Written by Topher Kessler
There has been an ongoing issue with new MacBook and MacBook Pro computers where the system will pause for a second or two and make a clicking sound, and then continue functioning normally.
This problem has to do with models containing a 7200RPM 500GB hard drive from Seagate, where the drive randomly stalls and beeps, causing a pause in the active system processes that can last up to 10 seconds. As reported in this CNET article, Apple is looking into the problem and a fix should be out shortly.
Both brand-new and slightly older models of the Unibody MacBook computers may be affected, and currently there does not appear to be a fix; however, if you are experiencing this problem, the best course of action is to wait for a fix from Apple. Some people have recommended reinstalling the operating system and performing PRAM and SMC resets, but this issue appears to be a firmware incompatibility so changing the operating system setup or firmware settings will not help.
Keep in mind that this behavior is not the same as when a hard drive is dying, where regular clicks and pauses happen, followed by spinning beach balls when the system cannot access the storage media. This AppleInsider article links to a couple of YouTube videos that show how this behavior manifests itself, so check them out if you think your system has this problem.
When the fix is released, it should be in the form of a firmware update so keep an eye out for one in the near future.
Update: Read this Apple Support Discussions forum thread about beeping, clicking, and freezing hard drives.
Topher has been an avid Mac user for the past 10-15 years, and has been a contributing author to MacFixIt for just over a year now. One of his diehard passions has been troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware both for family and friends, as well as in the workplace. He and the newly formed MacFixIt team are hoping to bring enhanced and more personable content to our readers, and keep the MacFixIt community going here at CNET. If you have questions or comments for Topher or the other MacFixIt editors, feel free to contact us at http://www.macfixit.com/contactResources