Scared about clicking of my WD 500GB Scorpio Blue clicks...

Hi all,

just changed the internal hard disk of my 2007 MacBook Pro 2.2 15" with a Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB.

I didn't notice anything on the first day but, the following day, I started hearing the (dreaded?) clicking sound from the hard drive,

I have to say that they there's no lag in responsiveness when the clicks happen and they come more regularly when the laptop is idle.

I've read horrible accounts about clicks and damaged drives so I'm backing up on time machine like there is no tomorrow.

Did anybody experienced the same? How worried should I be?

Thanks!

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I installed the hdapm utility, as some advised around the net, and so far it seems the clicks went away. I don't know if this is bringing more "stress" to the hard drive, shortening its life span...

Have you had any, good or bad, experience with hdapm?

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Never heard of it. The level of APM is a temporary adjustment in the firmware of the hard drive, this adjustment is lost when the disk is powered down and it is thus necessary to redo this at each for each start up.

To install hdapm so it is launched at each start-up, it is necessary to copy hdapm to the hard drive (/usr/local/bin is advised) and to copy the file hdapm.plist in /Library/LaunchDaemons.

It will be can be necessary to you to edit hdapm.plist with the desired parameters; the default settings are: the repertory where hdapm is /usr/local/bin, the hard drive is regulated on the first (disk0) and the level of APM is the maximum.

You can simply copy the file hdapm into /usr/local/bin file if you want to avoid modifying Plist.

Simplest way to reach these files is to use the Go/go to the file and to copy/paste this address before validating.

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Yeah, I also created a crontab script to make sure that at each rebook hdapm starts up. I just noted that using hdapm, the battery drains quicker, so I look around for extra info about the issue.

Apparently the power management on Western Digital drives, but also on others, clashes with the one installed on many laptops. This happens also on Windows and WD was aware of it so they developed a utility called Wdidle3, but it's a DOS utility so I don't know ho to run it.

Apparently Wdidle3 fixed the issue and maybe it acts at a different (deeper? Better?) level than hdapm. Wonder if anybody in the Mac community managed to test it.

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I am still using hdapm and clicks/hard drive's head parking is almost none now. Unfortunately battery doesn't last long because the hd spins the whole time. I've read that disabling the Sudden Motion Sensor on the MacBook Pro might be a solution. I know how to do it, but can it be a real solution?

Or, eventually, the real solution is to pass to a Fujitsu? :)

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I just had the same wd drive die on my wife's Lenovo. The HDD make repeated clicking/chattering noises and for all intents and purposes was dead. I put the drive into the second sata bay of my Clevo laptop and windows disk manager showed it was reconogized as a drive but could not register or access any volumes. This told me it most likely wasnt the HDD's circuit board.

Im pretty gifted at fixing things so with nothing to lose I removed the HDD's cover which revealed the platters. I noticed the head was parked in the middle of the platter. Very carefully I swung the head assembly back to its power off position. I buttoned everything back up, powered it on and to my suprise it was working!!! I scanned the disk for errors and none were found. Even thoigh I had an incredible stroke of luck Im taking no chances, Im making recovery discs and will probably install a SSD.

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3 Answers

Chosen Solution

Maybe your MBP needs a firmware update. Please check this link to see if you have the current EFI Firmware Update for your machine.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1237

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Just checked, my MacBook Pro has the right EFI and SMC already, so it's not that.

However, I finally managed to use Wdidle3 to change the time between head parkings. The default time for this drive was every 8 seconds!! Which means that the Load Cycle Count was increasing dramatically, even when the computer was idle. I used the Smartctl utility to monitor this.

After I changed, with Wdidle3, the time to 200 secs, everything was way better. I still wonder if it's an issue with the drive itself or my MBP. I might install Windoze on Bootcamp and check from there.

Battery seems to drain a bit quicker but I have the feeling the drive might last longer. And, btw, during these days I noticed it's actually an issue shared by many people, especially on Linux systems. There's always the possibility that this Scorpio Blue is a lemon... time will tell.

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Most Helpful Answer

The clicking is the search head going back and forth trying to find data. I would reformat the drive with Disk Utilities and use the "write zeros" option to map out any bad blocks. Then restore your data and if you heard any more clicking, return the drive.

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Frankly, if it were me, I'd return the drive and go with a drive that doesn't come with known issues. I've used the 320 GB WD scorpio black drive as a standard and installed about twenty of them with never a problem. I also don't date women who are known to be psychotics.

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Interesting about the 320 Scorpio Black, which option if I want to go for a 500GB instead?

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mayer live a little, nothing wrong with dating psychotic people....spice of life ;-)

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I'm installing a WD 1 TB Blue drive today on the same machine using a SSD drive and an optical bay adapter. Will let you know if I run into problems. I did format the drive on another MBP using an external adapter and installed a system the same way.

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I have the WD Black Scorpio 320GB model ST9320423AS in a mid 2009 MBP 13" and no problem with it.

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Had the clicking in 2 different drives both WD and 1 lasted for another year the other one that died clicked for a few days I ran hdapm and found that it was heating up and died around 30 days later. I then went with a Fujitsu and haven't had a problem with it since

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Yeah, I can't take that risk... maybe I should start looking around for the Fujitsu. Darn...

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@lemerise:how many load cycle counts do you have? And how many hours uptime? Thanks.

Also, I'm going to install Windows on Bootcamp and see if the click shows there too. If it doesn't, then there's some kind of conflict with OS X (or the motion sensor?)

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Well, my MBP rarely leave my desk so I have only 36 load cycle counts and the last time the MBP was powered by the battery I think I had near 6 hrs of charge. Replacing the previous 5400 rpm HD with the Scorpio 7200 had no notable difference on my battery performance and the Scorpio is very silent, can't ear any drive sound.

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I also use a Scorpio 360 in my MBP and have never heard a peep out of it.

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