I have had an issue recently with my hard drive going effing bezerk. It would sit there and spin like mad, make all the noise in the world and take up resources like it was a blue whale sucking in ocean water. It was driving me nuts. Oh.. and one other thing, my volume adjustments from my keyboard were delayed anywhere from 5-10 seconds for every press.Odd.
Every article I read had these pointers to try to see if your hard drive is failing. While I had doubts that was my issue, I followed them to be sure I passed the sniff test. Funny thing is, I don’t even worry about hard drives failing anymore. I keep almost nothing in my local drive that isn’t in the cloud, so if it fails, I am probably 99% safe on all my content.
Anyway, I finally tried a couple of things that helped my issue. First thing to note is the volume delay was a different problem from the hard drive spinning constantly.
Hard Drive Fix
To fix the hard drive spinning, it seems like it has come down to the way Spotlight was indexing my content. Here is the solution I got from the Apple Website
From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences. Click Spotlight. Click the Privacy tab. Drag a folder or an entire volume (your hard drive) to the list. If prompted for confirmation, click OK. Remove the item or volume you just added to the list by clicking it and then clicking the minus ("-") button. Close Spotlight preferences. Spotlight will re-index the contents of the folder or volume
To fix the volume issue, it turns out I had to reset the NVRAM and PRAM. This was a simple fix but seems to have done the trick. It turns out, something in the PRAM controls your volume on your system. If it gets out of whack. it can be flakey.
Here is the fix for resetting the PRAM Shut down your Mac. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4. Turn on the computer. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time. Release the keys
Hopefully this helps someone else out.