I'm visiting my mother, so I'm reminded that every few seconds her Mac Mini makes a gentle "clunk" sound. It as though it's knocking for my attention.
Emily wouldn't care or even notice it, and I don't think my mother can hear it, but "people like me" hate noises like that.
When I first noticed a year ago, I figured her drive was failing - though Disk Utility SMART status showed all was well. After a year though, it seems like something else: "hard drive clunk mac mini.
If you turn the volume way up you can hear the sound on YouTube (my mother's mini has the same Futitsu drive). It's not just Fujitsu though, there are utilities to prevent clunking written for Seagate drives. It appears to be an OS/Firmware bug that recurs over the years with different OS drive combinations. I don't recall it in 10.4, so I suspect it was introduced in 10.5 and may be gone in 10.6 (I upgraded my mother to 10.5 about the time I noticed the noise).
Some of the better discussions include ...
- Apple - Support - Discussions - Hard drive "clunk": From 2005. The clunk behavior probably shortens drive lifespan. No fix.
- Mac Mini drive click [Archive] - The macosxhints Forums: Recommends smartreporter for diagnostics
- ClunKiller - Kill your Hard Drive *Clunk* noises! and Is your Hard Drive making *Clunk* noises?
- XdN » Clicking Hard Drives and Possibly Shortened Hard Drive Life (not clear this is a clunk problem though - PC Only)
- Set Automatic Acoustic Management level on hard drives - Mac OS X Hints (open firmware hacking -- too risky for me)
- Advanced hard drive power management via AppleScript - Mac OS X Hints - obsolete, but an interesting reference
There don't appear to be any easy fixes, and since my mother can't hear it I think I'll leave it be. Most of the complaints are a few years old, so I suspect newer drives don't clunk. I also wonder if it's fixed with 10.6, though drive clunking seems to be a cross-platform problem.
I'll update this post if I learn of a better fix.
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