didn"t have much in the comp. 2nd time i merely left it off for one day and next day when i power it, it was ok. Then 3rd time i solve it by using the 10 steps provided by Apple, but this latest round, I still can"t get it up. I manage to start up the computer from the installation disc but I dun want to reinstall all my stuff.

    There is something screwed with this Macbook. I owe a Mac mini for about 2 years now and that works just fine but this Macbook is proving to be a major headache.
    macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • conomac Calculating status...
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    May 29, 2007 8:07 PM (in response to jimlee)
    Add me to the list of hard drive failures. The night before a business trip. Gotta love that. To top it all off, my external backup drive just failed a week ago. I replaced that with a RAID 1 NAS and began a new backup strategy yesterday. So not to tie up my computer for hours at a time, I stagered various backups throughout the week. I know my music is backed up, I "think" my pictures are backed up, and I highly doubt any of my system setting, email, contacts, etc were backed up. Looks like I can kiss goodbye any hope of a recovery. What a nightmare. I also REALLY dig the fact that Apple has the worst tech support hours in the industry so I have to wait until tomorrow to get a support case started.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • avantsweater Calculating status...
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    May 30, 2007 11:45 AM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    This happened to me also. Not only did I have the random shutdowns happen AFTER it was fixed (three week wait) once but now I lose all my data photos websites etc. From the last year. I know I should have backed up. Maybe this is a marketing tool for that new backup program in the upcoming OS.
    PowerMac G4 Dual 800 Quicksilver, MacBook White 2.0 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • meganlinds Calculating status...
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    May 30, 2007 12:06 PM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    My boyfriend also had this problem with his MacBook. About 10 months after he got it is when the harddrive supposedly crashed. We took it into our tech guy and it's apparently not the HD that is the root of the issue. The tech guy asked if we'd ever had it hooked up to the internet via an ethernet cable; we couldn't think of a time when we had becuase we use wireless... shortly after leaving the tech we remembered about 3 months after he purchased the computer we tried to fix my wireless router and had it plugged in to the modem via the ethernet cable, we couldn't get the computer to recognize the cable and thought nothing of it. Turns out, this is a sign of a faulty logic board. The tech said that this was likely what caused the issues with the HD and replaced the logicboard and he did not need to replace the HD. We took the computer home, ran the restore disks and things have been working beautifully ever since.
    My recommendation to all of you is that you make sure you've got a sound logicboard in your computer upon purchase. I'm about to buy a MacBook myself and that will be the first thing I check when I get it.
    I'm not claiming that this is the root of all of the HD problems out there, but it's a possibility.
    Good luck with the computers everyone. Enjoy.
    MacBook 2.0GHz 13", Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • timtamtastic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 30, 2007 1:28 PM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    wow, i can't believe how many folks have had the same problem.

    i'm expecting to get mine back tomorrow or friday.
    macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • meganlinds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 30, 2007 1:47 PM (in response to timtamtastic)
    timtamtastic,
    what was the fix that the tech did on your computer?
  • Gabriel_W Calculating status...
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    May 30, 2007 2:08 PM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    So are the affected MB all from the rev A or Rev B and C too? I have Rev B and C at home and want to know if I should double my backup routine? Now I backup weekly.
    MacBook C2D, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • angusfan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 30, 2007 8:16 PM (in response to meganlinds)
    Very interesting about the logic boards causing this. I am in the middle of getting my hard drive replaced (then they will see if anything from the fried drive can be retrieved) 4th day with no MBP. I understand you have no choice in keeping your old hard drive when apple is replacing yours under warranty. Anyone feel uneasy about this with all your personal information on there assuming someone can get it to work?

    macbook pro   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
    macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.4.9), hard drive failure 3 months old MPB
  • Tracy S Miller Calculating status...
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    May 30, 2007 10:36 PM (in response to Kevin Duane)
    Add me to the list. Today my daughter was using my 2 week out of warranty MacBook when it froze... she closed the lid. When she tried to use the computer again, we had the white screen and then the flashing ?

    I ordered a Seagate 7200rpm 100gb replacement drive. Kinda needed a bigger drive anyway.

    MacBook   Mac OS X (10.4.9)   2gb ram
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