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Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:24 PM   #1
AndiS.
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Randomly occurring loud pop/crack sound from behind the iMac?

Ever since I've had the iMac (3.2/Fusion/680MX), I noticed there is occasionally a loud crack/pop sound coming from behind the computer. First I thought it was from the walls, but then I noticed that it would sometime occur right after shutting down the computer. It happens very seldom, but at least 2-3 times a day. I can hear the sound in Bootcamp Windows, OSX, in sleep mode and like I said, sometimes right after shutting off. And it doesn't seem to be the exact same sound all the time.

I already contacted Apple Tech Support, and the guy helping me will get back to me on the issue, but I'm really on the fence about initiating an exchange, since the return period will end January 7.

Does anybody have similar experiences with their iMac, and what do you guys think about getting it exchanged? I would really love to keep this one, as it works flawless otherwise, but the sounds don't "sound" good and I don't want something to break after I can't get the exchange anymore.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:53 PM   #2
WilliamG
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It wouldn't surprise me that it's the plastics around the fan or speakers expanding/contracting under heat/cool cycles. I mean come on, there's only one moving part inside your computer aside from the one fan, and that's the hard drive (if you got it with one). Any other snapping sound has to be do with expansion/contraction due to temperature. I keep thinking I hear the odd sound from my 2012, too. Doesn't bother me the more I think about why.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 12:46 AM   #3
AndiS.
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It wouldn't surprise me that it's the plastics around the fan or speakers expanding/contracting under heat/cool cycles. I mean come on, there's only one moving part inside your computer aside from the one fan, and that's the hard drive (if you got it with one). Any other snapping sound has to be do with expansion/contraction due to temperature. I keep thinking I hear the odd sound from my 2012, too. Doesn't bother me the more I think about why.
Thanks for the reply, I had initially been thinking the same thing, and called Apple's tech support in hopes of confirming that. I'll wait and see what their engineering department will respond with, I hope it really is just caused by expansion and contraction due to temperature, as I would rather not have to go through an exchange. If those sounds were made by the otherwise completely quiet hard drive (I have the 1 TB Fusion), I probably should get a replacement, never had a computer's HD making such sounds ; )
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 02:17 AM   #4
iMcLovin
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I think it's normal. It happens seldom as you say. It happened once in a while with my early 2009 imac and it has happened a couple of times with my new 2012 imac as well. So, I think it happens to everyone.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 07:34 AM   #5
obsoletepower
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Doesn't happen to mine and I have it on everyday often being utilized to its near-max capability I have yet to hear these noises. It likely is caused by heating/cooling cycles but if I were you I would call to have it exchanged. They will allow you to keep it until your new one arrives.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:11 AM   #6
Johnf1285
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I think it may be related to the power supply. I would exchange it.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:43 AM   #7
vladfein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMcLovin View Post
I think it's normal. It happens seldom as you say. It happened once in a while with my early 2009 imac and it has happened a couple of times with my new 2012 imac as well. So, I think it happens to everyone.
In words of Rachel (from "Friends"): it DOESN'T happen to everyone, and IT IS a big deal!
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:58 AM   #8
jackofharts
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Originally Posted by obsoletepower View Post
Doesn't happen to mine and I have it on everyday often being utilized to its near-max capability I have yet to hear these noises. It likely is caused by heating/cooling cycles but if I were you I would call to have it exchanged. They will allow you to keep it until your new one arrives.
If you are running it all the time and constantly running at high capacity, then maybe the plastic-insides never have chance to cool and contract.

Hence no sound.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:35 AM   #9
iMcLovin
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For me it happens maybe a couple of times a week. One small electrical snap/crack sound - like a turn on an old CRT tv. I never really cared, it has happened maybe once since I bought the 2012 model. And as I said it happened a few times on my 2009, though it has never caused any problems...and I've runned that early 2009 machine HARD for nearly 4 years on daily basis.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:04 AM   #10
shiny-blanket
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Happens for me, usually when I first turn on. Stops once it reaches standard operating temperature. Honestly, it's nothing to worry about.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:18 AM   #11
Arman
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Your going to get mixed opinions on this but I think it's your speaker and some fluctuations in electric currents. Could be a bad connection/wiring. There was another post here about someone with similar problem. Search for iMac and popping sound.

Personally, I wouldn't tolerate this on a brand new $2K plus machine. I would exchange.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:38 AM   #12
AndiS.
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Thank you for all your replies and suggestions, it's really appreciated!

I will go with an exchange, Apple is checking right now if I can do it at a store or if it needs to be done via shipping. I'll take the i7 instead of the i5 this time, and will probably report back on how the exchange has worked.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 12:57 PM   #13
seble
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Yeah my macbook pro used to do this, but as one poster put it, it was more to do with the speakers, it would make a crack & / or a pop sound when it was powered up or down (including sleep mode) sometimes. A week later the logic board died.

If I was you, get it replaced.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:54 PM   #14
obsoletepower
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Originally Posted by jackofharts View Post
If you are running it all the time and constantly running at high capacity, then maybe the plastic-insides never have chance to cool and contract.

Hence no sound.
I didn't mean I keep it on 24/7 I meant that I use it daily and it goes through one hot/cold cycle everyday. I have not heard any unusual noises from it.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:59 PM   #15
Arman
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Originally Posted by AndiS. View Post
Thank you for all your replies and suggestions, it's really appreciated!

I will go with an exchange, Apple is checking right now if I can do it at a store or if it needs to be done via shipping. I'll take the i7 instead of the i5 this time, and will probably report back on how the exchange has worked.
Did you ever get your replacement?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 09:00 PM   #16
AndiS.
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Did you ever get your replacement?
It's being processed, should be shipping next week
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 07:13 PM   #17
AndiS.
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I had received my replacement last Monday, but unfortunately this time the device had image retention and a indentation on the stand. The cracking sound was gone though. I opted for a third replacement, will update when I have it.
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