1st time Mac user: Macbook problems


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2006
Hi all

I've been wanting a Mac for quite a while now, and finally caved in when they released the new Macbook. I ordered one from Apple on the 20th and got the delivery date of 12th of june.

Anxious to get my Macbook, I checked with the Apple retailers here in Norway when I heard they got some units in, and ordered one from a retailer in another city. A friend of mine was about to order one for himself, so he said he'd buy the one I had already ordered from Apple, so we would both shorten our waiting times.

Now, the only problem with this deal was that I felt sure that the one I ordered from the retailer would have problems, but the one from Apple would be perfect. It would just be so typical!!

I got the one from the retailer yesterday, and immediately picked up on a high frequency sound I didn't really think sounded like it was supposed to be there. I called a friend of mine who already had a Macbook and he said he couldn't hear anything like that...I tested out some programs (including photobooth) , and suddenly the sound was gone. I thought I had imagined the sound being there, after reading lots of stuff about the whine problems.

However, some of the programs crashed a couple of times, and I wasn't even able to shut down my Macbook cause Finder and iPhoto crashed. It wasn't until the next morning, when a friend of mine told me I could force it to shut down by holding down the power button that I managed to turn it off.

Ok, fair enough, I finally manage to turn it off, and guess what: when I turned it back on, the the whining sound was back, and a lot more annoying. I discover that it disappears while I scroll down a page, or start a new program. Some programs crash a couple of more times, and I have to close them by using cmd+alt+esc. I do some reading and find out that the whine disappears if I use iSight.

Ok, fine...I get the whine away by starting iSight, and then go out to enjoy the nice weather. When I get back, the fans on my Macbook are running every 5-6 seconds. They start, run for a second, and then stop, until the same thing happens a couple of minutes later. This can't be the way it's meant to be?? One of the reasons I bought a mac in the first place was that I was told that "everything just works"....this has not been the case at all....programs have crashed more often than they usually do on my pc, and I have not installed any weird programs at all.....the fans are messing up, and it's making a weird high-frequency sound that I normally only hear from TVs. Is this the way it's supposed to be, or have I been giving a bad unit? Am I entitled to a new computer, or do I have to suffer through this? I was planning to bring my computer to school tomorrow to study for my next exam, but I'm not sure I want, seeing how the fans on my mac will probably piss people off...

So I'm not sure what to do..even though I can get a new one it's really annoying to have to wait for it...I'm guessing it'll take some weeks, as they're already having problems getting the macbooks out to everyone who has ordered...but I'm not sure how long I can wait, and still be able to get a new one?? I already e-mailed the retailer who sold it to me, but they haven't replied yet. What do you all think? Have I reeived a bad unit, or is this just something I have to deal with when I buy a mac? I appreciate any help or reply. Thanks.



macrumors member
Jun 11, 2005

Hello and welcome to the world of Apple!!

Sorry to hear you are having challanges with your new MacBook. Just bought mine two days ago and luckily I am not having ANY problems with it so far.

Sounds like you might have a defective unit for sure.

Please make sure that you do not have protective plastic covering your vent ports beneath the hindge. This has been a problem for some owners. Other then this it may be a HD issue or a fan issue, tough to tell.

You might consider taking the unit back to the retailer and exchanging it for another. Good luck. Anyone else with some advice?

"Think Alike... BE Different!"


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2006

Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for the advice :)

I had been reading up on the different problems with the latest Mac machines before I got mine, so the first thing I did was to check for plastic covering up the ventilation system,and I found nothing. It really isn't running hot at all, so I don't understand why the fans are going crazy.

Needless to say, I like OS X a lot, and I really don't want to part with this machine, but it seems like I'll have to return it to get a fully-functional one. I was just hoping that everything would be ok, and that all the good stuff I'd been hearing about Apple would be true for me as well. Oh well, I would've been able to live with the whine until there came a software fix for it, but I can't take these fans turning themselves on and off every 5 seconds...

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
perfect unit here. When the power isn't plugged in, i can hear that little whine. Mine is very quiet and high pitched so i dont notice it too much.
If the fans are comming on like you described them, i think it means the CPU is hovering around the temperature where the fans come on. Without the fans on, it creeps above 60 degrees C, with them on, it falls just below it. What I do is just put the computer to sleep without the power connected for a few minutes. This cools the CPU down enoughc to keep the fans off.


macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2006
do you guys think that apple will try to fix these issues- and how will I know if they will be fixed.

i wanna get a macbook, but the way i've seen these early adopters get treated, I'm having second thoughts.


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
hallaisen said:
Oh well, I would've been able to live with the whine until there came a software fix for it, but I can't take these fans turning themselves on and off every 5 seconds...
Sounds an awful lot like the "mooing" symptom described by some other owners (my 17" doesn't do it), but I thought the most recent firmware update was supposed to have fixed that for most if not all people. Did you install it?

As for the whine, I'm not sure. Sounds quite a bit like a side-effect of the processor adjusting its speed to save power (hence it goes away when it's working harder and cranked up to full speed, like when processing an iSight stream or scrolling), but it may or may not be normal.

Some people seem to be drastically more sensitive to the sounds their computers make than others, and I honestly wonder if in at least some cases people aren't having unrealistic expectations about spurious noises. I can say for sure that several Dell notebooks I've used have made far more oddball whining and screeching noises than my MBP does. It's not dead silent, but unless the room is totally quiet I just don't hear it, and I don't consider it unsual even then.


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2006
Thanks for the help, but I'm gonna take this one back. The mooing sound is making me CRAZY, and the battery isn't working. What a disappointment. At the moment I wanna get a pc instead, just cause this annoys me so much, but I'll probably go with a new Macbook, and hope that I'll get lucky and get one without problems :mad:


macrumors regular
May 26, 2006
Right there with you Ivar!


I'm fine with the heat, as this just seems to be a by-product of such a powerful machine. Many PC's that I checked recently got just as warm.
I could probably even live with the whine as it's difficult to hear unless the room is quiet, except that it gives me a terrible headache. Shame as it really was love at first sight for me.

I was aware of all the issues but thought it was the minority. I actually still think that, despite my experiences. My luck with technology is not good. (3rd Xbox 360, 2nd projector and 2nd LCD tv).
I'll be waiting until the next revision though, mainly because I don't need a new computer right now. I waited 3 months for the MB, so another7-9 can't be too bad. Right? lol


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2006
Ouch, that's horrible, man...but I agree, it's extremely frustrating. I've been drooling on a mac laptop for a year now, and finally got this one, thinking only the minority had problems, and that they were overestimated by picky users....boy, was I wrong...I'm not gonna give up, though...I like the machine enough to go through all the hassle of getting a new one...I'm just hoping it'll be flawless...


Aug 23, 2005
Damn I'm sorry for all the people who got a duff macbook.

I feel so lucky to get a perfect one. Doesnt get hot, doesnt moo, boo, buzz or whine, No bad assmebly and no dead pixels.

Loving mine, but all I can say to those with issues is get onto apple or the retailer and get them sorted ASAP. There are good macbooks out there so take some hope.

Good luck all of you...