Brand new 2010 15'' MBP making rattling sounds inside!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ZTuned, May 9, 2010.

  1. ZTuned macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    This just started happening tonight, my brand new 2010 MBP 15'' started making clanking/rattling sounds when the laptop moves slightly (even the very slightest tilting when on the lap, or typing on the keyboard)

    It literally sounds like something is loose and making metal-to-metal contact inside the computer! Even as I type this, I can hear the noise. If I put my ear up to where the ports are (charging port, usb, minidisplay, etc) and I tilt the computer slightly back and forth I can hear the clanking/rattling.

    This is pretty f'n ridiculous that a brand new 2010 MBP is already having problems, and this computer has been sitting on a desk for 99% of it's life since it arrived last Wednesday. No, I didn't drop the computer, throw it off a cliff, or bump into something with it. It's literally been babied since the day I got it and religiously cleaned/maintained - afterall, it's a $2000+ computer!

    Is anyone else experiencing this? I hope this isn't something serious...

    This is not my first Mac, I've been using Apple's since the early 90's and I've never experienced/heard anything like this before in a laptop. :(

  2. matttung macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Open your baby up, then turn it around and see who(what) the culprit is! (if anything falls out)

    I've been bringing my i5 15" to school and everywhere, but nope, no rattling sounds for me, unfortunately :(
  3. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    There is no way I'm cracking open a mint 2010 MBP to see what it wrong. I'm absolutely furious right now - especially having waited ages for this being a BTO 15''.

    Even with the computer powered off and the screen closed, it makes the sound. It almost sounds "glassy" if that makes any sense. If I very slightly tilt the computer to one side it "clinks" and then when I slightly tilt it back it repeats the sound. :(

    This is wonderful, considering I just dropped off my 2007 MBP at the Apple Store yesterday to repair the infamous broken bezel problem (which is on it's last legs with Applecare expiring next month). I really thought this new MBP would be a solid replacement... but this is really making me lose faith in Apple's quality.

    I've noticed that it's somewhat intermittent. Sometimes it will make the noise easily with any movement, and sometimes it won't make any noise at all. Do you think this has to do with the sensor in the hard drive? Perhaps it's malfunctioning?

    Right now, I can't even reproduce the sound!
  4. a4209797 macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2010
  5. matttung macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Well, it's only 10 screws you're dealing with here...
    I took the bottom lid off even though I didn't have the need to do so
  6. a4209797 macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2010
    now that i think about it, that dosen't void the warrenty, does it?

    either way, something is (lose) in your computer that should not be. and you probably don't want to fix it urself.
  7. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Ok, so I did some research to see if anyone else was experiencing this and stumbled across a thread on Apple's support forum. It seems like many people are experiencing the same problem with their 2009 MBP's:

    Somebody in the thread posted a video of the sound in their 2009 MBP and it's EXACTLY what it sounds like in my 2010 MBP (500GB 7000 rpm HD):

    I also noticed that somebody made a comment on the youtube video saying they experienced the same noise with their 15'' i7

    This is very unusual as I was able to reproduce the sound with just the slightest movement, but right now my 2010 MBP isn't making the sound at all! Many people in the Apple support thread experienced this as well. One moment it's there, and before you know it... the sound has vanished! :confused:
  8. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    LOL, relax, its not a loose piece in your MBP, its the motion sensor of your hard drive that parks the head when it senses a sudden move to protect the data!
  9. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2010
    doubtful, he said it makes the noise if the laptop is barely tilted, e.g. typing on the keyboard. I would suggest taking it apart. There's literally nothing you can break by taking the back off. If you can't see anything that's obviously the problem, then take it to apple.
  10. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    Well in that case the simple test would be to switch off the mbp and see if it still does the sound, if it doesn't, it's prolly the hard drive!
  11. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    If you read my posts, you would have seen my comment that the noise was still present with the computer off and the screen closed. I posted up a YouTube video I found that someone posted of their 2009 MBP, and the sound was identical to what I was hearing.

    Right now, the sound is not occurring as frequently as it was before, but it's still there. Considering there is a 4 page thread in the Apple Support forums, I don't think this is a unique case.

    Unfortunately, no one has been able to find a concrete answer as to what causes the sound. I do not believe it is the sudden motion sensor because even the very slightest movement of the laptop triggers the sound. It is not that very loud "click" that occurs when you make very sudden/harsh movements with the laptop.

    It sounds like this:

    It's coming from the left side of the computer, near the left speaker. Sounds like a glassy "tink".
  12. tristero macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2010
    Same thing on a last-gen unibody 15"

    I have the same thing. It's been driving me crazy for the last couple of weeks. I haven't been able to identify any other symptoms, although I have a suspicion that it may in some way be related to the multitouch trackpad. The clinking is sometimes present when I experience difficulties with the trackpad, such as the trackpad somehow getting locked into thinking I am double-tapping when in fact I am just trying to do a single click.
    I was a victim of the bad video chip in my last MBP, and it fell outside of Apple's repair policy. Not haptimes if this is another manufacturing error.
    If you learn anything, please post it here, as will I.
  13. officiallyrad macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2008
    Been having the same "issue", but was pretty sure it was just a sensitive SMS (sudden-motion sensor) on the drive. I tried to turn it off via sudo in terminal, but since I had a blank password, I had to set one.

    Weird thing: when I saved a new password in System Preferences, I heard a loud "clink" inside my machine. One time, no more noise. Not sure if thats related.

    Anyways, turned SMS off, and the noise is still there (although it seems like its a bit harder to replicate.)

    I have the 15" i7 7200rpm model, FWIW
  14. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    You people on these forums are so anal.

    Just open the thing up and see for yourself.

    Who cares if it voids your warranty, its not like big :apple: is gonna know anyway.
  15. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Why would it be our responsibility to start taking apart a brand new (warrantied) laptop to track down a malfunction? The potential to accidentally damage other hardware in the process is far greater than the possibility of locating the source of the sound -- especially if you need to start digging around the motherboard. Not to mention, others have already removed the case and there was nothing obvious that is causing the issue on the surface.

    For now, I'm just going to let it go and see if anyone finds a solution. If it starts getting really bad, that's what Applecare is for. But right now, the sound is intermittent and only sometimes occurs.
  16. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    Its not our responsibility. I never said it was. But if you can fix the issue and then its taken care of for free and right now, why waste everyones time and money on an exchange or whatever.

    Its just that its 2010 now and computers are common place and if you dont know how to open your computer and dust it out or replace ram or swap a hard drive its just as bad as not knowing how to change the oil or spark plugs or tires on your car.... same same
  17. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007

    Please don't equate working on cars to computers - this coming from a guy who owns regularly works on my own modified car. You don't need to worry about frying or short circuiting a tire. Trying to pinpoint this sound isn't the same as replacing a hard drive or ram - both of which I've done many times in the past. If somebody had a solution and knew exactly what to replace/tinker with to fix the sound, I wouldn't have a problem cracking open the case and digging into it. After all, I would hate to get a replacement MBP after I've already migrated all my data, gotten all my settings perfect, and have a clean/dent free/perfect pixel machine. But I'm not going to start disassembling every single component of a 4 day old laptop to try to figure out why it jingles.

    If someone brings their MBP to Apple and they figure out what causes it, I'll bring it in for the repair. But if the only "fix" is a replacement, I'll wait until there is a solution... because if Apple can't figure it out, there's no way I'm going to attempt to figure it out either.
  18. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    And im sorry for having such a short fuse however it could be as simple as just figuring it out yourself.

    But I understand that if you pay top $ for a product you want it perfect. I hear ya.
  19. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    I wish it was that simple, but so far nobody has been able to find a solution :(
  20. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Not sure what you want from us then. We don't have the answer, you won't open the MBP and you won't take it in for repair. Which by the way, might actually help Apple find the solution you expect them to have. They do kinda need access to the systems making these weird noises to find out what's making the noise and determine a fix. Even if they give you a replacement, they'll still have the system with the problem so they have a chance to study it. You're basically denying them access to a data point which could help them solve the problem.

    You're waiting for "someone" to bring in their MBP to get repaired. Why do you not want that someone to be you?

    Bottom line: your problem will not be solved if you don't take it in.
  21. pamppa macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2010
  22. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    pamppa - Thank you so much for those links! You see, that's the reason I posted on MacRumors :)

    I know for sure it's not the SMS because I disabled it through terminal and the sound was still present. The sound people are describing in those two threads are identical to what I'm hearing. It must be those two loose fit brackets that are poorly insulated.

    Now this gives me the motivation to crack open the casing and give it a fix. I'm going to attempt replacing the form today and will let everyone know if it worked.
  23. ZTuned thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to report back and let everyone know that I did the recommended fix and the sound is now completely gone. As it turns out, the two clips that secure the bottom case were extremely loose with a lot of play. What happens is when the bottom case is flexed, the clips move around and make that annoying glassy/metallic "tink" sound.

    All I did was remove both clips and added an extremely thin piece of styrofoam to serve as a spacer/insulator. After torquing down the screws that retain the clips, there was no longer any movement or play. I buttoned up the bottom case and moved around the MBP to try to replicate the sound -- and it was gone. :D

    So for anyone that experiences this annoying sound, there's your solution. Total time is about 10 minutes to fix, taking your time to not scratch up your shiny new aluminum MBP :)
  24. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    Im glad you got it taken care of! :D
  25. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2002
    Glad to know:
    a) It's not really a problem, other than the non-stop annoying clink.
    b) It's an easy fix!

    Probably won't be long until I decide to fix it as well.

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