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News Archive for Monday Aug. 10, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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Apple Tip for mid-2009 MacBook Pro Superdrive Beeping/Clicking noises (reset drive)
A couple posts in the long apple forum thread on noises (clicks/beeps) from new MacBook Pro owners on hard drive noise (beep + click) thought the noise was coming from the Superdrive (others disagreed) - but those comments reminded me of a tip posted here in the July 2nd news page - an Apple doc on 'Resetting' Optical Drive in Mid-2009 MacBook Pro to stop noises on boot/wake. That page included an audio file sample of the noise. Almost like a beep/squeek/squeal series of noises - but you can also hear what sounds like loud seeking, so I doubted this would be mistaken for HD noise. However the Apple audio sample for the superdrive noises sounds just like the YouTube video noises linked in the first post in that apple thread.
(I had a new MBP owner reply that despite this first impressions, the beeping/clicking was actually coming from the Superdrive - but others are seeing hard drive periodic pausing/freezes which appears to be a drive firmware issue.)
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Apple working on fix for 500GB/7200rpm drive issues in new MacBook Pros
[Update: On Aug. 19th Apple posted Hard Drive Firmware Update 2.0 for June 2009 MacBook Pros that claims to be a fix for this issue.]
(original post from Aug. 10th follows)
Cnet is reporting that Apple is working on a software fix for the clicking noises and intermittent pauses that many new MacBook Pro owners with (CTO) 500GB/7200rpm hard drives have complained about. (Reference this currently 87 page long (and growing) Apple forum thread "Hard drive click + beep". (One post I saw there recommended disabling SMS (sudden motion sensor - terminal command "sudo pmset -a SMS 0") but a couple users said that didn't help but worth doing IMHO regardless if the drive has a built-in SMS like the G-Force Seagate drives.)
And the comments on hard drive pauses/freezes reminded me of that same issue with some Seagate 3.5in hard drives last year - before the firmware update/fix, one workaround was disabling journaling. (Console log showed jrnl errors coinciding with the pauses.) Some in that thread also mentioned disabling SMS (sudo pmset -a sms 0 from terminal) although the problems happen with the MBP stable (not moving/jolted). And I wonder how many with this problem applied the EFI firmware update 1.7 (which result in problems with some drives, although not all).
Notebook HD drive clicking can also be related to agressive HD power savings (unloading head frequently) - some notebook drives do that very very frequently as mentioned in an article here back in early Feb. on Notebook HD load cycle counts. (Some readers used hdapm tweaks to try and reduce that.)
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Tip for anyone with Airport (wireless) problems after OS X 10.5.8 update
(Update: late August 11th Apple released AirPort Client Update for MacBook and MacBook Pro to address this. See that page for a list of specific 2007/2008 models affected.)
(original post from Aug. 10th follows, before update was released)
Personally I've not seen any 10.5.8/Airport problems with desktops here (5GHz and 2.4GHz networks used here) - but no Laptops/battery powered Macs here currently. And all the N macs I have are Broadcom card based. Some Mac notebooks have used atheros N cards - but not sure that's a factor.

(from an email yesterday)
"Subject: wifi issues with 10.5.8
I reported earlier of a wifi issue where the computer was having trouble connecting to the 5GHz band.

Looking through the discussions at Apple, the wifi is majorly screwed up on many MacBooks and MacBook Pros depending on the revision of Airport card they have. Some people get no Airport installed, some get really slow downloads and ping times even locally when on Battery but fine on AC power, some get the problem I was having, some get no reconnect after sleep or dropping after 1 hour.

According to some, Apple is working on a fix and it will be in Software Update shortly. In the meantime, anyone having an issue can revert to the previous version of the Airport driver, if they are using Time Machine.

As recommended by an Apple tech, navigate to System/Library/Extensions and then open Time Machine. Travel back in time to before the 10.5.8 update and retrieve IO80211Family.kext and bring it forward.

It'll ask for your password. Then, reboot. You'll get a warning that the kext cache needs to updated, and then after reboot, all should be restored to 10.5.7 wifi glory (which wasn't so great, but better than 10.5.8 for some people). For me, it's now immediately finding the 5GHz network when I wake from sleep, rather than taking too much time and reverting to 2.4GHz or no network at all.

No idea if the update that Apple is due to release will not work after this, so use at your own risk, of course.
-Mike K.
PS - here is the discussion thread from Apple Forums - titled
Temporary fix as per Apple Product specialist OSX 10.5.8 WIFI fix"

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Tip for MacBook Pro (8600M) Failures that won't boot
I've updated the page on MacBook Pro (Nvidia 8600M) GPU Failures/Repairs with a reader's tip about getting his failed MBP to boot. (To allow system to be tested by the special app to determine if the failure qualifies for the extended GPU warranty.)
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Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc updates
(later added items first)

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Other News/Articles/Rumors, Misc. Software Updates

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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