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LarryJoe33

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Jul 17, 2017
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The machine is slow, laggy and under stress. The fan constantly runs and I’ve gotten a few temperatures warnings. It’s my daughter college machine. I tried troubleshooting with her and after wipe and clean install, same thing. The fan never goes to normal, even when it had nothing on it. I just bought her a MBP and got the machine in hand. I wiped it again. Same thing. It’s almost unusable. Is the CPU dying? Running the latest OS.

Thanks in advance.
 

Technerd108

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Oct 24, 2021
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I am a little confused? You bought her a MBP and that is not the machine you are having a problem with? What year is the MBP and what size?

I am gathering your problem is with a 2017 air?

If the fan is constantly running and it is slow it could be that the cooling system is blocked with dust and debris. It could be that the applied thermal paste has gone bad or both.

If you have wiped and reinstalled I am going to assume that it is not a software problem.

If you can open the back of the Mac to see if the vents are blocked and check the fans. Vacuum them out, get some dry paper towels and wipe things down. Get a can of compressed air and clean it out.

If it looks clean and there is no blockage or debris then it is probably imminent hardware failure. I am not sure if this model has an ssd or hdd? If it has a spinning hard drive it is most likely failing and could be the problem. If it is an ssd then run hardware diagnostics.

Also you can call apple and even out of warranty they should be able to run a remote hardware diagnostic on your device. Have them run the diagnostics and let you know the results.

There could be a few reasons for what is happening. Cpu failure could happen but more than likely it is just a blocked cooling system. Intel cpu run hot and need constant cooling. If they don’t have decent cooling everything will slow down as the cpu throttles down to prevent catastrophic failure.

If it has a hard drive and not a ssd they often fail as well and they will also slow everything down and the cpu has to work harder just to do basic tasks. A replacement for hdd or cleaning the cooling system is most likely.

Lastly your cpu could be dying but I think that would be unlikely. I am sure there is still life left. I am not sure if the 2017 has modular ram or not but if you open up the laptop and you can replace ram you might want to add more ram and possibly replace the ssd. I am not sure what is soldered to the board but if you can replace it might be a good idea to do so. First make sure it is not the cpu causing issues and get apple to run hardware diagnostics remotely by phone.

Good luck!
 

LarryJoe33

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Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
I am a little confused? You bought her a MBP and that is not the machine you are having a problem with? What year is the MBP and what size?

I am gathering your problem is with a 2017 air?

If the fan is constantly running and it is slow it could be that the cooling system is blocked with dust and debris. It could be that the applied thermal paste has gone bad or both.

If you have wiped and reinstalled I am going to assume that it is not a software problem.

If you can open the back of the Mac to see if the vents are blocked and check the fans. Vacuum them out, get some dry paper towels and wipe things down. Get a can of compressed air and clean it out.

If it looks clean and there is no blockage or debris then it is probably imminent hardware failure. I am not sure if this model has an ssd or hdd? If it has a spinning hard drive it is most likely failing and could be the problem. If it is an ssd then run hardware diagnostics.

Also you can call apple and even out of warranty they should be able to run a remote hardware diagnostic on your device. Have them run the diagnostics and let you know the results.

There could be a few reasons for what is happening. Cpu failure could happen but more than likely it is just a blocked cooling system. Intel cpu run hot and need constant cooling. If they don’t have decent cooling everything will slow down as the cpu throttles down to prevent catastrophic failure.

If it has a hard drive and not a ssd they often fail as well and they will also slow everything down and the cpu has to work harder just to do basic tasks. A replacement for hdd or cleaning the cooling system is most likely.

Lastly your cpu could be dying but I think that would be unlikely. I am sure there is still life left. I am not sure if the 2017 has modular ram or not but if you open up the laptop and you can replace ram you might want to add more ram and possibly replace the ssd. I am not sure what is soldered to the board but if you can replace it might be a good idea to do so. First make sure it is not the cpu causing issues and get apple to run hardware diagnostics remotely by phone.

Good luck!
Thank you for your feedback and sorry for the confusion. The Macbook Pro was purchased last week and sent to my daughter at college because her Macbook Air was unusable. I took advantage of the Amazon deal for the M2, 8GB, 512SSD deal. The Macbook Air is the machine that is constantly burning up with fan running, even when wiped clean and before the MacOS install which was Monterey.

The Air is a 2017 and had an SSD, not a spinner. The next thing I was going to do was open it up and see if the fan is mucked up, but I need to get my hands on a P5 screwdriver. I will find one today or order one. I will report back.

Thanks again. Hoping to have myself a nice hand me down to replace my aging 2011 MBP which was also her older brothers that failed when he was in college and I breathed some life into it with an SSD and more RAM which was overclocked. It's chocking on an unsupported OS these days.
 
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LarryJoe33

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Jul 17, 2017
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Was the Air exposed to moisture?

How's the battery health?
Battery looks ok, reads as normal.

I took the back off this morning and expected to see crap in the fan. All looked good there but I blew some air in it. No relief from that. I then removed the heatsink and reapplied some artic silver. No reilef.

I am letting it run right now and it's blasting and slow as hell. The weird thing is that when the display goes to sleep, the fan quiets down. GPU? This thing may be trash.
 

Audit13

macrumors 604
Apr 19, 2017
6,813
1,810
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Battery looks ok, reads as normal.

I took the back off this morning and expected to see crap in the fan. All looked good there but I blew some air in it. No relief from that. I then removed the heatsink and reapplied some artic silver. No reilef.

I am letting it run right now and it's blasting and slow as hell. The weird thing is that when the display goes to sleep, the fan quiets down. GPU? This thing may be trash.
Did you try running the diagnostics by holding down the "D" key while doing a cold boot?

The sluggishness can be caused by CPU throttling and throttling can be caused by a bad battery and defective temperature sensors.

Any of the moisture indicators on the logic board turn red?

Is it possible the MacBook was dropped?
 

LarryJoe33

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Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Did you try running the diagnostics by holding down the "D" key while doing a cold boot?

The sluggishness can be caused by CPU throttling and throttling can be caused by a bad battery and defective temperature sensors.

Any of the moisture indicators on the logic board turn red?

Is it possible the MacBook was dropped?
I'll try that (D) now. It is quite possible that it was dropped and spilled on. This is a college machine! There is a small dent on the top left corner of the bottom plate. There was a tiny crack in the vent tube, but I don't think that is causing it. No red indicators.
 

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
System controller?

ef67a465488c5657a6a22bc38906e9e5.jpg
 

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
I see from my searching that this could be battery or memory related. Question, are the memory removable sticks or are they soldered onto the board?
 

Audit13

macrumors 604
Apr 19, 2017
6,813
1,810
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I suggest removing the logic board and examining the other side. There are moisture sensors that can't be seen without removal.

Seems to me that the board needs to be examined more closely by a tech who can perform board-level diagnostics. I believe there is something wrong with one or more of the temperature sensors.
 
Last edited:

Technerd108

macrumors 68030
Oct 24, 2021
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4,152
Battery looks ok, reads as normal.

I took the back off this morning and expected to see crap in the fan. All looked good there but I blew some air in it. No relief from that. I then removed the heatsink and reapplied some artic silver. No reilef.

I am letting it run right now and it's blasting and slow as hell. The weird thing is that when the display goes to sleep, the fan quiets down. GPU? This thing may be trash.
I am afraid that it is possible the SOC is done. It could be the gpu is failing and it could be the cpu is failing and since the gpu is integrated if either fails there is no repair to be made. You could see how much it costs to replace the CPU? Or you could see if you could find a used air with a trashed screen and good cpu and try to replace it.

My advice is to let it go. As I said before have Apple at least do a remote diagnostics so you can confirm it is a hardware failure that is major. Then once confirmed I don't see a lot of cost effective options unfortunately.

You got your daughter a great replacement that should serve her for many years and be a battery life champ so she is taken care of and that is the most important thing. Maybe you could use it for a future trade in when you buy another Mac or sell it for parts on eBay with the disclaimer that the cpu/gpu is failing. I am sure the case and screen still have value.

Sometimes when you try everything you can think of you have to give in before you spend way too much time and effort on something that is only going to cause headaches.

I really wish I could say do this and you are good to go but I have seen this with other Intel CPU I the past. Sometimes they just fail. The Gpu or CPU just starts failing after several years-usually it is related to overheating for many years.

In any case I hope someone here can tell you something that will get things going again otherwise it may be wise to cut your losses while you are ahead.
 

LarryJoe33

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Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
Hey, thanks for the words of wisdom. We are in the same page. I’m done troubleshooting and it’s not worth my time, effort or money at this point. I agree, there is something going south within the hardware infrastructure.

One of these days I am going to get a new MacBook Pro for myself instead of for my kids and taking on there hand me downs.

I guess they don’t make them like they used to. My 2011 MBP is still very capable, I just need to go back to High Sierra, the last supporter OS. You can’t really take the new machine apart like this one and upgrade.

I’ll probably sell the Air for what it is. A machine that runs, but runs hot.

Thanks again to you and everyone who has weighed in.
 
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LarryJoe33

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
I'll guess liquid damage...or a fall. Last ditch is to wipe the drive and reinstall everything from scratch.
Examine the activity monitor for any odd behavior. Time might be better spent snagging an apple back to school deal.
You obviously did not read the whole thread, Sherlock.
 
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