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So this is my third hard drive that I installed on my intel Mac OS X desktop (made in 2007), and I installed Western Digital Black Caviar (which is supposed to last 3 yrs, I believe). But the hard drive is already failing: I hear tapping noises, occasionally, the hard drive clicks just once, and there's been some freezing lately (for example, when waking up my Mac from sleep mode, it freezes on black screen and finally turns on after 15 seconds). Sometimes, Safari freezes, sometimes, I get a scrambled screen with Safari open, etc. Do you have any idea why this is all happening? This Western Digital drive was installed barely two weeks ago, and now it's failing? Maybe the hard drive is not the problem?

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At any rate, get an external hard drive right now and make a full Time Machine backup, and also a full disk image backup using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! for good measure. Defective hard drives always degrade until they fail altogether. Do not wait to back everything up. Replace that internal hard drive right away. –  Wheat Williams Aug 17 '11 at 22:39
    
but could something else be causing the hard drive to fail? –  macosxuser105 Aug 17 '11 at 23:12
    
Who is doing the work? Have you asked about replacing the SATA data and power cables. Also possibly the power supply. Get quotes - it could be bad drive luck, but do ask a tech that sees a lot of iMacs if other parts could be contributing. Two weeks in is probably bad luck on that one drive - now you're a drive each 18 months which isn't so bad. –  bmike Aug 18 '11 at 6:39
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If you also experience random crashes sometime it might be a good idea to run Memtest86 to check whether it's actually the RAM that is causing problems.

Also, boot from your installation disk and let Disk Utility verify the harddisk (not SMART status, but the "real" verify which has its own button). If it finds errors, I recommend to buy DiskWarrior to repair the filesystem as in my experience DiskUtils can't repair anything at all.

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RAM could cause all sorts of processor stalling - great to check. –  bmike Aug 18 '11 at 6:41
    
thanks I'll check it out –  macosxuser105 Aug 19 '11 at 16:15
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Failing hard drives tend to cause freezing on your computer, as it takes longer for your Mac to read system files. If you think your HD is failing (as it sounds), it should still be under warranty, so you should be able to get it replaced. You can check your drive status in Disk Utility: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=DiskUtility/10.5/en/duh1896.html but this check is not always 100% accurate.

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the SMART status is verified. –  macosxuser105 Aug 17 '11 at 22:56
    
The SMART status is absolutely useless. I had a bunch of broken harddisks already where SMART said everything's fine. –  DarkDust Aug 18 '11 at 5:20
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