PB is making buzz noise

dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
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I moved my pb from my desk to my lap and it the hd or fan or something made a whirring/buzzing noise. and it would come and go as the laptop is being tilted 30 degrees or so. Kind of like how if a fly comes near you ear and leaves real quick you get a buzz noise. It only makes the noise when you move the laptop. It's not like I was jerking it fast either. Slow dip of it and you get the noise. weird.

what is it?!

It's never done this before, should I be worried? I don't have applecare and warranty is gone. Plus I'm studying abroad in France in less than a week. I'll need my computer to be in working shape.
 

EHUnlucky7x9@ao

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2006
312
1
New Jersey
What kind of Powerbook do you have? Ti or Alum? A buzzing noise from inside the laptop or from the speakers? If it sounds like it is inside, then it would be a smart idea to get an extra laptop hard drive and have your OS installed into it. If you don't think it's the hard drive, then it might just be the small fan inside.
 
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TsuaSai

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2006
489
46
TX
My husbands Ti now does this anytime the fan is on just about..

However I was told that even though its called a "laptop" does not mean its made for your lap. But that was told to me by HP so you can take that however you like. But that might have something to do with it. Not really sure. I never asked anymore questions about that since I still thought I would probably use it in my lap.. But they pissed me off and I bought an Apple and here I am now.

If this is true, about not using your laptop in you lap I would love to hear for someone other than some one who is reading a script. Cause I can see why I would be that way too. Just didn't trust them after many battles.
 
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law guy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2003
997
0
Western Massachusetts
dorqiekat said:
I moved my pb from my desk to my lap and it the hd or fan or something made a whirring/buzzing noise. and it would come and go as the laptop is being tilted 30 degrees or so. Kind of like how if a fly comes near you ear and leaves real quick you get a buzz noise. It only makes the noise when you move the laptop. It's not like I was jerking it fast either. Slow dip of it and you get the noise. weird.

what is it?!

It's never done this before, should I be worried? I don't have applecare and warranty is gone. Plus I'm studying abroad in France in less than a week. I'll need my computer to be in working shape.
My PB has done that when being tilted - not all the time, just sometimes. It doesn't seem to cause issues beyond the noise from time-to-time for me.
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
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law guy said:
My PB has done that when being tilted - not all the time, just sometimes. It doesn't seem to cause issues beyond the noise from time-to-time for me.
good to hear, its happened to you with no problems. It's the first time I heard it from my computer and I've had it for a 1.5 years. And I've been carrying it around everywhere. Travel between school and home, from desk to lap, to stomach while lying down.
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
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EHUnlucky7x9@ao said:
What kind of Powerbook do you have? Ti or Alum? A buzzing noise from inside the laptop or from the speakers? If it sounds like it is inside, then it would be a smart idea to get an extra laptop hard drive and have your OS installed into it. If you don't think it's the hard drive, then it might just be the small fan inside.
It's coming from the inside of the laptop. I have a 12 inch Al PB rev C. I don't have money for a hard drive, so that won't work. However I haven't had any warning signs that my HD is going. So I'm hoping that the noise is just random and the HD is okay.
 
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discoforce

macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2004
575
0
Vermont, USA
dorqiekat said:
has anyone else had this problem with good/bad results?
I've got a 15" 1.25GHz laptop and from time-to-time it seems to make more noise than usual. I also have noticed subtle changes in the noises it makes after upgrading to Tiger. I've never noticed anything sounding louder when I tilted the computer.

I think this would be a hard one for most to diagnosis over the forums. Buzzing in your PB could mean almost anything - with the worst case scenario being imminent hard drive failure. I think the usual precautions apply:

1. Backup your data! If you don't have another hard drive, use CDs, paper, anything.
2. Startup your computer with your OSX disk (holding down "C") and run disk utility on your hard drive. Select "Repair" in the lower right hand corner.
3. Maybe read this other thread.

Good luck!
 
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BearRanger

macrumors member
May 23, 2005
70
0
Deep in the Woods
Powerbook buzzing

My 15" Al powerbook does this, usually when I first turn it on, before it has a chance to fully warm up. I've traced it to the screen brightness control. It only happens when the room is somewhat dark and the light sensor forces the screen to dim. When it does this the buzzing sound can be heard right at the base of the display or near the top of the keyboard. It goes away if I manually set the screen to full brightness.

After the system warms up I can manipulate the brightness all I want, and the buzzing doesn't happen. So I've never considered it serious.

Could it be that moving the Powerbook to your lap triggers the light sensor? Next time it happens see if it goes away by setting it to max brightness.
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
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The laptop is plugged in the charger and fully charged with the screen brightness on full. And only I tilt it, it makes the buzz noise again. I'm going to try and repair permissions and reboot. See if that would smooth out the kinks or something.
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
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After repairing permissions and rebooting I tilted the laptop slightly and it still made the whirr/buzz noise. Then I waited till the fan stopped and tilted it again and the same whirr/buzz noise. I guess I'll just have to live with it. It's only upsetting because it has never done this before until today. Plus it's potentially worrisome if it proves to be chronic.

After hearing it in the quiet, it sounds like it's coming from the HD. :(
 
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EHUnlucky7x9@ao

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2006
312
1
New Jersey
Yeah, it sounds like a good idea to back-up any important data that you may have on the hard drive. Sometimes it can just be the hard drive that makes that sound because I know many people sell their hard drives when it becomes "noisy" due to the spinning of the disk inside. I've assembled a Clamshell from parts and when I bought a hard drive online, I installed it and when I turn on the laptop...it was loud.. it always made a spinning sound...whereas my Powerbook G4 that I also built, I bought the same model hard drive, installed it and it didn't make a loud noise. Have you placed any pressure on the area to the left of the mousepad? If you have, then you might have pushed down onto the laptop hard drive. I think the 12" PB's have the same layout as the iBooks and the hard drive is located under the left side of the trackpad.
 
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Palad1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2004
647
0
London, UK
dorqiekat said:
has anyone else had this problem with good/bad results?
I had that problem (rev.C 15'' SD Powerbook)...

A scrap of paper torn from a cd label sticker got stuck in my superdrive, then got stuck in a fan (2 weeks later), then the pb started making noises while tilted, then all of the time, then kernel panics occured, then...

SMART Failure, hard drive was fried.

then...

APPLECARE \O/ these guys rock, after 48hours I had a fully functionnal pb (albeit all data were lost).

May I point you to one of Doctor Q's finest posts?
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
0
Palad1 said:
I had that problem (rev.C 15'' SD Powerbook)...

A scrap of paper torn from a cd label sticker got stuck in my superdrive, then got stuck in a fan (2 weeks later), then the pb started making noises while tilted, then all of the time, then kernel panics occured, then...

SMART Failure, hard drive was fried.

then...

APPLECARE \O/ these guys rock, after 48hours I had a fully functionnal pb (albeit all data were lost).

May I point you to one of Doctor Q's finest posts?
LOL, yes. I will back-up. Too bad I don't have applecare. I guess I'll go over to the apple store and see what they think of it. I wish it wasn't bad. I don't have money to fix it, and I'm leaving for France in 4 days. Don't have time to fix it anyway. :(

It only made the whirr noise when tilted right? And then it'd be fine when leveled?
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
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EHUnlucky7x9@ao said:
Yeah, it sounds like a good idea to back-up any important data that you may have on the hard drive. Sometimes it can just be the hard drive that makes that sound because I know many people sell their hard drives when it becomes "noisy" due to the spinning of the disk inside. I've assembled a Clamshell from parts and when I bought a hard drive online, I installed it and when I turn on the laptop...it was loud.. it always made a spinning sound...whereas my Powerbook G4 that I also built, I bought the same model hard drive, installed it and it didn't make a loud noise. Have you placed any pressure on the area to the left of the mousepad? If you have, then you might have pushed down onto the laptop hard drive. I think the 12" PB's have the same layout as the iBooks and the hard drive is located under the left side of the trackpad.
I'm not complaining about the HD being noisy. I know the kind of noise my PB makes. I've used it for over a year. This is a foreign noise not characteristic for a PB or it my opinion any laptop.
 
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Palad1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2004
647
0
London, UK
dorqiekat said:
It only made the whirr noise when tilted right? And then it'd be fine when leveled?
Yes, it was fine when it was leveled, but watch out for any increase in temperature or crashes. If your PB behaves as usual then you should be fine, but if you experience crashes / kernel panics, you may have a heat problem.

Bon voyage, et à bientôt :)
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
0
Palad1 said:
Yes, it was fine when it was leveled, but watch out for any increase in temperature or crashes. If your PB behaves as usual then you should be fine, but if you experience crashes / kernel panics, you may have a heat problem.

Bon voyage, et à bientôt :)
So it's not the hd? it's the heaT? I don't think I've noticed any increased heat. I did do some searching here though, and found a thread similar to mine. There was a comment that someone heard the same noise when the laptop was moved (more accurately described as a light saber) before the HD died.

I think that's what mine is starting to do. Star Wars from hell is here to hack up my sweet PB!!! :eek:

If it is the HD, how much will it cost to fix without warranty? If I decide to do it myself, is it difficult? I'll be leaving for the apple store in an hour. Wish me luck.
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
0
Just got back from the apple store and guess what... it was too loud and the tech guy couldn't hear it. He looked at me like I was making it up! The sucky thing is, when I got in the car, I opened the PB again and the lightest tilt made the same buzz noise. This is driving me crazy.

Anyway, the tech said that it probably isn't the HD, that it wouldn't make a noise like that. He thinks that it could be the fan.

So, next question... how much would it cost to fix the fan w/out applecare.

Can I just get an air compressor and blow it on the keyboard or something?
 
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MyLeftNut

macrumors regular
Dec 15, 2002
191
0
Melbourne, Australia
I can totally understand your problem. I have a PB 17 RevC which has for 2 years had an annoying buzzing (almost sounds like an electrical spark) that when the machine is going through heavy graphical processing (or even scrolling through a webpage which has heavy animation) can intermittently make this noise. And before you say it, its not the bloody hardrive. I've taken it in to the AppleCentre for a look and told them to make sure it was quiet while they were checking it but they gave it back saying they couldnt hear anything. Twice!

Ugh. Frustrating. This is not something that is a usual problem. I dont think even Apple would be aware of this one...:(
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
0
MyLeftNut said:
I can totally understand your problem. I have a PB 17 RevC which has for 2 years had an annoying buzzing (almost sounds like an electrical spark) that when the machine is going through heavy graphical processing (or even scrolling through a webpage which has heavy animation) can intermittently make this noise. And before you say it, its not the bloody hardrive. I've taken it in to the AppleCentre for a look and told them to make sure it was quiet while they were checking it but they gave it back saying they couldnt hear anything. Twice!

Ugh. Frustrating. This is not something that is a usual problem. I dont think even Apple would be aware of this one...:(
Yeah, got back from the apple store for the second time today. The tech said that he was going to go into the back so that it's quiet. He said that he didn't hear anything. And guess what, here I am at home. Give the PB a little tilt, and I hear it. The stupid buzz. I don't understand though, how can something like this happen after 20 months of quiet time? I JUST decided to buzz. :(
 
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MyLeftNut

macrumors regular
Dec 15, 2002
191
0
Melbourne, Australia
Dont know. I mean the explanation I got was that there are no moving parts apart from the HD and the fans so the noise cant be related to the mainboard etc, or so I am told. Im no techie but I dont believe them...Im still trying to find time to take it in to have it looked at before my AppleCare runs out.

Good luck with that dorqiekat. Sorry I cant be much more help.
 
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dorqiekat

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
531
0
MyLeftNut said:
Dont know. I mean the explanation I got was that there are no moving parts apart from the HD and the fans so the noise cant be related to the mainboard etc, or so I am told. Im no techie but I dont believe them...Im still trying to find time to take it in to have it looked at before my AppleCare runs out.

Good luck with that dorqiekat. Sorry I cant be much more help.
thanks, I figure since I don't have applecare, I'll just take it for what it is.

when/if it breaks, it breaks. Nothing I can do about it. Only thing I can do is minimize the cost by bugging my computer science nerd to replace it for me. :p
 
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fferia

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2006
2
0
Me too as of an hour ago

I just started having this light sabor issue as of hour ago....

I read this thread and it is exactly what is going on with mine... I find it odd that it id the only thread I found and it seems to be very recent too.
 
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