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12" Powerbook - loud, scary "snapping" sound.. help??

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Bluefusion, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Hey guys... I'm somewhere I can't immediately take this machine in to an Apple Store (though thank goodness I still have applecare) but I am really scared of this sound I hear every once in a while coming from my 12" powerbook (which I baby and have had for almost 3 years).

    It is a lateral (left to right) "snap" sound, very physical, almost like a mechanical rubber band -- seeming to come from the front third of the case (near where the trackpad is). It is really, really, TERRIFYINGLY loud. It's happened about five times in a week, for no clear reason, so whatever it is it isn't something that snapped "off" since it's happened more than once.

    The computer works fine, though I've had strange trouble for a good long time (a few months) where it seems to page out really quickly (I've got a gig and a half of ram, and I really don't remember it paging out so often before). So it runs really slowly at times, and claims a couple hundred thousand pageouts, when I'm not doing anything too taxing-- weird, but not unbearable...

    So does anyone know what this sound could be? I of course need to take it in to Apple, and my warranty is ironically going to end within the next 3 weeks or so, but I really wonder what could be under there that would create such a racket. Any ideas?
  2. macrumors 603


    You know, I've had that same thing happening with my 2 year old iBook. I think.

    It isn't as loud as your PB sounds like, and I think it only happens when the computer is off. At least the only time I ever hear it is as I'm first in bed, and I'll hear it snapping a few times. If I had to take a stab at the issue, I would say its a grounding problem.

    Try using the 3 pronged electric plug to plug in the laptop. That has the grounding prong on it. I am assuming you are using the AC adapter to plug into the wall (that is what I use too).
  3. macrumors 6502


    Yeah, I've always used the three-prong adapter, since it's a longer cord-- much to my occasional frustration when I can't find a grounded outlet!

    It's possible something's wrong internally with the power supply/grounding, certainly. My girlfriend has a [sigh] Dell that routinely electrocutes me while I type on it (uhhh, quality control...?), so I guess it might just be poetic justice :)
  4. macrumors 6502


    OK, so just now it was a very specific pattern.

    Fans, which had been on full (like I said, I've been paging out a ton, and it's hot here), suddenly drop completely. Everything still works; mouse cursor etc. Then -- FIVE clicks with an interesting little cadence, definitely in the front-middle of the machine... da-da-da, dada. Then fans go back to full-on, as if nothing happened.

    I'm really freaking out. Anyone ever taken apart a PB and might at least know what could POSSIBLY make sound like that? I can't take the machine anywhere for at least a week!
  5. macrumors 603


    I would take this one in. Its likely a static discharge that is happening and is not going to get any more safe.
  6. Moderator emeritus


    Yes, agreed, I don't see anything else making loud sounds like that. And if there's a ground fault or a short or something like that inside your (conductive, metal) notebook, you wanna not be doin' that anymore. :( I'd definitely go the one step further and say that you have to turn this computer off, now, and keep it off until this is resolved.

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