Common Questions/Issues with your MacBook Pro This is an attempt to deal with some of the questions that come up a lot on this board. I hope this thread can be used as a handy reference. Operating Temperature: Q: My Mac feels very hot on the bottom! Is this normal? A: Apples metal laptops have long used the chassis as a sort of secondary heatsink. Some warmth on the case is normal, especially if you have one of the older machines that had the heat pipe against the lower case. The unibody machines have it on top of the board, and it mostly heats the area above the esc-F6 keys. Q: iStat shows I have temperatures over 100C! Am I ok? A: For the moment, you probably are, as the chips will shut down before they overheat, and if they did overheat the system probably wouldnt boot again. Continuous heating is not good for the chips, though, nor is the stress of rapid temp cycling. You should probably take your machine into your local Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Center and have it looked at, or at least try resetting the SMC. Generally, you want to avoid temperatures in the 90s Celsius (>190F) or higher, although they wont cause immediate damage. It should be noted here that when it comes to computer hardware discussions, temperature readings are almost always given in Celsius, even by people who normally use Fahrenheit (or Kelvin). Just a community tradition, apparently. Q: What are normal fan speeds? A: All MacBook Pro models use a pair of fairly small blower type fans (the technical term is centrifugal fan). These are labeled in iStat as Left Fan and Right Fan. Most MBP aside from the first generation or two have fans that idle at 2000rpm. Max speed is ~6000rpm. The fans should speed up on their own somewhere between 65C and 90C of CPU temp. Strange Noises: Q: My MBP is making a humming noise! A: Some humming sounds are expected from the fans and HDD. Both styles of MBP have the Left Fan roughly where the ~ key is. The right fan is little different for the two designs. In the older machines, its roughly where the Delete key is. On the unibody machines, it is roughly around the 6 key. The hard disk in the unibody machines is inside the right palmrest. On the older machines, it is under the left palmrest. Also, the optical drive makes a fair bit of noise when it is running. This is also normal. Q: My MBPs optical drive makes strange sounds when I boot or wake up the laptop! A: This is also normal, its just the drive doing some self-tests, or whatever. You will also hear it when you look the drive up in System Profiler Q: My computer makes a clicking noise when bumped/picked up/moved sharply. A: What you are hearing the sudden motion sensor Parking the hard drive heads to prevent them from scraping the disc due to the impact. Most newer laptops have this feature, and some notebook drives even include it built in just in case they wind up in a computer without it. Q: My MacBook Pro makes a grinding noise when I tilt it! A: As your manual states, you shouldnt pick your computer up or tilt it when it is running. I think pretty much every laptop owner has been guilty of picking their machine up and carrying it to the next room or to the other side of the table when its running, but really, put it to sleep or shut it down before transporting it. Especially if it is going into a confined space like a sleeve or backpack. Expansion Questions: Q: I want to buy more RAM! What do I do? Get it from Apple? A: Apple RAM is a ripoff. If theyre feeling generous, it might be an ok deal for the first 3 weeks or so after the refresh. Sometimes its a ripoff even then. There are many good third parties to get your RAM from, and it will not void your warranty. See the guide for Understanding Intel Mac RAM at the top of the board page for more info. Q: Does replacing my hard drive void my warranty? A: If you have a Unibody MBP: No. If you have one of the older machines, well ..Macs arent warranty sealed, so technically its doable, but its a fairly tricky procedure. Visit ifixit.com for more details. Other Things Q: I SPILLED WINE/BEER/WATER/SODA/COFFEE/HOT CHOCOLOATE/CHAI* ON MY MBP!!! AUGGH!! A: Do NOT panic, do NOT attempt to restart your machine. Read the following for more info: http://guides.macrumors.com/Spilled_Liquid_On_My_Mac_or_Keyboard And if you think you have the "weirdest spill ever" I'm afraid this guy has you beat. Q: Do I need to calibrate my battery? A: Apple officially recommends battery calibration only for MBPs that dont get to stretch their legs normally. If you use yours on the go as part of your weekly routine, you are probably fine, although you can cycle it if you want. *Chai just sounds like a drink suited for the "liberal elitist" Mac owner, doesn't it?