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More Macbook Pro issues: diagnose this squealing noise, please!
December 26, 2011 9:56 AM   Subscribe

I just opened up my Macbook Pro to be greeted by a horrible, awful, squealing noise. What's going on?

I just opened up my (mid-2010) Macbook Pro to a horrible squealing noise. It sounds almost exactly like the noise in this YouTube video (but I have a more recent model of MBP). I don't know what might have caused it. The computer has had a lot of warranty work done on it, all about four months ago, mostly related to the hard drive. However, I'm away for the holidays right now and won't be able to get it in to an Apple Store for some time. I was hoping someone might be able to tell me what this noise is and what causes it, and if it is cause for worry. The sound seems to be coming from the rear left side of the computer.
posted by synecdoche to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd guess that it may be a fan; I think there are fans right there by the speakers, in this model.
posted by thelonius at 9:58 AM on December 26, 2011


Agreed that it sounds like a fan. Maybe there's a piece of dust or something that is interfering with the fan blades.
posted by dfriedman at 10:04 AM on December 26, 2011


Yup, that sounds like a fan.

The fans are variable speed so you can test for this by running a graphics heavy game or some such to bring the heat levels up. You should hear the noise change as the heat rises and again when it falls afterwards.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:32 AM on December 26, 2011


It sounds terribly "electronic" to be just fan noise. It almost sounds like some crazy static coming through the speakers. Like something in the audio circuit is frying.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:09 AM on December 26, 2011


That does not sound mechanical to me.

What happens when you run the volume up and down? Play some music. Does the result sound "combined" or change at all?
posted by humboldt32 at 12:13 PM on December 26, 2011


Thanks for the suggestions so far. I've been unable to duplicate the sound so far. It tailed off after a few seconds initially and I am trying to get the fan going but so far haven't been able to get it running at a heat at which it is needed. Is there a program I can use to just test the fan without having to try to open up a bunch of video files?

I'm also playing various audio files without any issues. It just happened the once, when I opened up the laptop and it woke from sleep. It hasn't happened again, but I don't know that it *won't* happen again.
posted by synecdoche at 12:49 PM on December 26, 2011


That is, I can get the fan running, but not at any extremely high speed—and when it does run, the sound does not return (so far).
posted by synecdoche at 12:53 PM on December 26, 2011


smcFanControl

Doesn't sound like the fan to me. And it did it once and hasn't since: Problem Solved.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:59 PM on December 26, 2011


Okay, it made the whiny/squealing noise when I opened it up for the first time this morning, and now it is making a repeating clicking noise that emits from the same location. It sounds almost like a cat purring. It goes on for a second, turns off for a second, on for a second, very regularly.
posted by synecdoche at 7:26 AM on December 27, 2011


Can you take it to an apple store?

I'd back up everything important just incase it's the hard drive.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:54 PM on December 29, 2011


Took it to the Apple Store. It was the hard drive. Sigh. Third one for this laptop.
posted by synecdoche at 5:25 PM on December 30, 2011


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