MacBook Fan Noise Solved

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by drstauffertnd, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. drstauffertnd macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2008
    I have a MacBook 2GHz with 1MB Ram. Never had fan noise problems until I did the upgrade from 10.4 to 10.5 (or so I thought). The software upgrade was frustrating because of the, now well known, administrator permissions glitches and an inability to complete permissions verifications. Since the upgrade and the really unbearable fan noise, iStat pro CPU A temps were in the mid 70's Celcius with Fan speeds in the 6000 rpm range. I called Apple and they agreed that the temps were too high and that I should bring the computer in for checking. The Apple Store promptly replaced a fan and the controller board and said that all was fixed.

    I brought the MacBook home and upgraded to 10.5.2 hoping that in addition to a fan noise fix, my permissions verification problem would be solved. Although there was some noticeable reduction in the speed at which the fan climbed to higher rpms (it then only reached an average of 5500 rpm with max temps in the 68-70 C range) it still was way too noisy to enjoy as a laptop (I've owned 3 mac laptops and none have ever screamed like this before). I went onto MacRumors forum to see what else I could find out about the subject but no one has really noted a solution to the problem. I tried using, Activity Monitor, Check Up....I tried avoiding Flash containing Safari pages, etc. BUT alas to no avail.

    As I wanted to print out one of the forum instructions on upgrading my hard drive, and since I was now at home where I don't normally print from my laptop (I have 3 different printer drivers loaded for 3 different printers at home and my office), I opened the Print & Fax Icon in the System Preferences Window to see if I had a set up for the printer at home and noticed that I indeed did have the driver for the Canon i860 home printer loaded, and there was a small note below the printer icon in the printer list stating that this printer was "in use" and set as the "default" printer. I found this strange because I print 99% of the time at the office on a Brother MFC printer that I thought was set to default. Alas, after clicking on the i860 printer icon, a dialogue box opened to state that there was a 2 month old, 2 page print job pending. I should note that there has not been a printer icon bouncing in my dock over the last 2 months and there have been no warnings coming onto my screen saying that I need to check the printer jobs, etc. BUT when I then connected my MacBook to the i860 at home, the print job processed and the Fan speed instantly declined to 1800 rpm with CPU A Temps of 45 C - PERRRRRFECT !!!! And it has not increased since then nor gotten hotter, nor noisier. FAN NOISE PROBLEM SOLVED.!!!!!

    I have since repeated the scenario ... that is, printing to a printer that is not connected to my MacBook and the fan immediately ramps up to 5500 to 6000 rpm with CPU A temps running at 67 - 70 C and if VERY noisy.
    I suggest those MacBook users with noisy fans should check if they have inadvertently sent a print job to a printer that they rarely use and if so print it on the correct printer or delete the job. They may get the same quiet success I have come to love once again.

    Hope this helps somebody else.
  2. dino9832 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Good detective work! Does the size of the print job seem to matter?
  3. cam3ron macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2007
    That's amazing. I had the exact same problem with my macbook. I was about to post something on the boards and ask for help, but you solved it. I wonder why it seems to eat up so much memory when there is an idle print job? Any thoughts?
  4. LightDemon69 macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2008
    Levan, Utah
  5. si2000 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2008
  6. gabrielita macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2008
    citizen of the world
    Thanks for posting this! If I encounter such a problem, I know where to start looking for!!:D
  7. MacBooksRock macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2007
    My MacBook in my sig just goes insane when I double click Americas Army... :p
  8. drstauffertnd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2008
    Print Job size doesn't matter

    Dino, I tried sending a print job to that printer that wasn't connected and even with a half page of text, the MacBook fan ramps up within 20 to 30 seconds well on its way to the "screamin" mode.

    I have run a program called Checkup that I ran out of curiosity at the same time that I sent a print job to a non connected printer. The program Checkup has a neat window to show CPU1 and CPU2 processor activity. In my new quiet mode of operation, the CPU's run at up 5 or 10% activity...BUT as soon as I send the print job to a non-connected printer, CPU activity ramps up to 100% on both CPU1 and CPU2.

    I wonder if there are other small computer tasks that might be running in the background, that these laptops could be getting hung up on, and that keeps the CPU's cycling and cause the fan speeds to increase. I don't know what they might be, but maybe, airport searching for a network or the like. Anyone have any ideas on that side of it?
  9. dino9832 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Wow! Half a page of text. I wonder how many people have macbooks that have slowed down because of this.

    I don't have a macbook yet, but is there a program where you can list the %CPU usage of the running processes? You could then identify the process that's bring the system down.
    I know that in Linux the program would be "top".
  10. Sage Harupyuia macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    That would be the Activity in Utilities.

    Anyway, if you're adventurous enough to manually toggle the fan speeds in your Macbook/Macbook Pro, go download SMC Fan Control. ;)
  11. NCoventry macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2009
    That worked like a charm! Apple needs to know this!

    I have had this problem happen to me a few times, and I have tried many things and none of them worked, thank you. Apple even replaced one of my batteries one time, oops on there behalf.
  12. winterpolaris macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    I was in the library with my friend, who noted how loud my mac's fan was. I said it's been like that for a week, and I would take it in to the Genius Bar when I get home this weekend. Did a google search on a whim, landed on this page, did what was suggested, and lo and behold, it worked! My rpm went from around 5500 to 2002 in 10 seconds after deleting 4 print jobs on my queue. Thanks!
  13. dscroggins macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2009
    Worked again ...

    Turns out this (pending print job) was my problem as well ... would never have thought this was the problem, but the fan speed has been fine for quite some time now ... I don't even remember printing this document.
  14. joseabcdefgh macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
  15. Arrandale macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    thanks, this is a widely reported issue and fixes most mac portables, not only macbooks

    sadly my fans have died completely, so now I have to keep it on a belkin wave cooler that still can't prevent the cpu temps from going up to 90 degrees when watching flash and such... :(
  16. dayniko macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2010
    I registered just to thank you for posting this. I had printed something out before a class, and usually I use the desktop, but it was moved to another room. So, I carried my macbook to the printer, printed out my notes, then put it back on my desk and into sleep mode. I came home, turned it on, and within a minute or two the fan started up. I rebooted, shut down, did everything I could think up and nothing was working! I had made up my mind to go to the Apple store tomorrow, but I figured I'd check Google once more just to make sure I had tried everything in my power and your post came up. Behold! I was experiencing the same issue you described. As soon as I deleted the project that was "on hold" my fan calmed down.

    So, THANK YOU! And as someone else has said, nice detective work! Never would have realized this myself :)
  17. janappel1 macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2010

    Same counts for me! I just registered to thank you! My mac was making such a noise it fellt like a plane was taking off. Anyway, it immediately stopped after putting your advice into action! Thanks a lot
  18. drstauffertnd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2008
    You're very welcome

    Honestly, it amazes me that my posting from 2008 is still helping people with their fan noise issues. I kind of thought that Apple would have resolved the issue somehow by now. Your thanks are much appreciated. Glad to have been of assistance.
  19. markyd macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2010
    New MacBook pro

    I gave up on PC's and threw aside my Dell laptop as it sounded like i was turning on a vacuum cleaner. So i switched to a new macBook pro and all was peaceful again. Until recently it sounded like it would take off!

    Thanks to Google and this forum I managed to fix this. As indeed there was a print job waiting for my wireless printer. This seems like a very basic and fundamental error with apple software. This would go undetected for ages if it wasn't for posts like this. Apple really should be sent this thread and sort out what appears to be a long overdue update to their software.
  20. jalcorn macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    Thank you, thank you, thank you

    I also registered to thank you for your help. Problem solved.

    Jess (Scotland)
  21. jonahtron, Oct 29, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011

    jonahtron macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2011
    just dropping by to say that although i had no printing queued, i deleted the PLISTS and rebooted and the mac is really quiet again. it started this noise after i installed lion, i couldnt figure out what i could be as i have put in a ssd, which i thought ran cooler than disk drives...


    problem solved... it would seem


    .....edit--- turns out it was a momentary calm... the fan is back to being noisier than ever again. :(
  22. amb.physis macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2011
    Thanks! Also worked for me!

    This seems to be a bug. Is someone at apple looking into it? Or maybe it's because of buggy printer drivers?
  23. Papa Goose macrumors newbie

    Papa Goose

    Apr 10, 2011
    Stone me

    That is an amazing bit of detective work by the op... well done matey!

    I have the noisy fan problem on my 2011 13" MBP, and a print job on hold too. There is nothing in the print queue to cancel and the delete/hold/job info' buttons are greyed out. It's a shared printer with my iMac and I checked the printer status on that machine and it's the same... any tips to 'un-grey' these boxes to clear held print job please.
  24. elppai macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
    There wasn't anything on hold and its still very loud :/ or do i print some thing and it will stop?
  25. Papa Goose, Dec 3, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011

    Papa Goose macrumors newbie

    Papa Goose

    Apr 10, 2011
    noisy fans/print job on hold

    So, after 4 hours on the phone to HP and 2 to Apple.... the problem remains.

    Fans run as the machines are hot, machines hot as Quick Look Helper has CPU usage is 200-225 %, CPU usage so high because Quick look helper is trying to progress the print job... which doesn't exist... WTF!

    HP, had me completely cleaning out both machine of all HP files, and reseting the printer. The fans stay quiet on the MBP, and the mac was cool. Re-installed the printer software and driver from the HP site following the tech guy's instruction and within 5 min's the fans where spinning and the print job on hold was back, when no print jobs had been sent, and running a print had 0 effect. They said it must be an Apple problem.

    Apple went through a bunch of stuff which included partitioning the drive, and a fresh install and update of OSX to 10.6.8, no issue on either of my machines. Install the HP stuff and off went the fans again on the MBP, and you could feel the heat building on the mac. The Apple guy's opinion is that as 10.6.7 was meant to be about the last update of Snow Leopard before Lion, but Apple snuck in 10.6.8, however most manufactures were gearing toward Lion. He thinks that this is what's causing my problem, the current HP driver aren't compatible with 10.6.8. They did a data capture anyway, but he's not sure what good it will do, as he thinks it's a driver compatibility issue... and also isn't sure sure if an upgrade to Lion will actually solve it.

    The work around though is when you fire up your machine, go into activity monitor and force quit quick look helper. It doesn't fix the route cause but will stop the cpu hogging, which generates heat, which kicks in the fans, which cause the noise.... and really impacts battery life.

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