electrical noise while scrolling?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by pna, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Hi all,

    I've got a 1.25 ghz aluminum powerbook that's still covered under applecare. It was recently serviced, and they replaced just about everything except for the casing and the cpu.

    Now that it's back and working again, I notice that when I scroll down a page either using the trackpad or using a usb mouse and dragging the window scrollbar, I hear sort of a static-y sound coming out of the grills. Not super loud, but it's definitely there. It seems to get louder as I use the computer more. It's not the fan turning on (I know what that sounds like), it really sounds like a rough bit of static that you can control and modulate by scrolling.

    The strange thing is that this sound only happens when I'm running on AC power. The second that I unplug it and run off the battery it stops and doesn't start again. I've tried cranking up the monitor brightness and putting it on 'better performance' when on the battery to mimic being plugged in, but it definitely seems like an electrical issue from the adapter.

    Is this normal? Do you all notice this with your powerbooks, or have you ever been in a quiet enough room to be able to tell? It's bizarre. I can live with it, but am wondering if I'm doing some sort of electrical damage to the machine that I'm going to discover after the applecare has run out. On the other hand, it seems like one of those hard problems for them to be able to diagnose and fix if I were to have it sent in.

    Any ideas or thought you can give would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I get that occasionally with the same model but was assured by the Genius in the Apple Store that it wasn't a problem (then again, it was so loud in there, he couldn't hear it).

    Occasionally my keyboard squeaks a little when I've been using it a lot and it's very warm - most bizarre...
  3. Cuckoo macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    The Netherlands - Utrecht
    Got a PB as well, a 1,25Ghz version. I've got that squeeking sounds when i've got VNC open. When i Stop that program, then the squeeking stops as well...

    I didn't think too much of it....
  4. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I had the same thing happen with my old Dell Inspiron 4100 laptop. I have no idea what causes it. :) Sorry...but I doubt it's a problem.
  5. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    I get it too on my G5... not all the time, but if its a quiet house.. i can hear it through my speakers... who knows!
  6. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    I get this problem on my new G5, but I didn't on my old G5. I don't know if it is a hardware defect, or if Tiger somehow causes it. Exposé also makes the noise sometimes.
  7. Cuckoo macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    The Netherlands - Utrecht
    I've had in on 10.2 and 10.3 <since i've stoped using VNC it's gone, occasionally i hear it from my BP when i try out a piece of software...
  8. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    This is weird. I get this too. When I'm home alone working on the computer and I scroll down, somtimes I hear a faint hiss come out of my AP Speakers. When stopping scrolling, the noise stops as well. I thought it was just me. :confused:
  9. pna thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Wow, strangely comforting to hear I'm not alone with this problem with the powerbooks. I take it that you've all noticed that you don't have a problem if you're not running on AC power as well?

    Also, I've definitely had the static-y experience with the dual G5's that some of you are describing. At work there are a bunch of rev A dual G5's that are impossible to listen to headphones on. You can listen, but every time the hard drive seeks or you move a window, you get a really irritating bit of static in the headphones. Annoying if you have them turned down low, but really obnoxious if you have them even marginally turned up. You'd think that electrical shielding would have been something the apple engineers would really have focused on for an obvious culprit like that -- this has been a problem with onboard sound in motherboards for years.

    Applespider, I totally empathize with your trying to get a Genius in the store to hear anything noisy and out of spec about a machine. My hard drive was whining like it was going to die, but, unsurprisingly, he couldn't hear it over the store noise. Took it into the 'quiet' back, and claimed not to have heard it there either. When it made it into the techs at the service center, though, they ended up replacing pretty much everything in the machine...
  10. tek macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2003
    This happened to me on my 12" powerbook too... it went away by its self after about 7 or 8 months though.
  11. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    This sounds like a problem I was having once that I posted here. Never did figure that one out.
  12. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    It happens on my Dell Inspiron 8200 (which is sitting collecting dust, waiting to be sold to some sucker). The laptop (when all else was quiet) would emit a weird ringing noise and when you performed an action or scrolled, the ring would be interrupted and "flicker." No idea what causes it but it never caused any performance problems that I know of.
  13. dsharits macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    I get this sound all the time with my iBook, whether it's plugged in or not. I've noticed that it's only audible when I'm using headphones, though.
  14. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
    Power G5 doing the same

    I have this problem with my Rev. B 2GHz G5. I think it may have something to do with the Performance setting in the energy saver part in System Preferences.

    I'm not sure if its related to the regular 'squeekes' or 'buzzes' other people have said - but I how knows eh?

  15. dsharits macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    Is the noise on yours constant, or is it just when you're scrolling? I get some of that noise from my G4, but I know it is from the energy saver, because I can hear it change when I turn it on and off in prefs. The noise i get from my iBook is only when I'm scrolling, as it is with most of the other comments in this thread.
  16. therevolution macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2003
    I get a constant hiss on my PowerBook 15" 1.67GHz and, in some instances, chirping sounds when typing. It only happens when processor performace is set to "Highest" in the Energy Saver prefs. Very odd and a bit annoying. I don't notice anything when scrolling, though.
  17. Mac Kiwi macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2003
    New Zealand
    I get the same thing since installing Tiger{the chirping noise}.It happens the most noticably for me when painting or using lasoo tools in PS CS2,thats using a Wacom tablet as well.

    I thought it must have been a Wacom driver issue.
  18. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    This is a very common problem/issue, and there are many threads about it. The verdict seems to be that while sometimes annoying, it's entirely normal and is nothing at all to worry about. FWIW, both my Power Mac and 12" PB do this.
  19. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    I think it's the graphics card. Happens on my 12" too..
  20. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
    I get that sound all the time with any Macromedia application. I turn on some music so it won't annoy me.
  21. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Same thing happens on my G5, and used to happen on my PowerBook 2300c. It's pretty common, and usually I can live with it, but can be very annoying when I notice it.
  22. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Happens on my home built PC as well. Everything has been upgraded in it many times, hardware and software, and I still get that noise when I scroll. Sometimes, I just turn the sound down. Hasn't happened on any of my Macs, but I don't have Tiger yet, so I don't know.
  23. stevey500 macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Huntington, Utah
    I have heard it on every PC I have ever used... even with nice sound cards I still hear it, its an odd interference.. I haven't ever heard it from my powermac or my buddy's G3 powerbook... in my powermac, im using an M-Audio card though... but on my P4 2.8ghz PC I get it terrible while scrolling, or even sometimes just moving the curser and loud when dragging windows when I have the speakers turned up pretty loud, that tower has a Creative Live 5.1 card... I'm not sure what causes it...

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