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Old August 11th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #1
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MacBook Pro drive clicking (Apple issues update)

If you are planning to purchase a new MacBook Pro be warned. If you purchase the 500GB, 7200RPM drive, they are defective! The drives will beep and click and pause intermittently for up to 30 seconds at a time.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #2
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Apple publicly acknowledged the problem and are working to fix the conflict.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10306301-37.html

From what I've read the problem is related to the G-Force anti-shock protection mechanism in the Seagate Momentus drives used in the Macbook Pro. The Macbook Pro already has sudden-motion sensor technology so this is apparently redundant and they are working on a software fix to turn Seagate's sensor off.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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The firmware update to address this problem is now available.
Hard Drive Firmware Update 2.0
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #4
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Seagate makes 2 versions of this drive, one with and one without built-in G-force shock protection. The model with the "AS" identifier at the end of the model number does *not* have built-in G-force, models with "AG" does.

This was an issue with previous MBP models as the built-in G-force shock protection in the MBP would conflict with the Seagate controller - two devices attempting to do the same job and basically cancelling each other out.

The issued firmware simply tells one of the controllers to "shut up" and stop sending protection signals to the HDD. It's not clear which device is taking control, the MBP or HDD shock controller.

If your'e considering buying the new 7200.4 500GB Momentus for any MBP as a DIY add-on, make sure you get the ST9500420AS model - not the AG model - and you'll avoid this issue. The same applies for the 320GB model.

The non-shock protection AS models are generally $20-$30 dollars (USD) cheaper than the AG models, so look closely at prices and model number before you purchase.

And if you're curious if the newer 7200.4 is any better than the previous generation 7200.3... yes, it is but not by a large margin. I just replaced the 250GB Seagate in my 2.5Ghz 15" inch MBP with the newer 500GB 7200.4 model - the machine does respond a tad faster and it does have an almost 100Mbs tested I/O speed (it hovered around 92-98 MBps). My previous model only tested around 67-79 MBps.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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Hey Robert -

Did you install the update...or just replaced the HDD w/o the update?

Also, did you have the ...clicking/beeping/stalls/beachball....that a good lot of people on the Apple forum boards were complaining about?

I'm looking to invest in a 17" MacBook Pro; but was contemplating whether or not to get the 500gb/5400rpm or take a chance on getting the 500gb/7200rpm HDD. Don't know if the 5400rpm drive has the Anti-Shock mechanism on it or not. Would you happen to know?
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Old August 19th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clark View Post
Hey Robert -

Did you install the update...or just replaced the HDD w/o the update?

Also, did you have the ...clicking/beeping/stalls/beachball....that a good lot of people on the Apple forum boards were complaining about?

I'm looking to invest in a 17" MacBook Pro; but was contemplating whether or not to get the 500gb/5400rpm or take a chance on getting the 500gb/7200rpm HDD. Don't know if the 5400rpm drive has the Anti-Shock mechanism on it or not. Would you happen to know?
The update doesn't apply because my MBP is the previous model to the unibody. Also, even if I did have the unibody MBP I still would not have needed the update because I installed the non-G-force HDD.

Because the new MBP's have such a fast internal front-side and RAM-bus I don't think a 7200rpm drive is as critical as it was before however, I still think it's a solid idea simply because video editing requires the most processing power from the system, so anything you can do to help it do it's work more efficiently is a good thing.

Go with the faster 7200rpm drive; most likely the newer laptops will ship with the firmware updates already installed and if they're not you can simply get it via Software Update.

Get your new system and enjoy!
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