Resolved RESOLVED-3yrs-Tried everything..CONSTANT fans [2008 MBP]

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shamanstar, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. shamanstar, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012

    shamanstar macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I've tried so many things over the past three years to get these fans to stop constantly spinning at 6000rpm from the minute I open the lid until 5 seconds after I close it. Both fans are working and both run at 6000rpm. The temperature reads normal. The body gets very hot after the fans have been running for awhile but it isnt hot to begin with. There are no print jobs in the queue as has been the problem for some people. I have reset the pram and smc many times. I looked in terminal to see the top processes with top -u -s3 and there is nothing that stands out. In activity monitor I find the same. I recently have again become annoyed enough with this to try to find a solution. This morning I unplugged external drives and USB hubs as well as my audio interface and unplugged the power source. I was able to kill the fan noise when I force quit Firefox. I realized that I have 10 tabs that I always keep open if not more. I thought that must've been the problem. But after plugging the computer back into power without starting Firefox, the fans ramp up to 6000 immediately. I plugged into a different power source after getting fan speed back down by unplugging, putting the computer to sleep and then waking up. It is able to sometimes come back from sleep and not have fans go to 6000 but it seems like only when the power source is disconnected. I have tried two different sources and both of them cause the fans to speed up. With the power source unplugged, the fans are still audible but they are only running at around 3000rpm. Once I start Chrome or Firefox, they immediately ramp up to 6000. Once I quit, they slowly drop back down to barely audible levels. The temp reads below 40 degrees during this whole scenario. The CPU load is 97% idle or more and fans never operate at less than 2500.

    My friend suggested replacing the PRAM battery so I'm going to do that even though the clock stayed set when I removed the laptop battery and power source. I'm willing to try anything at this point. Does anyone have any suggestions? The noise really makes this computer terrible to use and unsellable.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC. PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature
     
  3. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #3
    I know that the fans are supposed to run. Also, I mentioned that I reset the smc. I know that was a long post but did you read it?
     
  4. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

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    #4
    Your MacBook Pro could be one of the models affected with a very poor thermal paste application. I recently took apart a friend's Mid 2011 15" that had a water spill and was shocked to find they still do this even to this day. If you're comfortable with opening your computer I would suggest cleaning out the fans with some compressed air, in addition to redoing the thermal paste with a better quality paste such as arctic silver. What this will do is reduce your computer's overall temperature, requiring the fans to spin at a lower RPM.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    I'll confess I only skimmed it, as it was a large blob of text, and I missed that. The PRAM suggestion is bogus, as PRAM relates to PPC Macs. On Intel-based Macs it's NVRAM and in either case, it has nothing to do with power, charging or battery issues. I know you said you checked Activity Monitor, but did you change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top), then look to see what may be consuming system resources? Also, you mention temps being normal. Can you give specifics? iStat Pro is a good tool for tracking temps, fans, etc.
     
  6. shamanstar, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011

    shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #6
    Temps usually run between 35-40 when the fans aren't running super heavy, which again is only when the power source isn't plugged in and I'm not running anything. Once I open chrome or Firefox and the fans immediately ramp up to 6000rpm, the temps stay low for the first couple of minutes after the fans kick up and then the temp gradually rises. I will post specs when I get to m computer to get some but basically the way it works is- temps are around 35, fans around 2500-2800 and either I open a browser or I plug in the power source and the fans IMMEDIATELY rise to 6000rpm in less than a minute. Without having the specific temps ATM, that fact jumps out at me as being something that is a response to CPU load and not temps. That being said, the opening of chrome or plugging in power doesn't make CPU spike. If anything, load increases to 18-25% from being somewhere around 5-10% with nothing running.

    Activity monitor is set to show all processes in descending order. Kernel is on top when nothing is running then chrome or Firefox takes over once that's open. It never takes more than 10-20% of available CPU.

    If it has nothing to do with power, I'm wondering why that seems to be the most steady variable that can cause the fans to ramp up or slow down. There is a direct connection between when the computer is sitting idle from a fresh restart plugged in and the fans ramping up vs the computer starting up from a fresh restart not plugged in and the fans don't ramp up to 6000. I don't know what that could mean but it seems to be the one thing I'm able to predict the outcome.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    There's something definitely wrong there. Fans don't typically ramp up immediately. In fact, you can have spikes in temps up into the 90s without the fans spinning up. Temps must be sustained at higher temps for some period of time before fans spin up, under normal circumstances. Even though you've tried it, I would try resetting the SMC again. If that doesn't do it, I'd have Apple take a look at it.
     
  8. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816

    GuitarG20

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    Jun 3, 2011
    #8
    do you have any third-party apps on your mac that would change the default fan control profile?
     
  9. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #9
    I'm not sure but I'm thinking that I must since I've had this problem for so many years. I bet I have smsfancontrol and others like it. Is there any way I can tell if I have any apps that would change the default fan control profile?

    I put in a new hard drive a year ago and did a clean install and still have the same problem, so that makes it sound like a hardware problem...?

    ----------

    I will take it in the to apple store soon bcz it's getting to be time to sell it for whatever I can get for it with this issue and move on or get it fixed and live with it for another year or two.

    I have reset the smc so many times- maybe I'm doing it wrong? Unplug computer, power down, remove battery, press power button for five seconds (I usually do it for 7 just to be safe) then put battery back in, plug in and restart. Is that right?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    This link has the exact instructions, based on whichever model you have.
     
  11. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #11
    Yea. I've used that link. The first thing that comes up in a google search. So unfortunately, the smc reset doesn't do the trick. :(
    I think I will make a genius bar appointment although I've troubleshot this so much it should have a bullet in the head. I doubt they will do more than tell me it will cost xxx to fix. Maybe I will try the thermal paste replacement....
     
  12. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #12
    Could the NVIDIA 8600M recall be something to causes this?

    I just heard about the NVIDIA recall and was wondering if that could be the cause? I do have that GPU so I guess when I take it to Apple, I will ask them to run the test to see if I'm affected. If so, I would get a new logicboard which could solve the problem.
    I have to wait till I have time to put my stock HD back in the computer.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    The NVIDIA issue wouldn't cause your fan problem, but having it checked while you're there makes sense. Why do you have to put your stock HD back in?
     
  14. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I just figured they might hassle me about it being not covered bcz of that... Not true?
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
    Not true. It's perfectly fine to swap out your hard drive, as that's considered a user-serviceable part. It doesn't void the warranty, unless you damage something in the process.
     
  16. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Great! That's good to know! I might take it in there today... Brave the mall on new years day!
     
  17. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #17
    Still think its strange about power source causing fans to ramp

    After the night of fiddling around, it is something that I can inevitably repeat to get the fans to ramp up. Plugging in the power source causes the fans to go from 2000 to 6000 in one minute with the temperate staying at 34-36 degrees. Once I unplug the power source, the fans slowly go back down to 2000 rpm. It takes about 3 minutes for them to wind down.

    Since this is something that happens every time, what could be causing it? I'd like to go into the apple store with some ideas for them to look into.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #18
    If you can replicate the problem consistently, that should be enough for them to isolate the source. The hardware tests that they can run will likely detect the problem.
     
  19. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    Millis, Massachusetts
    #19
    You didn't try everything. If that was my machine I would have taken it back to Apple and have them fix it.
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #20
    That's exactly what the OP said they're going to do.
     
  21. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #21
    Every experience at the apple store when you make an appointment is reasonably fast

    I always make an appointment for the genius bar online. You can usually make an appointment for 15 minutes from the current time and it saves hours of waiting in a crowded apple store. This time, I experienced no traffic because everyone was sleeping, most of the mall was still closed and I was told to sit at the bar as soon as I checked in with the door person. I was being helped 1 minute later and left the store 10 minutes later with a turnaround time of same day :)
    The genius thinks it may be a faulty sensor in the fans and the cost to replace both fans is only $30. I'm waiting for the call. I will be ecstatic if that solves the problem and also feel dumb for putting up with this for so long when it was such a simple fix.
     
  22. shamanstar, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012

    shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    i fixed it!
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #23
    I'm very glad you worked it out! Congrats!
     
  24. shamanstar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2011
    #24
    FIXED- Constant Fans 2008 Macbook Pro

    Three years of trying to solve this problem have finally come to an end. I found the fix for my computer and wanted to start a new topic in hopes of helping other people. I have googled this problem a lot over the years and was never able to find a solution for fans that run at a constant speed of 6000rpm regardless of load or temperature.

    The one clue that I overlooked bcz the Apple store told me that error code would have nothing to do with the fans was:

    4SNS/1/40000000:TsOP-128.000

    This code is for the Palm rest sensor. The Apple employee told me that the sensor was to warn if excess pressure was being put onto the case above the hard drive and not to worry about it. It was only after I googled the code with "constant fan" that I stumbled upon this blog suggesting to replace the palm rest sensor (of course) and exactly where that could be found- it is bundled in with the upper case/ keyboard ribbon.

    http://www.henrycipolla.com/blog/20...palm-rest-sensor-fixes-fan-constantly-at-100/

    I ordered the part on ebay and popped it in and no more 6000 rpm fans! It cost $15. Here is the part number and info... My macbook is model A1260 Upper Case Cable Apple part number 821-0585-A or 632-0617 should get you the part you need.

    I hope this helps anyone who has also not been able to solve this problem. I am so happy to have a normal sounding computer again that I can tolerate being in the same room with!
     
  25. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #25
    That's great news. It's something I hadn't known about before and it's good information to have.

    I would suggest you amend your original post of this thread to have the prefix "Resolved" so that others seeking a solution to this issue can readily find a thread worth reading. :)
     

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