Common questions and issues with your MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by J the Ninja, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #1
    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: Apple’s 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 wouldn’t 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 won’t 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, it’s 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 MBP’s optical drive makes strange sounds when I boot or wake up the laptop!

    A: This is also normal, it’s 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 shouldn’t 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 they’re feeling generous, it might be an ok deal for the first 3 weeks or so after the refresh. Sometimes it’s 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 aren’t warranty sealed, so technically it’s doable, but it’s 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 don’t 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?
     
  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #2
    Hopefully peeps will read it and take note...
     
  3. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #3
    Great idea! I think I'm going to have some chai tea! Thanks, J the Ninja!
     
  4. astudentis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #4
    regarding the question "Q: My MacBook Pro makes a grinding noise when I tilt it!

    A: As your manual states, you shouldn’t 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."


    Is it okay to have the computer on a tilted stand for everyday use all the time?:confused:
     
  5. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    #5
    this is a nice thread

    this is a nice thread, I think we should work to expand it for all MBP models.
     
  6. J the Ninja thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #6

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