Volume click keeps waking my Mac speakers while it's sleeping?
January 30, 2017 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Every time I have my iMac in sleep mode, it's perpetually roused by an audio jolt which sounds like a soft "click" ( as if the external speakers have just been turned on or plugged in ) which wakes my external hard drive and keeps it running all night. Ive turned off the external drive so it wouldn't keep going on and off but I still hear this sound every 15 secs or so. Any ideas? Thanks.
posted by Liquidwolf to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
If it stops happening when your speakers are unplugged, it is your speakers acting as an antenna and picking up some EMI. That voltage on the wires is tricking your computer into wake on lan or something similar. I had a set of speakers that would pick up a radio station when off and if it got loud enough the computer would wake. Yes, that was as freaky as it sounds.

If speakers are the cause, you can mess with ferrite beads and such or just get better shielded speakers.
posted by BeeDo at 8:44 AM on January 30, 2017

Hah, that's weird! Thanks for the tip, Ill try unplugging the speakers and see.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:01 AM on January 30, 2017

You might actually have something stuck in the audio ports - they are both analog and digital and I would suggest using compressed air, in short bursts, on the turned off machine. Or your audio cable might be finished and needs replacing.

Common sleep issue on the mac is that it might be waking up to poll/listen for network activity or bluetooth activity, and the audible is just a side effect - see here for some possible fixes. A quick check is to just turn off the wifi, bluetooth and unplug the network connection - and then check for the clicking. Another quick check is creating a new account on the machine and seeing if that also has the clicking - if not then it's some software that is waking it up.
posted by zenon at 9:19 AM on January 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding zenon: usually the click is the aftereffect of a wake up. It's not the cause.

It sounds like coincidence because you're hearing the click right away upon the wake signal. The hard drive needs a second or so to spin up to audible range.

My Mac would wake up all the time from a flaky mouse.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:52 AM on January 30, 2017

Yup, flaky mouse. Or any other flaky input device - I once trashed a keyboard b/c of an intermittent in the Scroll Lock that was keeping my machine awake at night.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 11:48 AM on January 30, 2017

Thanks. Yeah I have the wireless Bluetooth keyboard, external speakers, and wifi going ..so could be one of those.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:18 PM on January 30, 2017

If you have an Apple TV remote that you use in the same room, that can cause it too.
posted by spilon at 12:26 PM on January 30, 2017

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