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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 21, 2013
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    Thumbs down Mac hard drives die after three years??
    I'm starting to get really suspicious of Mac laptops. I bought a macbook in 2006, and it completely imploded in 2009, Complete death just weeks after my warranty expired. I lost a TON of stuff (lesson learned about backing up). I got the hard drive replaced and gave it to my parents, bought a spiffy new one for myself.

    NOW the hard drive in the old one just imploded today. I feel really bad because I think my parents lost some stuff. And my own laptop that I bought in late 2009 is starting to act wonky. I back it up like a paranoiac every week, but I can barely use it (beachballs so much) and it keeps telling me I'm almost out of memory and I need to delete files. I bought more RAM (mainly so I could upgrade Adobe suite) and was hoping I'd get some more storage space out of that. No luck. So between that and the beachballing ... I have a very bad feeling that this one is going to implode anytime soon.

    Why are these laptops dying RIGHT after they pass the three-year warranty mark? I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I don't like this coincidence. It smells to me.

  2. #2

    Deckyon's Avatar
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    2006 - 2013 is a good run for ANY laptop, regardless.

    Laptop HDD's are volatile. Good backups and proper expectations are key. On the 2nd HDD, did you buy it because it was cheap? Even so, 4 more years on it is fine.

    Apple doesnt make HDDs. They get them from a supplier just like the rest of us.

    HDD is not RAM. Adding RAM will not add storage space. Clean up your data. Do periodic maintenance - these things are discussed in detail on this site, search.
    MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
    MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
    iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Air 2 128 GB LTE, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
    2006 - 2013 is a good run for ANY laptop, regardless.
    So putting in a new hard drive in 2009 wouldn't have "reset" the laptop? I was thinking it would last longer than just a few years with a new hard drive.

  4. #4

    Deckyon's Avatar
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    replacing the HDD does not replace all the other hardware in the laptop. That is like saying I replaced the front tires on my car, thus making it a new car again.
    MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
    MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
    iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Air 2 128 GB LTE, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Your computer is telling you what is wrong - when you get a pop up saying you are almost out of memory - that is referring to your hard drive - meaning you have no or almost no free space left on your hard drive.

    Not enough free space, you are only asking not only for your machine to beachball all the time, but if you actually do fill it up and no space left - it may not boot at all!!!

    You need to delete some stuff and get some free space back on that drive.
    They don't work when they're full - not just OS X, but Windows and Linux also.

    You want to keep your machine running half decently, you need to maintain 15% free space on your drive. Want to keep it running optimally, keep 30%+ free space.

    There is probably nothing wrong with your drive except the lack of free space on it.

    And... as noted by Deckyon, Apple does not make hard drives. They get them from the same places every other computer manufacturer gets them.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscd View Post
    Why are these laptops dying RIGHT after they pass the three-year warranty mark? I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I don't like this coincidence. It smells to me.
    What you're not thinking about in this "conspiracy theory" is...most people don't get/pay for the 3-year extended Applecare. Most folks only have the included (free) 12 months of Applecare.

    What you're experiencing here is coincidence...AND an over-active imagination!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7

    MacDude121's Avatar
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    RAM does not equal that kind of memory. Your hard drive is full, delete some stuff.

    And computers can last for any length of time with the proper maintenance. I still have iMac G3's from 1998 with the original Hard Drives and they still work just fine.
    -Evan

  8. #8

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Way... way too many specs to list.
    Ultimately, if it spins it'll fail (this includes SSD and flash HDDs). I don't care what maintanence is done. This is why backups are vital.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  9. #9

    Doug b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
    Ultimately, if it spins it'll fail (this includes SSD and flash HDDs). I don't care what maintanence is done. This is why backups are vital.
    This. Hard drives are made to fail. It can happen in one day, one year or when ever. This is why an extended warranty is important, especially if it covers this sort of thing, and AppleCare does just that. Yes, you can purchase your own hard drive and install one into a MacBook Pro, but most of the general public won't want to get near such a task. A replacement drive for a MBP or similar is close to $300, depending on the size etc..

    Now consider this, the next time you think of conspiracies..


    The Average spinning disk hard drive:

    The dimensions of the head are impressive. With a width of less than a hundred nanometers and a thickness of about ten, it flies above the platter at a speed of up to 15,000 RPM, at a height thatís the equivalent of 40 atoms. If you start multiplying these infinitesimally small numbers, you begin to get an idea of their significance.

    Consider this little comparison: if the read/write head were a Boeing 747, and the hard-disk platter were the surface of the Earth:



    • The head would fly at Mach 800
    • At less than one centimeter from the ground
    • And count every blade of grass
    • Making fewer than 10 unrecoverable counting errors in an area equivalent to all of Ireland.

      All the elements of the head are fabricated very much the same way as processors are. They are formed from wafers, using photolithography and deposition of appropriate materials.

    Word.

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
    Ultimately, if it spins it'll fail (this includes SSD and flash HDDs). I don't care what maintanence is done. This is why backups are vital.
    I'm not disagreeing with you, but I have to point out that SSDs don't spin.

  11. #11

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    And I'd like to reiterate...

    In the case being mentioned by the op, with a warning that he is out of memory, it likely has very little to do with a failing drive, but one that is full.

    If data is not deleted from it to make more free space and it does get filled to the brim...
    It may get to the point where it will not even boot into the OS while there is nothing at all wrong with the drive.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  12. #12

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with you, but I have to point out that SSDs don't spin.
    Chas, this is why I included those in parens
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

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