1.83 GHz Core Duo or 1.83, 2, or 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo A1208 (EMC 2104/2110/2114/2124)

249 Questions View all

Internal HD has difficulty mounting

iMac, 17", Intel 2 GHz Core 2 Duo

Internal hard drive sometimes has difficulty mounting. I can hear it start to spin up, click 2-3 times, then spin back down, repeat. This happens during a cold start (following shutdown), but not for a restart. It also happens when "un-sleeping" if I set Energy Saver prefs to put computer to sleep. If "put computer to sleep" is set to Never, no problem.

If I'm having problems, I can usually get the internal drive to mount by booting from the DVD drive using the OS X install disk or Prosoft Drive Genius 2 disk. Disk Utility and Drive Genius 2 tests detect no problems. (tho after a failure to mount, there are usually some Disk Utility repairs needed)

So is the internal drive on its last legs, or could this be something else, such as a power supply problem?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 0
Add a comment

4 Answers

Chosen Solution

Nothing you said would indicate a power supply problem. The hard drive does sound like it's terminal.

If you're not comfortable installing a internal hard drive, another option would be to go with an external. I would recommend a Firewire external drive. FireWire 400 SATA Laptop Hard Drive Enclosure Here are some drives to put in it: http://www.ifixit.com/Mac-Parts/iMac-Int...

Use SuperDuper, http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/S... (the free version for your needs). Use this to duplicate your existing drive. Then go to system preferences - startup disk, and select the new external.

Your other option of course is to replace the internal drive. Here's how that's done: iMac Intel 17" Hard Drive Replacement

You can use an adapter: iMac Intel 17" Hard Drive Replacement to plug the new hard drive into to duplicate your data.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

I'd still check the SATA cable though.

by

Thanks for the feedback on the power supply. That was mostly just uninformed speculation on my part, since the HD kinda sounds like it's trying to start up but just doesn't quite get there.

I've looked at the excellent instructions here for opening my iMac to get to the hard drive and it definitely looks doable. And I've got good back-ups... now. I must say I was quite relieved when I was able to get the disk to mount after the first time it failed to do so - my backups were pretty slim.

by

BTW, thanks everyone for all your quick responses!

by

Add a comment
Most Helpful Answer

as inexpensive as harddrives are - I would just replace it.. its not worth dealing with a drive thats gonna throw fits like that.. Run smart utility if you would like to verify your drive damage.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

That's not at all in the spirit of repair and longevity, there are many options before immediately replacing the drive.

by

thats funny, because this was voted up before you voted it down.. Longevity of harddrives? thats funny

by

Actually someone voted it up afterwards, now, I'm not here to create any fights. And longevity of devices, and yes HDs, if you treat them right, they'll last a !^!& site longer than just doing whatever. Replacing without first trying other things, is jumping over the whole conservation issue, the mission statement of iFixit.

by

Thanks for the link to SMART Utility. Just the sort of thing I was looking for. I'm fiddling with it now, but so far SMART seems to think the drive is perfectly healthy.

I'll probably try a new HD. They are inexpensive, and it never hurts to have more storage. If it doesn't solve the problem, I can always get an enclosure for the old one. Tho if it turns out professional repair is needed, I was hoping to avoid unneeded expenses.

by

Add a comment

If you have another drive that's the same size, then you should try swapping out the drives, if the problems persist, then you know it's not the drive. If they disappear, then you know it was something to do with the drive.

Other things it could be besides the drive would be a loose SATA cable, that could cause those problems.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1

Comments:

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll give the cable a look if/when I get inside.

My iMac has had a very sedate life sitting securely on my desk, so I'd be a bit surprised if the cable came loose. Tho I suppose internal vibration or thermal stresses might have compromised it. Occasionally, a cooling fan in my iMac would kick into high gear. Not very often, but kind of unnerving whenever it did so - it's usually quite quiet.

by

Add a comment

Well, the troublesome drive finally bit the dust.

By setting the Energy Saver prefs to not allow the computer or drives to sleep, I was able to continue using it for several more months. But in December, it finally conked out with the same symptoms and couldn't be coaxed back.

Fortunately, as a result of this episode, I had a solid back-up strategy in place - a cloned boot drive plus daily file backup. The clone was quite handy since I could boot from it on an external drive and still temporarily run my iMac more or less normally.

Using the excellent guide here, I replaced the original 160 GB Western Digital drive with a 500 GB Hitachi and it's working fine. Probably better than before - quieter and cooler.

I also found a decent YouTube video showing how to replace the internal drive, which was nice to watch before doing it myself.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShY8zuT-w...

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjsIU1XEk...

Thanks for all the advice. This is a great site.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

Mark will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 0

Past 7 Days: 0

Past 30 Days: 7

All Time: 2,208