2011 MacBook Pro is making a weird noise

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sylon, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Sylon, Mar 6, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013

    Sylon macrumors 68020

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #1
    My late 2011 MacBook Pro has started making this weird noise at random times today. It has done this twice (EDIT: three times, it just happened again), and the second time I recorded it with my phone. The fan on these things is in the middle near the screen hinge. Yet, the sound itself seems to be coming from the left side where the charging port and USB ports are. A restart, sometimes a hard reboot, makes the sound go away. But shutting the sound up isn't fixing the problem, especially if it's just going to come back again.

    Any ideas? Here is the video, might want to turn the volume up a little, my Nexus 4 has a very focused mic apparently.


     
  2. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #2
    The left speaker is on that side (right by all the ports). A speaker making a sound like that makes me think the audio amp might be fried.

    It's also possible it's the fan making that noise at higher speeds (yes I know the fan is in the center) and restarting lets the fan spin down.

    Reset the NVRAM and SMC and if that doesnt work bring it into Apple and have them take a look.
     
  3. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
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    #3
    Thanks for the video! It sounds like a mechanical problem (i.e. a defective fan). This needs a repair or replacement.
     
  4. Sylon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sylon

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    #4
    How do I do that? The resetting part. Is that where I hold CMD+Opt+something+something at startup?
     
  5. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #5
    SMC:
    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
    3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
    4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.

    NVRAM:
    1. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
    2. Press and hold the left Command-Option and P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
    3. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    4. Release the keys.
     
  6. Sylon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sylon

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    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #6
    Thank you, I'll give it a try. In the mean time, if this even means anything, so far I've only heard this sound when the computer is unplugged from its power cable. It hasn't happened yet with it plugged in.
     
  7. Sylon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
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    #7
    Unfortunately that didn't solve the issue. It started right up with that noise shortly after performing both of those actions.
     
  8. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #8
    Does it happen if you keep the volume all the way down and on mute?

    If possible you should bring the laptop into a Apple store and have one of the guys in the back take a look at it. It doesn't cost anything for them to tell you what's wrong.

    The only only thing you can really do besides the Apple store is take it apart and try to fix it yourself.
     
  9. Sylon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sylon

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #9
    I can confirm that this issue has nothing to do with the speakers, lol. It just kicked on again.


    I was hoping not to have to talk it to the Apple Store, as the closest one is an hour away. I guess I'll be making a road trip out of it.
     
  10. Sylon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #10
    If anyone is still reading this thread, I think I have confirmed what some have thought of to be the cause of the issue. I downloaded iStat Menus and checked out different things when the sound kicked in. Turns out, under normal circumstances, my exhaust fan hovers around 1900-2000rpm. When the sound occurs, it's ranging between 300-700rpm. Yeah, not even breaking 1000. I also let it go, seeing what would happen if I did. Eventually the fan went back up to normal speed and the sound stopped. But the sound itself wasn't a gradual increase in frequency to where you can't hear it anymore, it was a sudden stop. So I dunno.

    If my vision is goo enough to make the trip (I recently had eye surgery) to the Apple Store, I might go tomorrow. My MacBook Pro is out of it's 1 year warranty, so I would probably be expecting a hefty repair cost, huh?
     
  11. frank8382 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 5, 2014
  12. Sylon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
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    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #12
    Because this zombie of a thread was made back in March of last year.


    And in a odd coincidence, as of this afternoon I no longer own that laptop.
     
  13. frank8382 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    #13
    This isn't just about you. What about others who might be experiencing the same problem?
     
  14. Sylon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #14

    I already stated what the problem was, a fan was unbalanced. Likely due to dust build up or something.

    It's not too difficult to figure that one out. I understand what you are getting at, but at the same time I felt that my video had served its purpose, as did this thread.


    So for future people that came across this thread (and good on you for using the search button), it sounded kinda like sticking a baseball card in the spokes of a bicycle, just not as loud.
     

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