MacBook vibration, spinning noise. Hmmm. What to think?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by drmike, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. drmike macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    Let me begin with a quick summary: I just switched from Windows to Mac (got a new MacBook Core 2 Duo) and absolutely love OS X. I went to see a tech at the Genius Bar on Tuesday about a few minor issues, and when he examined my computer, he noticed dark shadows in the bottom corners of the display (I noticed them too but was thinking I'd just live with 'em); he and the store manager offered to exchange the MacBook (even though I didn't ask them to, which was nice of them). When I got the replacement MacBook home, I checked the display: perfect! But this replacement has a different issue.

    Basically, I feel a consistent, minor vibration on the right wristpad and along the top case of the MacBook just to the right of the keyboard. I can also hear something spinning constantly. I figured this must be the hard-drive that's causing the vibration and the spinning noise, or perhaps a fan. The thing is, though, the spinning noise doesn't stop at all unless I put the MacBook to sleep. In addition, the previous MacBook didn't have this issue.

    Any ideas? I've read online that some MacBooks do have the vibration, but shouldn't the spinning stop from time to time? If this is normal, I can live with it, but I want to make sure that it really is normal. I have noticed that this particular MacBook takes longer to boot up than the previous one.
     
  2. bored911 macrumors 6502

    bored911

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    i have this during startup, but it should stop. try opening activity moniter apps>utilities>activity moniter, and if osx has open applications, or whether a large amount of cpu# is being used up.

    *50 posts*
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #3
    Shut down and restart your computer.

    Then repair permissions. Go to FINDER>UTILITIES>DISK UTILITY> and then repair permissions.
     
  4. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #4
    I checked the activity monitor, and the CPU is around 95-100% idle, but I can still hear the spinning, and if the MacBook is on a hard surface (e.g., my desk), I can feel the vibrations (not heavy vibrations, but noticeable if you rest your hand on certain parts of the case). I also followed Abstract's suggestions to repair permissions, and that didn't change anything either.

    I did a little more searching on this forum and on the Apple support forums, and it looks as if some MacBooks vibrate, some don't, and the only question is whether it's the hard drive or the fan. I stopped by my local Apple store, and the technician said the vibration was normal and that the noise I'm hearing is probably the fan. He wasn't able to hear it, though, even though he stepped out of the noisy store and into the back. I did mention that the previous MacBook I had (the one I just exchanged) was perfectly silent -- and that's partly why I'm wondering about this current one (when you go from a silent one to one that has some noise, the difference can raise questions).

    So I guess I'm wondering if the fan on the Core 2 Duo MacBook is supposed to be audible, and if the fan can cause slight vibrations -- or if, in this case, what I'm hearing is the hard drive. Anyone have a similar experience with their MacBook? It's hard to tell by just putting my ear up to the case because I hear the noise in the area just underneath the keyboard and also in the right palm-rest above where the hard drive is.

    Ultimately, I don't mind the noise provided a) it's normal and b) the hard drive isn't constantly spinning -- because it's supposed to spin down when I'm on battery (if the drive's not being accessed). I wish I could determine the actual source of the noise, just to be sure everything's working a-okay.
     
  5. mashinhead macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #5
    If you have to ask it's probably not normal. I pretty sure it's the hard drive especially if it's under the palm rest on the right side. You might want to see if there is a way you can stick a different HD in there and see if you have the same problem. that will isolate either the HD as the problem, or a component of the HD.
     
  6. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #6
    That's a good idea, actually. I hoped the tech at the Genius Bar last night would have investigated the matter further by checking the hard drive, but he insisted everything was normal and that he couldn't see or hear anything out of the ordinary. I probably should have been more insistent that, to be on the safe side, he locate the actual source of vibration/noise. Perhaps I'll see if I can go back and speak to a different tech or maybe go to a different Apple store (there are a few here in Southern California).

    It's one of those things I can deal with if it's truly okay, but the question, of course, is whether it is.

    If anyone else has any thoughts or similar experiences with the MacBook, I'd be intereted in hearing from you. Thanks.
     
  7. deepy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    #7
    my macbook (core-duo) used to be silent until i installed the new 10.4.9 update and now its experiencing what you're describing. constant vibration n quiet fan noise. i dont like it! it was fine when it was quiet...i want it quiet again!
     
  8. tonfisk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Location:
    France
    #8
    okej buddy, I just posted a thread telling almost the same story about my white macbook 2.0G! The never-stop hard disk and the vibration felt by my right hand, and the constant soft noise just like a fan blowing (But I am pretty sure that it is from the hard disk -- put your ear on the right palmset of your macbook and you can tell it). And I don't think this is normal, because I have checked two of my friends' macbooks and also the ones at the media shop here (fnac), none of these books have our problem, they are super quite! And I also obtained an error report when running the hardware test, you might also want to try that.

    I have sent the machine to local apple authorized dealer for a check. However they told me that they did not notice this problem and returned my macbook after one week with couple of bad scratches on the cover :( I think I might ask apple support again about this next week. If you get any update about your machine, please let me know!

    Tonfisk
     
  9. deepy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    #9
    ok i put my ear to the right palm rest and yes i guess it is the hard drive making the noise.

    i ran disk verify and it says my disk needs repairing. so going to repair it later today. gonna back things up first just in case!
     
  10. tonfisk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Location:
    France
    #10
    Hi drmike and deepy, have either of you got any solutions to the problem? I am still struggling with mine here ...
     
  11. MaaseyRacer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, Ca.
    #11
    boot into single user mode and type in "exit" (without the quotes obviously), the computer will then boot into OS X, then simply restart your computer and see if the CPU load goes down.
     
  12. invictus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #12
    I have this very same problem. I am not sure if it is the fan or the hard drive but it is coming from the right side of the computer. I think it may be the hard drive and that it never spins down or something.

    I have a black macbook with 1 GB of memory bought just a couple of weeks ago.

    No fixes found yet for this? It is not normal because my friends with macbooks do not have this problem.
     
  13. carcus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas area
    #13
    Fix your macbook vibration with McDonald's Napkin

    Analysis: Inadequate shock mounting of hard drive is causing resonance of hard drive through the battery (removal of battery eliminates vibration).

    Solution: Insulate battery from hard drive vibration by placing cushioning material inbetween battery spring clip and metal tab on L shaped RAM door.

    1. Shut down, unplug computer
    2. Open battery bay
    3. Fold approx 1”x1” piece of napkin over a few times.
    4. Place piece of folded napkin in between battery and case where the metal battery spring clip is located. Use enough napkin material to insulate the clip from the round tab but not so much that it causes excess pressure to lock the battery back into place.
    5. Razor off excess napkin material so it doesn’t look like your macbook walked out of the bathroom with toilet paper on its shoe.
    6. Enjoy a more pleasant physical relationship with your macbook.

    Probably not the elegant solution that you were looking for, or how a “genius” would solve the problem, but whatever works, right? Maybe somebody else can think of a better material than the napkin.
     

Share This Page