VERY STRANGE Whirring noise on startup - MacBook 5,1 (late 2008)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by joshfairweather, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. joshfairweather macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #1
    Upon startup, waking from sleep, and loading the "storage" tab in About My Mac, my laptop makes a noise as if it's whirring away underneath the trackpad for a few seconds. If this makes any sense it sounds like: vrr, vrr vrr vrr vrr, vrr vrr vrr vrr, vrr vrr vrr vrr, vrr.

    One short noise, three longer whirring/scratchy/vibrating kind of noise (can't think of the right word to describe) then another short noise and it stops.

    I have a 5,1 MacBook Late '08 release with 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD..... Someone must know the problem and how to fix?!?!
     
  2. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #2
    You might want to record it and post the recording here.

    Fan?
     
  3. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #3
    Yeah I'll record when I'm home and upload to YouTube then post it here
     
  4. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #4


    Here's a clip of my MacBook making the noise. Hopefully someone can help! @EugW @dosdude1 @jhowarth you guys have been good to me so far :-D
     
  5. fisherking macrumors 604

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #5
    unless a wasp has gotten into your mac... back everything up. seems time for a new hard drive. altho i've never heard anything quite like that, can't think of anything else capable of such a sound.

    anyone else? meanwhile, BACK UP.
     
  6. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    Feb 16, 2012
    #6
    That's the optical drive. Something's just wrong with it. Take it out or replace it, and it'll stop making that sound.
     
  7. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #7
    I NEVER put CDs/DVDs into my Mac. If I took it out would the Mac still work perfectly? Or would it throw errors up about one not being found? And if I was to get a replacement have you any idea where and what the best bet would be? I am in the UK.. If it WAS a hard drive error, nothing is returning in First Aid (not that I trust Disk Utility after it couldn't add a GUID partition to my USB) and I am getting an SSD soon.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2017 ---
    Strange that my Mac will still accept and recognise DVDs if the optical drive is making such a HORRIFIC noise...
     
  8. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    Feb 16, 2012
    #8
    It's definitely not the hard disk, I'd recognize that optical drive whining from anywhere. The system will work perfectly fine with it removed, in fact many people replace them with an adapter to allow a second hard disk or SSD to be installed. It'll also work perfectly fine with nothing at all installed, so nothing to worry about there. If you want to get a replacement drive, they're available for about $20 on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/152635240567
     
  9. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #9
    I'll probably attempt to remove it however outside of fitting a new hard drive and battery I've never added or removed anything from a laptop lol. How difficult a job is it to remove, do you know?
     
  10. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    Feb 16, 2012
    #10
    It's not hard at all. Just follow the iFixit guide found here.
     
  11. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #11
    Awesome thank you very much buddy
     
  12. fisherking macrumors 604

    fisherking

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    Jul 16, 2010
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    ny somewhere
    #12
    good advice! i actually forgot about the optical drive (it's been so long since i've seen one). but makes sense.
     
  13. maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #13
    Use a ssd and install the OS on it. Your machine will be speedy as newer before
     
  14. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #14
    Update:

    After putting a DVD in the drive to see if the drive was broken (because that noise indicated nothing less than being broken!) it read the DVD and played it. Upon removing the DVD, my MacBook has stopped the original noises and now does this:



    Is that the sound the optical drive should make upon startup as it is 9 years old? Or is that still "not normal" but better than before?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 19, 2017 ---
    @maerz001 I am swapping my HD for an SSD and upgrading the RAM this weekend. Don't think I have any use for dual storage just yet and don't want to fork out for an SSD I won't use yet - would rather remove the optical drive!
     
  15. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Location:
    Denmark
    #15
    That is the sound it normally makes when ejecting a disc from the optical drive. Either you drive is starting to fail, or, which is more likely since the sound now changed, it is so dusty that it thinks there's always a disk inside. That also makes sense since it sounded as if it was trying to spin up and read a disk that was never there, in your first video.
    Anyway, if you never use it, you are perfectly safe. The optical drives are some of the most fail prone components of older Macs. You can also try and blow it out with an air can. Worst case is that it stops working.

    You can also just remove it, to make your Mac lighter. Or replace it. Or install a HDD in its place for more space. Or a hidden bible. Or maybe a collection of pictures of your favorite movie (xxx) actress (Along with the bible).
     
  16. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #16
    Yep, the second sound is the right sound. Glad putting in a disc fixed it. As T'hain says though, I wonder if it's failing.
     
  17. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #17
    I did wonder if putting a disc in would maybe dislodge something that was stuck, causing it to make the first noise. Maybe I'll just slide a couple discs in and out and try spray some air through it see what happens. When I upgrade to SSD this weekend I may keep the hard drive and install it as a backup in my MacBook in place of the optical drive - any idea where I could get the bracket in the UK?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 19, 2017 ---
    So the drive should be silent upon start and make that noise when removing a disc? It was the first time I'd ever put a disc in my Mac but it seemed to need the disc pushing in slightly further than I would have expected (it didn't instantly grab it like my old Toshiba did) and it seemed quite a 'violent' action it took to insert and eject but maybe that's just how it is. Won't bother with a video of that obviously, just some extra info..
     
  18. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
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    Denmark
    #18
    eBay or Amazon.

    Not silent, as it always spins it up and checks booting the Mac. Not entirely correct, but it is nearly normal. Personally I wouldn't worry about it at all, as I said those drives are sooo error prone that it will eventually fail at some point anyway.
     
  19. joshfairweather thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #19
    Ah well I'm not too bothered then I'll just leave it and see how I feel on Sunday when I do some upgrades and have my mac open! Thank you all.
     

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18 September 18, 2017