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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Hard drive failing?

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Member Since: Jan 30, 2011
Posts: 2
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Ive had my Black Macbook since April 08, and it's been amazing - still has 4 hr battery life, doesnt freeze up or go slow... i love it. But last night, i tried to turn it on, and it made a clicking noise, followed by a white screen with a flashing folder with a question mark inside it. I tried to turn it on multiple times (at least 15 times) and the exact same thing happened every time.

I checked the forum, and it's pretty unanimous that it's a hard drive failure. The weird thing is that i'm typing on it right now - i woke up this morning and turned it on, and it's back to normal. Has anyone else had this experience? I've got 87 days left on apple care, and i want to get a new hard drive if this one it on the fritz.

I've backed everything up now so i don't actually care if it is going to crash, but is it normal for it to do this once and fix itself? Or is it a sign that it will fully crash soon? That clicking noise was just what freaked me out.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Member Since: Jan 29, 2010
Posts: 25
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Mac Specs: MacPro & 17" MacBook Pro

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Yes, that clicking sound is a bad sign that the drive is, indeed, failing, and no, it's not unusual for it to be intermittent. It's good you have a backup, since you're almost certainly gonna need it.

Fire up Disk Utility, select the drive from the side bar on the left, and check the S.M.A.R.T. status at the bottom of the screen. If it says it's bad then Apple will probably replace the drive without much question. If not, you can try running the Hardware Diagnostics on the second of your two Install discs that came with the computer. Any problems it reports will also be pretty convincing to Apple. Otherwise, if you have an Apple store nearby and the drive is still clicking I'd expect the Geniuses there to be convinced by that that it's failing and give you a new one, but they'll probably want to keep the machine for a few days to do the work.

Good luck!

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Member Since: Feb 01, 2011
Location: Denver
Posts: 24
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Mac Specs: iMac 27 i7, MacBook Pro 15 i5, MacBook 2.4, iPad, iPhone

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I would say yes its time for a new hard drive replacement. If you still have AppleCare on it apple will install a brand new hard drive with a free of cost. The strange thing is that I had the same problem with an iMac about 6 months ago. Tried to restore the whole iMac and once it was done sometimes it worked and sometimes I got the [?] icon. Took it to apple and they replaced it becuase of AppleCare.

It gets pretty pricey if you run out of AppleCare

Take Care!
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Member Since: Oct 22, 2010
Location: Bretforton, Worcestershire
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 15" 2014, 2.2GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD, OSX 10.9.5 - iPhone 5s 16gb

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Use your Applecare as much as you possibly can, if you have a problem use it, that's what it's there for
Definitely a HDD failure or a power supply issue to the HDD. Get it booked in!

Hope you get it sorted

- Simon

If you have been helped, don't forget to use the Reputation system at the top right of their post.
May 2011
Nominated: March 2011 & April 2011
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