Macbook fan at 000rpm and visibly struggles

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Christification, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Christification macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011
    Recently I've been noticing performance drops in my macbook as it gets hot. These drops have been largely whilst watching youtube videos in 720p, or when gaming on my bootcamp partition. I initially put this down to my hard drive filling up and general use, until I noticed these drops in performance disappearing when the fan started up.

    I then downloaded smcFanControl in order to work out what was going on, and discovered that my fan remains at 000rpm regardless of temperature. No noise is emitted from the fan either. On the mac partition the fan rarely starts, occasionally crashing from overheating before it has a chance. On my windows partitions, it does start when temperatures reach very high levels, increasing performance, but stop when the system cools down a small amount, causing the performance to drop again. On average this leads to a fluctuation between 60 and 4 frames per second on Starcraft 2 (60 with the fan on of course).

    I assume it working on windows is due to there being no system in place to prevent heat damage, meaning the current temperature threshold is above the mac's cut off point. I attempted to resolve this by manually increasing the rpm on smcfancontrol (which did nothing) and cleaning out the fan. Eventually, I decided to remove my macbook's lower case and view the fan while the laptop was running. I discovered that on several occasions the fan rotated once and then stopped, moving incredibly slowly. Could this mean the fan is jammed by something? Or is it likely to be a software failure? I have already attempted a PRAM reset which did nothing, so I assume its a hardware failure. Is it simply blocked or do I need to invest in a new fan?

    Any help would be extremely appreciated!
  2. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    If there's something blocking it, you should be able to see it (a dust bunny is the most likely cause of blockage). However, since you have cleaned it, it's likely not that. Since you have similar issues in Windows, it's likely not a software issue. This leaves us with a hardware issue as the most likely culprit. You could test the fan, but they're cheap and you'd probably be best off simply replacing it.
  3. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Sounds like you need to replace your fan. I recently did for my unibody MacBook. Only cost $15 on eBay. Runs dead silent, couldn't be happier.
  4. Christification thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011
    ahh I see, how would I go about replacing the fan then? just unscrew the old one and take it out i assume? Also, which fan do I need to look for? or does it matter? If it helps, my macbook is a 13.3" late 2009 model (Model number MC207xx/A)

    Thanks again guys!
  5. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Buy this fan:

    Follow these instructions:

    It takes a total of about 10 minutes to do. Really easy. Let me know if you need help.
  6. Christification thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011

    Replaced the fan today and the macbook works like a charm! Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions and especially for the recommended fan replacement and instructions!

Share This Page