Creaky bottom on the mid-2009 15" MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 7even, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. 7even macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2008
    I've noticed that when my recently-acquired 15" MBP is on my lap, the bottom makes a clicking/creaking sound when the laptop is moved around, which is quite common when you're balancing it on your lap. (Yes, yes, it's not a "laptop" but a "notebook" but I still like being able to use it that way).

    My Late-2008 unibody didn't make a sound. I'm not sure if it is localized anywhere, because simply pressing on the bottom in various places doesn't cause any creaking. Is that normal with the sealed-bottom design?
  2. airplaneman macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2009
  3. 301finest macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2008
    Yea, Mines make that same noise, but it's probably the hard drive. Not nothing to worry about
  4. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    I have two possibilities for you, I have experienced both.

    1: When i got my unibody macbook i played about with opening and closing the latch to the battery an HDD because i was impressed with the latch system and although used for serious work it felt like a new toy at first. Obviously this meant it got more use than intended and it must have bent open the fixed/non mechanical catches, (at the front edge of the notebook, not the middle) to the door developed a little play, and therefore a creak. I carefully bent these bits of aluminium to achieve the original tight fit and this cured it. Edit: Just noticed you have the newer sealed design. Possibly slightly loose screws????

    2: While open the macbook got nocked off the sofa. No visual signs of damage, but I could now hear a faint creak from what I thought was the right hinge. I assumed I had jarred and slightly damaged the hinge. A few weeks later I took a closer look and found that the bottom right corner of the screen must have slightly bent inwards towards the power button by a fraction of a mm, but this had been enough for it to rub against the main unibody of the laptop when opening and closing the lid. Again, very carefully bending the bottom right corner of the screen back slightly cured it.

    The slight bending in both cases was so minute that they couldn't even be seen. That goes to show the fine tolerances and finish these laptops have been designed to. It took at least 10 minutes of close inspection to work out the problem, almost by blind but educated guesswork. Although aluminium will bend i still believe the unibody to be the best built and solid laptops going. One minor gripe for somebody who never uses ethernet, is that the port is so big that the aluminium around it has to be impossibly thin. In all the arguments about the quality and strength of the unibodys, this seems to be the area that is damaged and bends when dropped. Obviously because everyone is like me and never uses ethernet ;) ethernet should be removed from apple's unibodys.
  5. 7even thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2008
    Yeah I have the sealed design... Most of the screws are as tight as could be, only one or two I can actually unscrew using the screwdrivers I have nearby... Looks like the bottom flexes slightly and this causes the creaking sound, particularly in the bottom left corner.

    EDIT: Reseated the bottom cover... it seems to have helped (crossing fingers).

    EDIT2: Nope.... still there. Damn.
  6. godkorg macrumors member


    Oct 12, 2007
    Mine started creaking after I brought it to have the screen changed as it was defective. (2009 with the new battery MBP)

    Now it creaks.. At first, creaked a lot I tightened some screws, does it less but still creaks and its making me mental :)
  7. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    The last thing i could offer is a long shot. Since it does sound as if it is movement between the bottom plate and the main unibody, as long as you are comfortable with unscrewing the sealed bottom, you could attempt to stop this movement more creatively.

    I might suggest using something like dental floss as a gasket of some sort by placing it round the edges of where the bottom plate fits. The particular floss that springs to mind is the type that is thick when loose, to clean between large gaps in teeth, but also stretches to fit smaller gaps. Sorry for the bad description.

    Another long shot would be to use a bead of clear bathroom silicon but i'm not sure i would be too comfortable using liquids near the insides of my laptop. I'm sure others might have suggestions of other substitutes.

    I did say it was a long shot, ;)
  8. Jottle macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2003
    Mine does this as well (2009 no battery door). It's definitely just flexing of the bottom plate. And tightening or untightening the screws does very little to alleviate it. Luckily. it doesn't make this noise when the mbp is level and all four feet are on a solid surface. You probably won't be able to manually "adjust" it unless you find a way to put some material inside that will prevent the center of the silver bottom plate from flexing inward when pressure is placed on it. I think some high temperature rubber would work right along the battery side wall. But I'm too scared to try it :) Either way. It's just an annoying, but somewhat tolerable issue.
  9. paulbeattie87 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2008
    North East Scotland
    I have a clicking sound coming from my 2009 Unibody. I always thought it was the sudden motion sensor. I'm not sure what one such device looks like, or if it is constructed in a way in which it would click. I did have a look around the net to see if anybody had found a solution, all that was mentioned was sudden motion sensor.

    My friend has exactly the same MBP build the same week as well and his is exactly the same.

Share This Page