Hot angry fan (2008 unibody)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SamVilde, Mar 3, 2016.

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  1. SamVilde macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    Hi smart people.

    Two years ago I upgraded the RAM in mylate 2008 unibody Macbook, then last year you helped me install a SSD and convinced me to clean out the fan - and ever since then we've been awesome over here, and I can't really tell the difference between my 7.5 year old machine and my BF's brand new MBA.

    Until now. Suddenly, the fan is hot and angry all the time, and sometimes stall-y too. This is even when I'm running very few programs - either Chrome or Safari and maybe Word, or Evernote - nothing big. I opened it up in case it needed another cleaning, but it's super clean inside.

    Do you have any ideas of what should I be looking at next? I plan to run this computer gently into the ground, unless I win the lottery or until Apple builds something I like more.

    Thanks in advance.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2016 ---
    iStat Pro showing HD at 101 degrees and CPU at 169 degrees F, if that info is helpful.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    Sounds like a temperature sensor could have either become faulty or unplugged, making the fan run all the time whether it needs to or not.
     
  3. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Location:
    Montana
    #3
    Those older Core CPUs run a little hotter than the newer ones, but I agree, it's probably the temperature sensor if this is new behavior. Also, Chrome is a resource hog and the Flash plug-in is in Safari, so that could be a part of your problem. iTunes is also a killer on older machines, so I would suggest probably not having it run in the background.
     
  4. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #4
    Thank you. This is a sudden recent radical change, but the fan is not running all the time. Just suddenly recently *almost* all the time, and shutting down *all* programs does nothing. It does not seem to be related to real usage.

    I don't think it's the temperature sensor (if a temperature sensor does what I think it does), because the computer is very hot when this is going on, and it seems like the fan probably does need to be running.

    If I misunderstand temperature sensors, is this the kind of thing I can check and (if necessary) fix?

    Thank you.
     
  5. pedrom Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2016
    #5
    What does activity monitor say? Open or closed programs are irrelevant, this is either faulty temperature sensor or some rogue background task.
     
  6. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #6
    What info am I reading off the Activity Monitor? There's always things like "kernel_task" jumping around.

    I'm wondering if it's not my password manager (Dashlane). They had an update recently and I just (tonight) noticed that I was able to use my computer for two hours without hotting up or running fan, until I opened Dashlane up. Even if I quit it, it leaves processes going in the background.

    If that's the case - is there a fix?
     
  7. pedrom Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2016
    #7
    So, you don't know how to use activity monitor?

    1. Open activity monitor;
    2. In the menu bar, click in "view" or something;
    3. Select all processes;
    4. Do the same and in frequency select 1s;
    5. Now on the app's main window, select the CPU tab;
    6. And click the CPU column to see what is using the most %CPU from lowest to highest;
    7. Do it when your Mac is getting hot and the fans are running wild. What is using the most CPU? Answer That.

    8. Click the RAM tab;
    9. Click on the memory column;
    10. What are the top processes using most RAM? What is the color of the "RAM deficit" (bad translation) graph below? Red green or orange?
    11. Just close to the graph, how many "swap" has been used?
     
  8. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #8
    Thanks. I wrote to Dashlane's support team and they say this is a known issue that they are working on for an upcoming update. I'm glad I figured this out - and glad that it's an application I can avoid, rather than a hardware problem. May this computer live to be 100!

    Thank you all for your help.
     

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