"Wheezing" and fans clicking on

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by tech4all, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #1
    For some reason, just recently, my G5 was making this wheezing sounds as though the fans were spinning or something. And I also heard this clicking sounds of the fans I believe. When it did this, I got the spinning ball on the screen. It lasted for about 1 minute or so. Although about a week ago it did the samething I was shutting down the system. It eventually stopped and did shut down successfully.

    And also, yesturday I got that "You need to shut down your computer" notice twice. First time was when I booted the computer (the fans were going at full speed that time), second was when I was doing normal stuff.

    During normal operation, when that does not happen, the system runs fine. Any ideas :confused:
     
  2. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    Fans usually don't click. The only thing i've ever heard of making clicking sounds in a computer would be the hard drive, and they usually only make that sound when they are about to fail. Also, the symptoms you described could be related to a failing hard drive. So i'd consider backing up before it was too late. Check the SMART status of your drive to see if it tells you anything.
     
  3. tech4all thread starter macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #3
    Hey thanks for the reply!

    See I'm not totally sure if it's really a "clicking" sound. But "wheezing" sound is similar to when a car starts up when it's timing belt is about to go out. And the clicking....its like something is trying to engage into gear or something, but its like "click - click - click - click". It only does it once every 3 seconds after the "wheezing" sounds is done. But, IMO, it doesn't sound like a noise a hard drive would make, when I first heard it I thought it was the fan or something. Although I did get the spinning beachball thing on the screen (although the rollover names in the dock did work). Its been doing this sound before, but its done the minute-long sound twice (once at shut down and yesturday) about once a week or so. I do have AppleCare, and I will back up my data; which everyone should do anyways :)

    Any more info is appreciated.
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    That really does sound exactly like the symptoms of a failing hard drive; the "wheezing sound", if I'm imagining it correctly, could be the drive heads seeking or the drive making some other bad sound like spinning partway down then back up over and over, which would cause exactly the spinning beachball symptom you describe (OSX usually stalls, but doesn't freeze completely, when the drive stops responding). The clicking, in that case, would be the drive heads parking and unparking, another sound that indicates a failing disk.

    Open up Disk Utility and click on the drive--it should say "S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified" down at the very bottom of the window. If it says something else, you're in trouble.

    There could of course be other causes--since you have a G5, the wheezing could well be the fans ramping up due to some process maxing out the processor and stalling the OS--if you're not used to it, that can sound unnerving, and it would make sense if it corresponded with a stall. That doesn't explain the clicking, though, and in that case the kernel panics would be a sign of a bad OS install or something else going wrong (do you have any interesting hardware installed/connected?).

    Try running the hardware test CD that came with the computer and see if it tells you anything.
     
  5. tech4all thread starter macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #5
    Thanks for the reply.

    I did check Disk Utility and it does say "S.M.A.R.T. Status : Verified" So I guess thats a good thing (although I'm not sure what the "S.M.A.R.T." thing means). I haven't got any kernal panics, although I did that notice that said I needed to restart my computer by pressing the power button for 10 seconds (or something like that). That happened twice on Thursday, once on a rebooot (I left and came back to find the fans going nuts, then rebooted via the power button and all was fine), the second was during normal operation and again, did what it said and all was fine. I don't have any hardware installed/connected. Just my iPod but that wasn't connected at the time. RAM is from Apple, got ethernet cable connected and speakers/headphones, and a USB cable in front connected for my digital camera (which was not connected). Not sure if that has anything to do with it, but I just felt I should put on the table for 'FYI'.

    I'm on my G5 right now and Its working normally so far. Oh yeah, I posted about this before, but when I first turn on the computer my internet connection is screwy, like Mail won't connect to my email servers and I may have trouble getting to my homepage in my browser (Safari). However, if I reboot the computer after first start up, it goes online quick, and Mail works wonderfully; which is VERY odd to me and gets a bit annoying. Maybe it has to do with that Virex login thing at start up or something in the memory at first boot up that gets fixed at reboot, sound confusing? Yup it is :p. May not be related but just wanted to put that out on the table again.

    Then I'm talking to my dad about it and he says I thought you said Macs were good and that thing cost so much it better not go out. Which is true, but hey, its a computer and its not perfect. But thats beside the point :D I'm going to back up some data, just incase ;)

    (At least I got AppleCare :))


    Oh btw: the hardware test CD thing is on the CD(s) that came with the computer right? Yea I know I could check, but I have to go somewhere right now :) And when get that CD in the computer, how do do the hardware test thing? What will tell me? Thanks again!
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    Actually, that message is Apple's polite way of informing you of a kernel panic (which is another word for the OS crashing).

    You describe at least three complete OS crashes over a period of a few days, which is a surefire sign that something is very much not right with the system; I run my G5 tower for weeks without problems like that.

    You have no external hardware (that would cause issues) connected, so that's easy to rule out, leaving either a piece of software that modifies the system itself (Virex is the only possible culprit you mentioned, though I wasn't aware it caused that many problems), but things like Norton SystemWorks may also install things that can cause instability. Run of the mill programs, however, cannot.

    The other possibilities are a bad OS install, which you'd diagnose by reinstalling the OS and all updates, or a hardware issue, either with your drive (which sounds quite possible), or with another component in the G5. It'd be worth taking the metal panel off the side the next time it's making that whirring sound and seeing if the noise is definitely coming from the hard drive by putting your ear near it.

    This sounds like a symptom of a flaky internet connection; less likely a problem with the computer itself. If you're using DSL and the service uses PPPoE, it might be taking a while to connect, particularly if you're using a router or AirPort in between. I've noticed that inputting your DNS servers into the Network Preference Pane manually in this case fixes the issue, though there's probably a better workaround.

    To confirm that it's not your computer, try this: Turn the machine on, try to connect to the internet. Assuming it doesn't work the first time, open the Network preferences, select your ethernet connection, then in the TCP/IP tab click "Renew DHCP Lease"; if it works after that, it's probably your slow-responding DSL modem or router.


    It'll either be on a seperate disc or included with the "restore" disc. If it's on its own disc (probably not), just put it in and hold the "C" key when you restart. If it's on the restore disc, there should be instructions for using it printed on the disc itself (the manual will also tell you, I assume).

    Since you have Applecare, you might just call them and ask them for help, since it's free and they'll be able to listen to what you're hearing if you can get it to happen when they're on the phone.
     

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