17" Grinder....Not a sandwich.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by CharlesRobinson, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. CharlesRobinson macrumors newbie


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alright, So I've got a 17" Powerbook that makes colorful grinding noise coming from the bottom right fan/harddrive area. This really scares me.
    I'll be doing anything, then it hits, slowly at first, then it escalates into all kinds of problems. Typical example - focus my attention onto an safari, spins. Try to switch to another program, switch works, but then first command spins the program. Now I can't get a result from clicking anywhere. Hold power key. Violent and sad shut down. Restart. Grinding wheeze as my shiny paperweight takes a dying breath. By this point, nothing really happens, just noise and if I'm lucky, the verbose logging kicks in just in time to stop doing anything. I'll sit in disbelief for a moment or two before turning the machine off and walking off, wondering how on earth I shall deal with this.
    Here's the kicker - I'll turn it off for the night or say another 24 hours, the machine boots up just fine and dandy, SMART Status is verified, passes the hardware test, I go on my merry way....for a month. Repeat at top.
    Thus far, this cycle has happened to me three times (currently in meltdown phase, sadly looking upon greybook while using roommate's inferior whitebook). I was hoping (ironically) that after a few more meltdowns the problem would be consistent enough to show it to someone else and get repair credit, but to no avail.

    So I guess my question is, has this happened to anyone before? I'm feeling like I if I take the hit and try to mail it off to Apple, I'm going to have some problems since the problem is not isolated, and, from what I can tell, near impossible to reproduce the problem controlled. How many components might I have to replace to get this frightening halt to my work to go away (best, worst, likely scenarios if you're feeling particularly ambitious, saint-like)?

  2. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    sounds like it could be the fan failing and then maybe overheating so it just shuts down...?

    i hope the PB is still under warranty? :eek:

    i've never heard of this 'grinding' noise before. but you know if the HD starts making loud clicking noises... the HD is going. happened to me very recently. :mad:

    whatever happens, just make sure you're keeping regular backups in case your PB really dies.

    sorry i can't really help that much.
  3. CharlesRobinson thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 27, 2006
    Yeah - the first time it happened I moved my home directory out to an external hard drive and changed the path in netinfo manager to reflect its new location. I'm not worried that the actual machine dies, just that I'm going to have to lose a lot of productivity in school.

    I was thinking that if something were just stuck in the fan, some canned air might help if I blow it in through the vents that the horrid noise is coming from...That is a thought though - overheating does tend to suck a lot.

    For anyone that has gotten to deal with applecare before - how much do repair fees go for various component replacements?
  4. CharlesRobinson thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 27, 2006
    That comment of yours actually got me thinking. If there was some gunk in an otherwise uniform radial symmetric fan, it would make all kinds of funky noises. An overhot processor is going to call halt on itself, and all commands to the device tree will be rendered incoherent nonsense as incomplete requests.
    My solution? Canned air. Blew some into the van vent while it started up, grinding turned to humming, computer boots, I get my big happy screen back. Canned air just unf***ed my expensive paper weight. Canned air.

Share This Page