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There are several posts about the MacBooks hard drive failure epidemic. See http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=960977&tstart=0
My wife's failed about a month ago (bought in May directly from Apple). My daughter's just failed (bought about 10 months ago directly from Apple).
My wife's hard drive is a Hitachi (don't know yet what my daughter's is). Some of the posts complaint about the quality of Hitachi Drives.
It appears the issue is with something called "Safe Sleep" from Apple. The hard drive trashing (irrecoverable) occurs when the hard drive goes to sleep with low batteries -or connected for that matter- and there is either a power failure or the battery discharges.
I have now to save grievances disabled the Safe Sleep and all hard drives sleep from my Mac Mini and my wifes MacBook.
My two cents.
I have the same issue as the rest of you. MacBook (only three months old!) froze up a few days ago and I had to shut down by holding down the power button. Upon restarting, everthing seemed OK, but I soon realized that anything I'd created in the last week was missing. Odd. It finally occured to me that my computer was running off of the 'bootable backup' I had made about a week prior on my external Firewire drive. Thank goodness for that! The internal HD was simply missing. Unplugging the FW drive and restarting gave me the folder with ' ? ' on the screen. My computer is now in a box awaiting pickup tomorrow for it's trip to Apple repair. I am currently sharing my wife's MacBook for the 7-10 days I will be without my own. Fortunately I had backed everything up, and have a computer to use in the meantime, but this is still an unacceptable situation for a practically brand new computer. I have owned Macs for 20 years or so and have always been a huge fan, but this takes some of the shine off Apple's reputation for me.
JasperKM, I have experienced the same problem you have with my Macbook which is about 1year 1 month old. All I get while I switch it on is the blank screen with folder with the question mark and some clicking noise from the laptop itself. After going through the forums I think it might be the hard drive. I live in Denmark too and could you please tell me where u bought your harddrive from and how much does it cost and what are the specifications. I hope it is not a problem with the logic board. Its too expensive to even have it checked in Denmark. Thanks for your help in advance. Ren.
I have had this happen too. Two weeks ago my macbook froze. The desktop was displayed, but the icons did not move although the cursor moved. I tried to reboot and got the folder with the question mark. The hard drive was making rythmic clicking noises. Called Apple, went through the steps listed in other posts. The hard drive could not be found. The end result was that another hard drive just like the one that failed was installed and I lost everything on my old drive. It could not be recovered.
I bought mine in June 2006 it has a 2GHz hard drive and 1 GB RAM. It is the exact hard drive listed in a previous post REV 7.01
I am worried that this problem has turned my computer from a tool into a very expensive toy due to it's unreliability. Who can afford to swap out hard drives every few months? I am extremely disappointed.
Looks like they locked the thread on the original post because it got so long
Just wanted to let people know one of the data rescue companies seems to have identified one hard drive that's thirty times more likely to fail.
I've had four hard drives fail in three of the families computers within the last six months. I can't remember a single hard drive failing in the previous 25 years.
Edit: Of course the first couple years it was Apple II's, and the early Macs didn't even have a hard drive, but you get my point.
Message was edited by: zmapper
And STILL another. (And reportedly several others as reported by the Apple store in Skokie IL.) They charged my friend's daughter $300 to put in a new hard drive and said it must have been due to what she was doing at the time (watching TV on it from the University network)...THEN when she gets it back, the ethernet will not connect, no program will install (like her printer driver). MS Word does not work on it. When she took it back to the Apple store and complained about the ethernet (before she had discovered the other "gliches")they said they'd charge her another $300 to fix it. (!)---funny that the price was the same as when she got a new HD from them...
We're going to a different Apple store Friday and I'm going with her.
This is really so unfair.
Well, I too have had this just happen to me. Hitachi 160 Gig, 5400 RPM SATA drive. 7 months old. Was working perfectly up until Saturday night when web browsing got a little funky. Plugged in, closed the lid and computer went to sleep. In the morning everything was terribly slow with lots of pinwheels. Shut down, and wouldn't reboot.
Took it to Apple store. They said it was a software problem. Not so bad. Got Diskwarrior, was able to get some newer files off of my OSX partition. Thought, ok, can just load my cloned image. Wouldn't work. Tried re-installing from install DVD. No go. Lots of loud clicking. Able to boot off of firewire bootable clone, got data off of XP partition. then the whole thing just died.
Strangely, Disk Utility was able to "erase" the drive so that it would pass verification, but couldn't zero out the drive. So, obviously something funky going on.
I have been lucky in my years of computing with only one HD failure in a G3 clamshell. Last two PCs never had a problem, in fact the Dell I got in 2001 is still trucking along (albeit slowly). The motherboard went in my last PC, but the Hitachi 60 gig, 7200 drive was still fine.
I think this is highly unnerving, especially after I have convinced other friends to get Macbooks, and my gf just got one, and I would hate for anything to happen to hers.
Definitely seems an issue, and Apple is getting less shiny.
Same happened to me.
One of the early MacBook (2006-05).
It failed badly: suddenly it could not boot the Mac anymore. Sadly it was just 13 months after purchase so out of warranty; and just the day before leaving for holidays!
So I could not even bother for talking to an Apple repair service and rushed out to replace it with a new one (Hitachi if I remember correctly).
Now it turns out that it is caused by somewhat faulty HD batch from Seagate.
So even if it is not Apple the direct cause of the problem (they buy what costs less, as anyone else would do), this faulty drive should be replaced free of charge from Apple (as it is placed in a Mac straight from factory) or Seagate (as they built it).
Well, I really do love Apple Macs but lately it looks like some quality issues are really spoiling the “Apple experience”.
Apple, please, the problem IS real and widespread. We are waiting some directions.
YOUR customer care is still something that makes the difference from the others. And your customers accept paying your computers more than similarly equipped PCs also because of this.
My dead HD specs:
60GB Seagate Momentus 5400.2
"Product of Singapore"
Thank you for Retrodata's public announcement about the issue and your contribution to this thread. I too have been bitten by a Seagate Momentus 5400.2 drive failing with a one year old MacBook bought in Spain. The model number of the faulty drive is ST98823AS with firmware version 7.01.
Diagnosis was similar to that posted: after a performance degradation of the MacBook which at the moment I thought was due to excessive multitasking, a local Finder operation failed, the system became unresponsive, the drive began clicking, and no first aid measures manged to bring it back to live.
Add me as another victim of this issue. Sudden and total death of Seagate 80GB harddisk this week. Startup will show folder with question mark. Harddisk does not show up in Disk Utility or Disk Warrior.
My Macbook is purchase in May 2006 and of course is now out of first year warranty.
Apple or Seagate going to provide free replacement?
Mine has just failed this morning. A Seagate 80GB HD. I left it downloading some software overnight, and when I woke up at the morning my Macbook was frozen. After restarting it, a folder with a question mark appeared. Tried installing Mac OS X Tiger again, but no hard disk can be found, and the OS Disk 1 is now stuck inside the drive
Hope Apple recalls these drives and provides a solution for the users ASAP, since it is not our fault.
I posted the same problem on saturday. Bought it about June 2006, never had a problem, froze like yours etc etc.
So yesterday I bought a new 120gb Sata HDD for 70euro which wasnt all too bad.
But when I put the new one in, have you seen how the HDD are held in the laptop! No wonder they break! I would be very surprised if I get a couple of months out of the new one, the HDD has a good 5mm of free space every side of it to move!
If anyone has any ideas of securing them into place I'd love to hear it.
I'm still telling you guys...ITS NOT THE HARDDRIVES OR THE FIRMWARE!!!
The old harddrives with the old firmware are going to be typical occurrences because the problems are all with OLD macbooks. The old Macbooks obviously have old hard drives running old firmware. I have had 6 count em, 6 hard drives mysteriously die in my first run Macbook. Some were Seagates, some Hitachi's, you name it, it kills em! You guys are all gonna have the same problem (many of you have). You should instead be compiling information on your computers and not just your harddrive firmware.