9 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2012 10:18 AM by a brody
Jemster Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

My 27" iMac has started giving me occasional Beach Balls that I put down to a message about SyncServices (see another thread, might have that one resolved, when I'm sure, I'll update the thread), but at the weekend I've noticed I also have

 

kernel[0]: disk0s2 I/O Error

 

In my console logs. As per suggestions in an old thread I found here, I ran SMARTReporter and it, rather worryingly said "Failing" for the drive status. I've got everything very well backed up so am planning on running a bit longer with it while I work out how / where to replace it. Searching around, I have the 1TB Seagate drive that Apple, in the later model, then recalled as it was prone to failure. Of course, no such luck they should recall my year which leaves me searching for a replacement with the daft thermal sensor firmware, or a standard replacement and an Optical drive sensor cable...

 

Anyway, that's beside the point. While looking into these things, I got a hold of SpeedTool Pro as it has sector checking and SMART reporting, I've ran surface scans and the drive is (reportedly) absolutely fine. I've run the SMART tool and it also says the drive is absolutely fine. Disk Utility lists the SMART status as "Verified". I've turned on SMART monitoring and have had no messages in 2 days.

 

Confused, I got hold of AHT from my Snow Leopard install (Thanks for removing that from Lion Apple! ) and have run extended tests 3 times, and not a single fault is showing up.

 

But I STILL get disk0s2 I/O Error messages every few hours in the console log. It's fairly inconceivable that in 5 hours of extended testing I don't get a single problem reported, yet within a couple of hours of normal usage I get an error in the console.

 

So I am confused. 1 tool says failing, 3 tools say perfectly ok, 1 console log gives strange error messages.

 

Anyone any ideas? I see others in the past have reported these errors, and although the threads say "mate, looks like you have a failing drive", none of the threads are ever completed with "yep, my drive failed and I replaced it". I don't want to spend on a drive and find it's a logic board, or even a poxy SATA cable, but at the moment, all hardware tests are proving negative and no data appears to be corrupt.

 

I seem to be having a run of bad Apple luck at the moment, with a home button on an iPhone 4 less than 2 years old giving up completely (Yes sir, we can replace it for £139... hahaha) and now a 25 month old iMac with strange errors. I'm sincerely hoping this is not a true hardware fault...


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 27" i5
  • 1. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,295 points)

    If one tool  says failing it is.  Now you do have to be careful not confuse the optical drive mount point with the hard drive. 

  • 2. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    Jemster Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Sorry, don't understand confusing optical drive mount point with hard drive? I'm referring to changing the temp sensor cable for the optical drive temp sensor that's available (Part# 922-9229) and reported by a few users as being a way of monitoring drive heat without requiring a special firmware.

     

    Why would one tool say failing and three others say not failing though? Surely the thresholds are all held within the drive and it's just a matter of reading them back and comparing? Just askin'...

     

    My money's on getting the drive replaced but Apple make it so darn hard. The local store want the machine for 7+ days depending on their stock level of replacements. They won't tell me (over the phone) whether they currently have a replacement drive in stock and can do it quicker until I lug a 27" iMac back to their store... Plus being without a machine for a week+ in a house where it's used for work & family is a disaster for what is a <1 hour replacement job I can do myself given the correct parts...

  • 3. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (116,480 points)

    a brody is right on.

     

    OSX is a better stress test for everything than any tester Application... go figure.

  • 4. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,295 points)

    If you are unsure about mount points, you shouldn't mess around with drive cables.  Not knowing the software part of the equation does not help making sure your hardware is connected correctly.  Bring it in for service.

  • 5. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    Jemster Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I am not unsure about mount points. I wondered what it was you were getting at, as it's not exactly rocket science to see where the new cable will go. I'm not planning on touching the Optical Drive mount point so fail to see how I could get it confused with a hard drive mount point.

     

    And please don't make assumptions as to peoples technical capability just because they have a low post count in an Apple forum. I'm looking for technical advice, not "bring it in for service", for reasons previously explained.

  • 6. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,295 points)

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/484698?start=0&tstart=0 would appear to give you a more accurate indication of what your mount points are.

  • 7. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    Chamar Level 4 Level 4 (2,035 points)

    "My money's on getting the drive replaced but Apple make it so darn hard. The local store want the machine for 7+ days depending on their stock level of replacements. They won't tell me (over the phone) whether they currently have a replacement drive in stock and can do it quicker until I lug a 27" iMac back to their store... Plus being without a machine for a week+ in a house where it's used for work & family is a disaster for what is a <1 hour replacement job I can do myself given the correct parts..."

     

    Gosh... are you saying the Apple store want it for 7+ days to replace the hard disk?

     

    The HDD in my 27" iMac has failed twice at 18 months and again at 26 months.  It was not a catastrophicc failure but was reported both times as SMART errors by TechTool Pro 6 with the advice to replace immediately.  This was also confirmed by running AHT.

     

    Fortunately I always take out AppleCare on my iMacs (I have three) and after making an appointment at the Genius Bar the disk was replaced at my local store while I waited.  I took it home, did a complete TM restore and all was well. The (token) invoices for repair added up to almost £600 (UKP) so the AppleCare layout was well worth it.

     

    Despite having built numerous high-end Windows tower systems I would not really consider taking on an iMac

     

    Good luck getting your disk replaced.

  • 8. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    Jemster Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Yeah, 7 days is what the guy at my local store told me on the phone. He said it could be less, could be more, but they wouldn't be able to tell me until they got the machine in. He also said the price of the replacement, fitted, would be around £150, which I thought was very good considering I've seen this replacement, as a drive only, at one stockist at £285. Interesting that you say token invoices were £600, as I believed £300 to be closer to the truth to have the drive replaced in-store, and even queried it with the guy on the phone only to be told that £150 was correct. I don't have AppleCare, figuring when this happens, I'll bite the bullet and pay for the repair.

     

    My problem is the time, maybe with AppleCare you get better treatment. And at the moment, the lack of confirmation of a failing status with any other tool at all. Only one piece of software and these console messages, I'm half tempted to erase the drive and re-install everything again just to see if it goes away, but I'm 99% sure that would be an exercise in futility.

     

    I've replaced the PSU and hard drive in my previous 20" iMac so am happy enough getting around the system, it just takes care & patience and no forcing things! If in doubt, use a small hammer . They are well built in there, just slightly fiddlier than a standard PC due to the form factor, but easier than most laptops.

     

    And a brody... Wow. How, and why, on earth you got on to trying to tell me what a mount point for a drive is, I have no idea. Is that how someone amasses 54,000+ points? Maybe you're an auto-responder based on keywords

  • 9. Re: Failing HDD or not?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,295 points)

    No, but mounting a temperature sensor the right way is not an easy task.  Furthermore, when you have machines with a temperature sensor you need to be wary that nothing else that needs to be cooled is around it.  Apple does not typically like users replacing the hard drives on any iMac, except certain G5 models, and even then gives you a look if you install your own hard drive under warranty, asking you to verify the original hard drive wasn't at issue.  It is a complicated procedure.  Anyone who goes to the trouble of learning how to do that procedure, you'd think would make sure they knew how to verify both software and hardware wise that nothing goes awry.    OWC, (also known as  http://www.macsales.com/)  the international store that is highly recommended to send in for iMac hard drive replacements has already stated on their website, the latest iMac is one they can't replace reliably the internal hard drive.  This makes me wonder if the issue you are facing might be due to Apple's own engineering, or lack of knowledge of how to apply it.