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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - Loud Hard Drive

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Member Since: Sep 16, 2007
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I just had my new (1st) iMac replaced by apple because the DVD drive crapped out. They gave me a whole new computer because it had only been three weeks. Once i got it home i noticed that i could hear the hard drive when it was thinking.
I wold not have normally noticed (because it sounds like any 8 year old PC i have ever used) it except that the imac i just sent back was absolutely silent.
It is a slight annoyance and i wonder if anyone out there has issues with the HDD noise.

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Is it a high-pitched whining sound of it spinning, or just rattling while it's accessing? If it's the former then I'd return it, as it MIGHT be an indication of future problems.

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Unfortunately, some brands of hard drive are very quiet and some are not. In general, Apple uses fairly quiet components, but absolute silence, from a device that sits on your desk and only inches from your ears, is pretty hard to come by. If all you hear is a faint high pitched whine (the kind where if you turn your head to a different angle it more or less fades away) I'm afraid you have a perfectly normal hard drive. Most emit a low volume, high pitched whine. You may have just lucked out with the first machine (at least from a hard drive perspective.

I invite other iMac owners (I have a PowerMac, and it makes a lot more noise than "perfect silence", although it is still quite the quiet machine) to comment. Do you hear a faint whine from your machine?

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I have a late Fall 2006 iMac and I would say mine runs almost silent. That was one of the things I first noticed when I got my iMac.

I did notice a change when I first installed Parallels and began running both Windows XP and Mac OS X at the same time. Whenever I would try to access a file or folder on XP, I could heard something on Windows XP, I could heard "the hard-drive is thinking" noises.

As of right now, I do not really hear those noises anymore. Occassionally I'll hear sounds that louder than usually. But for the most part mine runs quietly.

Hope this provides any insight.
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Keep an eye on your S.M.A.R.T. monitor in Disc Utility.
There's also a little Application called SmartReporter that sits in your menu bar. It will check the S.M.A.R.T. monitor regularly for you and will change color as well as send you an email if something goes awry.

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