How To Quiet Down PowerBook G4 Fans

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Goftrey, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #1
    This PowerBook has been driving me crazy this past week or two. It seems it's in need of a lot of TLC & maintenance.

    This problem I'm having at the moment is with the noise of the fans, there's the CPU fan and the Power Supply fan.

    The CPU fan spins up quite a lot, 80% it spins pretty fast, but the noise is bearable. But then it seems to vibrate/shake around and it makes one hell of a racket.

    Then there's the Power Supply fan, this thing spins up randomly it seems, but when it does, it makes a terrible sound. It spins round ferociously.

    I've been inside and gave the two a good ol' dusting and clean but it hasn;t made the slightest difference. Can anyone recommend what to do to quiten the little buggers?

    Thanks again.
     
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #2
    You've dusted the fans - but what about the heat exchangers? Those frequently get clogged up, and only a good hard blast of compressed air will clean up between the fins.

    Depending on your OS - you can try a program like SMC Fan Control - you can increase your speeds enough to keep it bearable, but prevent the cycling to 100%.

    Make sure you don't have a ton of background tasks running, more tasks = more CPU loading = more heat. Trim back what you don't actively use.

    Last - could be time for cleaning of the heatsinks and applying fresh heatsink compound - but I'd save this as a last resort. One way (again, not sure if you can do this with the G4) would be to monitor your temps in a program like SMC. If the CPU temperature is several degrees hotter than your CPU heatsink temperature - that can be indicative of a poor thermal interface. Arctic silver is a decent aftermarket thermal paste.
     
  3. burnout8488 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Endwell, NY
    #3
    Arctic Silver works great to replace the gobs of thermal paste applied at the Apple factory.

    If your fans are noisy despite being clean (heatsink too), the bearings are probably on their way out.

    My 15" 1.67 PB (totally different than yours, but worth mentioning) never sees more than 65ºC usually, and that's at full load playing Battlefield 1942 for about 10 minutes. The fans hardly ever kick on during normal use. The fresh thermal paste is probably to blame for this, applied in a proper amount.
     
  4. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #4
    I'm not even too sure what fan it is, or even if it is a fan. I tried to record it, listen carefully. It's like a whining noise and it gets faster and faster.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?fenin4nhuxf4b4n
     
  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #5
    The hard drive spins at a constant speed.
    The optical drive will vary - but that can be ruled out by simply removing any optical media within it.

    Fans step up and will increase as demand calls for it - so it's likely the fans.
     
  6. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #6
    Just instaleed G4FanControl but the 'current status' tab shows 3 sensor readings of N/A then when I try and set a temperature it shows the temperature for an instant in the current status tab then goes back to N/A.

    Why is it doing this?
     
  7. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #7
    Restart your system and try again, it could be how frequently the sensors report the data. It's extremely unlikely that you have a problem with 3/3 temp sensors, it's likely a software bug.
     
  8. adcx64 macrumors 65816

    adcx64

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #8
    Possible faulty temperature sensor causing fans to spin up. Could you try another temp monitor?

    also, guy above me got to it first haha
     
  9. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #9
    I've installed temperature monitor now and it only reads from one sensor;

    SMART Disk IBM-IC25N040ATCS04-0 (CSH401D4G597XB)

    What is this? And from the fact it's only finding one sensor I'm guessing the others are knackered.
     
  10. yamu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    #10
    The Ti-Books don't have System readable sensors.

    The things you could do... lift the back of the book off the desk for better air-cooling of the bottomside. Best would be with a notebook cooler.

    If nothing helps, i would replace the fans and/or remove the logic board and put fresh thermal paste on it.
     
  11. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #11

    That sounds like your hard drive temp sensor. As the individual above me said - it sounds as if your computer does not share temp sensor data with the OS. (newer Macs do, however).

    So it seems your best course(s) of action are to thoroughly clean out any dust clogging the heat exchanger / fan. (if you have not already done so)
    Replace the fan itself if it's gone bad.
    The most invasive is to remove the heatsinks from your chipset, clean them up, and apply fresh thermal paste.

    The advice to prop up the computer allowing more airflow is also good.

    Edit: PS, if your temp sensors were bad - odds are good you'd receive either a hardware fault on power-up, and/or the fan would run at maximum RPM all the time, even when cold. So if you don't have either of those conditions, it's likely not a temp sensor issue.
     
  12. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #12
    If you don't already have it try istat menus or menumeters with a cpu use meter in the menu bar. This will help you gauge how much strain you're putting on the CPU and see if the fans speed up even when it's not saturated for long.

    With a G4 800MHz if you use it a lot at anything it will obviously get the fans going. Even just light web browsing can tax an 800MHz in 2012. Try a cpu meter and it will give you a good live reading of your chips use.
     
  13. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #13
    I ordered a T8 and T6 torx driver the other day and they arrived earlier on. I've just opened up the TiBook and the fans were COATED in dust. I've dusted them off and blown compressed air through them and it seems like it's turned out successful. I don't even think it had been opened up before, it had all of the original tape etc.

    Before I dusted the fans they started rattling around when the hard drive temp. was at 40 degrees celsius (the only sensor on the TiBooks are the hard drive according to TemperatureMonitor) but after the temperature has gone up to 45 degrees and the fans haven't kicked up once!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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