View Full Version : Strange noise from Seagate, now unreadable

05-03-2002, 06:29 AM
Here's my system: Quicksilver 733, 1 gig RAM, OS 10.1.4, a 40 gig Barracuda (with 9) and a 60 gig Barracuda (with 10.1.4). Machine is about three months old and I bought the 60 gig Barracuda from MacGurus right after I got it.

Last night I am happily surfing along the net when suddenly I start to hear this buzzing sound from the G4 (same sort of sound you hear from a flourescent light). I know enough to know this isn't good, so I start closing down applications so I can shut the whole machine down. I never get to shutting down, because Internet Exploder never ends up quitting (just the spinning color wheel), neither to do a couple of the other apps I had open (Entourage, Graphic Converter, PageSpinner). So I end having to hit the restart button.

In the first boot, the machine gets all the way to "port mapping" and never gets any further. I restart again and the machine gets to a happy mac with a spinning color wheel. I retry this a couple of times, then I reset everything in open firmware. Nothing... I boot from the OS X CD to try and run Disk First Aid, but neither of my drives show up.

So I unplug everything open up the machine, and disconnect the 60 gig drive (with OS X) on it. The Mac boots from the OS 9 (and no more buzzing) I have on the 40 gig drive, but after about a minute of being in the Finder, I get a message saying the OS9 disk is damaged and to run Disk First Aid. Which I do, and verifying the disk says nothing is wrong, but I fix it anyway. So I figure at this point, all I want to do is get the data off the 60 gig and I'll reinitialize everything. I set the start-up disk to the OS9 drive, turn off the machine and unplug everything, reconnect the 60 gig disk and restart. Boots into 9, but says the OS X is unreadable and needs to be initialized.

Any advice as to the next step? I would really like to get the data off the drive (I have loads of MP3s on it, my e-mail and some work stuff). I have Norton SystemWorks 1.0 which I used to try to verify the disk (no good, all it says is that it has problems, and I won't fix an OS X disk with an old version of SystemWorks). I was going to upgrade to the latest (OS X) version of SystemWorks and try that. Good idea or no? The buzzing seems to have stopped, but should I call Seagate and get the drive replaced?

Now let me throw a ringer into the mix. I received a Wacom tablet yesterday that I ordered (a Graphire2). I installed the drivers, used the tablet for a little bit (worked fine), then checked the Wacom website for an updated driver. Downloaded and installed the latest driver (4.72-5, I think), started messing with the settings again and the tablet "application" (I say application, but it is more like a control panel) unexpectedly quits. No worries, cuz I'm in OS X right? So I don't restart or any of the normal OS 9 stuff I'd do. Go have some dinner, turn on the Wings/Blues game and start surfing the net, and that when the buzzing starts.

Could the harddrive buzzing and now crashing be related to the tablet?

Sorry for the long e-mail, but this really pisses me off (Actually I am pissed at myself for not getting into the habit of backing up my data on to the second drive!). http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/mad.gif Is there any good auto-back up program (like Retrospect) for OS X?



05-03-2002, 08:48 AM
The first idea, get Disk Warrior.
You can boot up from a CD and then attach the ribbon and mount the drive.

FireWire or a spare IDE drive sound essential.
Tri-Backup for backups, Carbon Copy Cloner for OS X.

It does sound like the tablet and such mucked up the system.
Sounds like you have tried to run fsck from startup.
Even if you boot from a CD, fsck can be useful and will run
against whatever was last set as the boot volume.

Holding down the option key will bypass startup scripts.
After the login point, it causes your login items to not load.
If you have an application set to run at startup or login,
that isn't working, you can try that.

Boot Config can be useful to see what startup scripts an
installer added and maybe turn them off if there's any doubt.
I've found ALL Norton "extensions" to be best disabled.
We NEED an extension manager for our "extension conflict free" OS.

I'd post a note to MacIntouch etc as well as seeing if others have
had any similar experience or a heads up alert while you wait for
more information.

While you have Disk Warrior and BEFORE you repair, but after it has
scanned your drive, you have the option to Preview the "before/after"
and can drag folders and files off the drive (hopefully) to a new drive.
DW has 'fixed' drives that sounded odd even for me using SCSI disks,
that had a Directory or bad boot blocks. AFTER running DW, you may
want to also run Norton DD (6.03) but sounds like time to just do a full
zero all data initialize and not rely on the drive too much.

Maybe run Drive Setup Test afterward, then try to fill the drive up, then
put a backup set on it and put it away on the shelf if it seems okay, or
RMA the thing. I like to have a spare backup drive on the shelf just in case.
And with IDE drives today, it isn't "IF" but "when" will it happen.

I just wish Alsoft would say when an OS X version will be available. When
they do, I'll know that the underlying issues with drivers and such are gone,
and won't feel like the OS is on thin ice.

If you don't have a FW case, might be good to stuff the drive in there.
You can boot up off CD or reliable drive, plug it in later when DW is up.


05-03-2002, 11:16 AM

Gregory is right, this is where the chanting starts, Disk Warrior, Disk Warrior DISK WARRIOR DISKWARRIOR.

If anything will repair the index on that drive it's DW. www.alsoft.com (http://www.alsoft.com)

Don't give up on that drive yet. I had a similar experience that turned out to be a loose fitting Foxcon data cable, the factory one. Opening and closing the case will loosen those short cables on new Macs, that's all it takes. SCSI drives can almost handle being hot unplugged, IDE, forgettaboutit, that will trash the index every time. Disk Warrior took quite a few hours but gave me the ability to backup the data to another drive.

WARNING, DW did not fix the index. Be ready to backup the data to another drive. DW left recovered folders all over the drive it recovered but restored virtually everything on it ready to be copied over to the other drive. If you don't have the hard drive space on the the other drive you'll need to do as Gregory suggested and hookup something else.

I also like G's suggestion that you use the Option key startup to select the DW CD, that is better than hotplugging a IDE drive, or a SCSI drive for that matter. I never advise that since I have seen it trash the index on every drive on the bus when I hotplugged a scsi drive once. Long story you don't want to be able to tell.

I'm running two of the Barracuda 60's in a RAID configuration in my 867, so far so good, nice drives. BTW, I think you're allowed a six pack for every hour that DW runs.


05-03-2002, 11:55 AM
As usual, thanks for the tips! I figured there would be a way out. I hope DiskWarrior does the trick. I have an old copy of it from 99 or '00 floating around somewhere. I'll have to see if I can upgrade it.

I am still concerned about the buzzing sound which I can only presume was coming from the drive (it did stop after I disconnected it). Even though I don't hear that noise now that the drive is reconnected, I may call Seagate and see if I can get a replacement. It is only three months old.

As to the Wacom tablet, I dunno what I am going to do with that. I think their OS X driver is just "carbonized" because it uses the old OS style buttons on the inside of an Aqua window. That sorta concerned me when I first loaded it up, but figured they had tested it enough to make a release. (Shoulda known better...). I have an e-mail out to them too to see if they have had this problem before.

Thanks again for the tips. I'll see if I can get it recovered this weekend.


05-03-2002, 12:52 PM
If you didn't already, today's "Mac OS X 10.1.4" Report on MacInTouch, has some
comments on directory damage and Disk Warrior in OS X. http://www.macintouch.com/mosxreader10.1.4pt04.html another DW "testimonial."

If you can, I would get a new drive and RMA and use the RMA in FW case for backup or something.

Good luck -


05-03-2002, 12:53 PM

I had exactly the same sounds coming out of my computer when I trashed the index due to a unexpected disconnect. In fact, it was a huge part of the email I sent to Kaye right after. "My hard drive is screaching at me!!!!!, Holy schmoley, what is happening, it's brand new"

I would guess that with the lack of a complete index the drive is being told to find the next start file marker, or find the end file marker for a file already loaded to ram. Since it doesn't exist anymore we may have both just heard a drive in chaos. I also wouldn't doubt for a second with todays ROM on disk system that a little corruption in that ROM file would go a long ways toward 'panic' on your drive.

My drive returned to normal sounds only after I corrected the bad connection and rebooted into the DW CD. You will not be able to boot your old DW CD of course, since it will have a pre 9.2 OS on it, I think the upgrade is fairly cheap but you'll have to burn a bootable DW. OR, just boot onto another bootable CD and run DW from your OS9 hard drive, it is installed there, right?

Ah, the pleasures of a major system crash.


05-06-2002, 10:38 PM
Well, as hard as this is for everybody on the Forum to believe, I am pretty sure my Seagate has failed in some capacity. I called Seagate and they are going to replace the drive. It still makes a strange sound... not quite the flourescent light buzz, but it is definately louder than what it was last week before all this started.

Fortunately, I downloaded a copy of DiskWarrior and managed to recover all my information.

I tried to initialize the drive in X (it would never show up in the drive list) and in 9 (it would start to initialize, then say "nodrive" in the window and the 9 Drive Utility would freeze).

Eventually, my OS 9 system wouldn't boot if the damaged 60 gig was attached to the bus. It kept giving me a "file system map inconsistent". Well, I am not comfortable keeping my data on the drive anymore. I dunno if the Wacom tablet damaged it, or I damaged it or if it was just defective, but I figure that is Seagate's job to figure out. The drive is three months old. Fortunately, a great company... one call, no arguments, just an RMA number and instructions to send it back for a replacement.

Thanks for the tips on DiskWarrior and the advice,


05-07-2002, 01:56 AM

Sorry to hear you actually lost a Seagate drive. you're probably famous now.

One thing that everyone seems to agree though, when Seagate actually has a bad drive within the five year warranty period they don't screw around. And five years seems like a long time to warranty a drive, except it always seems like it was just 2 years ago when I bought it yet the warranty just ran out. How can that be?

Thanks for the update and glad you got all your data out, that's the best part.