Hard drive vibratey/not spinning down in 2010 13" MBP? (Was: constantly running fan?)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Miss Terri, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Miss Terri, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    Miss Terri macrumors 6502

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    #1
    HI folks,

    Edit: Note that it was determined to be the hard drive so the topic has changed... now trying to figure out why hard drive never "spins down" but always seems to "run" the same.

    *********
    My 2010 MBP has the fan on all the time, at just about 2000 rpm. I find this annoying as the palm rests are always slightly vibrating, and I can hear the fan (not that it is loud, but it is there). The vibration is more annoying though.

    Neither my iBook nor my 2008 Core 2 Duo Macbook had this "feature," and I'm thinking I'd like to sell this computer and "downgrade" to one that just sits still like I'm used to, but I don't want to downgrade any further than I have to.

    So, I guess what I am asking is, what is the newest MB or MBP I can get that does not purposely run the fan at 2,000 rpm whenever the computer is turned on? (BTW, the Air won't work for me due to the screen resolution, but ... does it have a fan?)

    Thanks!

    Miss Terri
     
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #2
    You shouldn't be able to feel the fans vibrating at 2000 RPM. I'd have it checked out.
     
  3. hypervish89 macrumors regular

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    Apr 6, 2010
    #3
    I agree with the above poster you shouldn't be able to feel the fans at 2,000 rpm, or even faster than that only hear them after like 4,000 rpm. If you feel the fans moving then the bearings may have gone bad in the fan.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    All Apple notebooks, including MBAs, have fans that spin constantly, but you shouldn't hear or feel it under normal situations. If there's excessive vibration, have it checked out.
     
  5. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    The vibration is you feel is coming from the Hard drive and it is normal.
     
  6. jumpman25 macrumors regular

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    #6
    My 2010 2.8Ghz Macbook Pro is dead silent. I think what you may be hearing is the hard drive moving air around. I use to think the fan was constantly spinning but when I replaced the 5400rpm HD with a SSD the computer became dead silent. Fans only spin up when doing heavy stuff (games, encoding).
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    Fans are constantly spinning, at a minimum of around 2000 rpm. When temps are sustained at a higher level for a period of time, they spin up to 6000 rpm or more.
     
  8. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Ah, well there is hope then! If it is the hard drive I can replace it with an SSD.

    The odd thing is, I've never felt the hard drive "moving" or been able to hear it as a constant hum, in any of my former Mac laptops. So I assumed it was the fan. I could hear some hard drive "clicks" in my former computers, or the occassional hard-drivey noise, but not a constant hum with vibration that I could feel in the palm rests.

    Is there a way I can isolate or test this before I buy an expensive SSD (which I was not planning on.... but I guess I COULD).? I would hate to find out it was not the HD!

    Thanks,
    Miss Terri

    PS: I know the fan is spinning because iStat shows it always at around 1980-2000 rpm.

    Bonus unrelated info: CPU at 50ºC and heatsink at 44º with about a dozen non-flash Firefox tabs open and a text iChat going.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #9
    Install iStat Pro to track your fan speed (among other things). If they're around 2000 rpm, what you hear is most likely not the fans, as they're extremely quiet at that speed.
     
  10. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Hi GGJstudios,

    I have iStat running is how I know the fan rpm.

    What bothers me more than the noise is the slightly vibrating palm rests. Never had those or the noise before on my 2008 Macbook, 2001 iBook, or 1998 Duo (hee on that last one - I know it's not relevant). Note that it is not like a "bad" fan vibration or a "lopsided" one but more of a slight one like the way your hands feel after you have been running a lawnmower for an hour.

    (I know how bad bearings are and this does not feel like that. May BE that but does not feel like it in my experience.)
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    The fans aren't likely to produce that kind of vibration, even at high speed, since they're made of perfectly-balanced lightweight plastic. It's your hard drive.
     
  12. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Okay, well at least that is something I can change. Maybe I don't have to go back to an iBook ;)

    So.. does that mean this hard drive is defective? Or that they just do this now? (2010 13", base model MBP manufactured in December 2010).

    Note that my backup hard drives do act like this when they are running, so it makes sense. Just never noticed it on my laptop ever before (previous ones that is).

    Hmm, maybe I don't have the hard drive set to spin down? Let me check that.

    Miss Terri
     
  13. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #13
    A few years back, laptops used even slower hard drives (4500 rpm - I've had a SUPER slow 4200 rpm drive) the advantage of these was energy conservation. Add to this, that older CPUs and GPUs were less powerful - and generally produced less heat.

    Now, laptops are on par with most desktops in computing power - so the hard drives are 5400rpm at a minimum, and 7200rpm on the faster platter drives.

    Factor in that laptops are smaller - with even more computing power - and you've got smaller fans that have to spin faster to move air about effectively.

    All that said - as mentioned a couple times - get it checked out to be sure nothing is amiss. And, as already mentioned, using a solid state drive will make things even quieter - that said - I've had laptop drives that spun like a off-balance washing machine - and others that are dead quiet. (luck of the draw, it seems)

    Edit: Another thought - older laptops usually had a "carriage" that protected (somewhat) the drive from impact / sudden bumps by having a flexure-type mount - this also served to make the drive quieter in that it didn't vibrate through the chassis as readily. Now, with the sudden motion sensor, and accelerometers built into the drives themselves - it makes a carriage somewhat redundant - and I've noticed carriages lacking the level of awesome they once had.
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #14
    Not necessarily defective. Some drives naturally produce more noise and vibration than others. It depends on the manufacturer and model.
     
  15. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Good point. I wonder what the rpm speed of the hard drive in my mid-2008 Macbook was? That did not have any noticeable "feel" to it. I think the one I have now is 5400 rpm :confused: (stock late 2010 MBP 13" base model).
     
  16. Miss Terri, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Just checked: I already had the box ticked to "Put hard disk to sleep when possible" on both power adapter and battery. But this one *never* stops. Is that normal for light usage? (Mail open, a dozen FF tabs but NO flash, a text iChat).

    Interestingly, with MORE tabs, a chat, and other stuff open on my iBook the hard drive does not seem to be spinning all the time (I can hear it "wind up" sometimes).

    I really appreciate your input on this. I SO want to love my new computer

    Miss Terri

    PS: Now that you have all pointed this out, I can kind of tell it is the hard drive. I just never had a computer where the hard drive spun constantly, and I was assuming that since this computer is basically the same as my 2008 Macbook (processor) that it would be similar. On that computer I don't think my hard drive was constantly spinning.

    PPS: Maybe I should change the thread title?
     
  17. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #17
    What you had before was likely 5400 RPM. You can get a noisy or unbalanced hard drive at any RPM though. The noise, vibration, and thermal characteristics of these vary by make and model, if not by unit.
     
  18. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #18
    Second this - I've had the same make / model and even lot # drives vary widely. Now - this could be a placebo effect here - but the more expensive / enterprise class drives tend to vibrate less often than the standard offerings. But it really is down to the luck of the draw.

    And as far as I can see - all 2008 Macbooks had a 5400rpm drive at a minimum, so it seems you were lucky.

    Also - if this computer is new - remember that OSX is indexing for spotlight, ect - this will result in higher-than-usual drive usage for a little bit.
     
  19. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #19
    put your ear up against the right palm rest of the MacBook, if that's where the noise is coming from, it's the Hard Drive. I had this same noise in my 2011 MBP 13" before I replaced with SSD. now my MacBook is dead silent.
     
  20. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Okay, good info, thanks!

    The computer is new, but I have used it for maybe 20 hours in total. The CPU is (checks iStat which is addicting ;)) like 91% idle so that seems like low usage, no?

    I guess this hard drive really isn't any noiser or vibratier than my older ones, but just it is on ALL THE TIME. It never spins down? Does this seem right?

    Again, I appreciate the help, because the way it is now is not making me a happy comput-er.
     
  21. EightmanVT macrumors member

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    Mar 6, 2011
    #21

    Use something like SMC Fan control (although iStat may be able to as well - i uninstalled it a while ago) and speed up your fans and see if the noise/vibration changes accordingly. Do that a couple of times and if the noise correlates to the changes - you probably have bad fan bearings. Of course - you could always take it apart - but this is simpler. :)
     
  22. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Okay, thanks to this thread and checkign for it, it IS the hard drive. Good to know! And really, I don't know that it is any "worse" than other hard drives I've had, except that with my typical usage, they were "spun down" almost all the time. To where it would be the occasional "Oh, there goes the hard drive on!"

    So..... my question now is why is this one on all the time. It has never spun down once that I know of. And I have it set to spin down whenever it can.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  23. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a

    ghostlyorb

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    #23
    I'm currently using skype video chat and on safari.. my fans are running at 4400 RPM each. I can't feel a thing. I can hear them though. I do not like that there isn't a lot of heat paste or whatever isn't applied greatly. =/
     
  24. EightmanVT macrumors member

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    #24
    If your HD is really making a noise that's that noticeable (I don't hear or feel mine spinning at 7200rpm) - I highly suggest you make sure you have a current backup - as it's entirely possible you have one that will have a shortened lifespan. I don't hear or feel my drive at all - nor did I on my previous MBP.
     
  25. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #25
    My hard drive vibrates my machine. I'm sure that's normal; some drives vibrate more than others.

    Your fans shouldn't not vibrate; anyways if they did, you would hear an annoy buzzing sound from them instead of the constant woosh sound you get from a fast running fan.
     

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