Clicking/Ticking noise when iMac is sleeping or turned off?!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rmwebs, May 31, 2008.

  1. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007

    I've had my iMac since last april and its always had this ticking or clicking noise when its sleeping or powered off, but still plugged in. I've also noticed that if I leave a firewire or USB hard drive attached (but turned off) it makes a very quiet electrical noise, almost like morse code (again, only when its in sleep or off).

    I usually put the iMac into deep sleep at the end of the day, to preserve power (we all have to do our bit :p).

    Its always worked fine, no problems...but I really wanted to know if:

    A) Its a known "issue"
    B) If it will damage the system
    C) Why does it happen
    D) What causes it?

    Anyone care to shed any light on this?

    Thanks :)

  2. gehrbox macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2007
    I have a 3.06 24". I've only had it a few days. No ticking or clicking noise at all. I've heard the fan purr quietly once or twice while making it do a bunch of heavy processing, but most of the time the only way I know it is on is the display being lit. I never shut it off, but it does go into sleep mode on its own after an hour. I have 2 MyBook drives plugged into it. One USB and the other firewire.

    Found the following links to ticks, clicks and hums (Google is your friend):
  3. rmwebs thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    Mines deffinently only when sleeping/off. If I leave the firewire drive plugged in, it goes mental and I get a (very quiet) morse code squeeling. The second I unplug the drive, it stops and the clicking resumes. If I pull the power lead out of the wall, it stops alltogether, put it back in and it starts again!

    Everyone who is having a clicking noise seems to not have it when in sleep/off.
  4. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    Did this ever get sorted. Mine does something similar. It clicks when I put it to sleep after extended use where it has got quite hot. The clicking stops after 5 mins when it has cooled a bit.
  5. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Mine sounds as if it's trying to turn back on! Haven't found the issue yet.
  6. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the clicking when sleep or off after use is just a natural thing , caused by the alloy , when alluminium gets hot it expands a lot and when its cooling down its shrinking again ,which is causing the noise , ping ping click , you can hear it best on a motorcycle engine , nothing to worry about
  7. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  8. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the imac made of different metals aluminium outside and very likely a other metal inside somewhere . where there is contact of aluminium and other metals the aluminium is shrinking 3 times that of steel for example when it's cooling down , they didnt chose alloy only on design criteria alloy is a good metal to cool things down fast ,so it tends to creep over the other metal , that's what causes the sound.
    Don't worry it's normal.
  9. knowpeace macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2010
    Mine makes that click noise or tick noise only when it is sleeping, and I noticed in the dark, that there's a tiny spark of light from under my imac every time there's that noise. it's annoying and it only stops when I wake it up. I don't think it's the aluminum shrinking which causes the spark!
  10. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    SPARKS:eek: , then keep it off , unplug it from mains ,dont touch it any more and bring it to apple ....i hope you had bought apple care ;)

    there should be no sparks never ever from a computer , its not a engine , there are no spark plugs fitted inside the iMac
  11. rmwebs thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    Just noticed this was still active :)

    It never got sorted. Even after a logic board replacement for a faulty USB bus.

    Also, this was on a white (plastic) mac, not an alu one - so unlikely to be metals making the noize. Plus, if you unplugged it at the wall it stopped.

    It's been replaced with a Mac Pro now however so I never did find out the cause!

    Although, I've now got the MagSafe power box for my MBP making whining seems all Apple products I own have some form of defect :rolleyes:

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