My macbook has iMoo
June 5, 2006 2:11 PM   Subscribe

My new macbook came with iMoo. What to do?

I've read the threads at apple support, but I know there's a lot of mac users on metafilter that have used macs forever.

In the last week I received a brand new macbook. White, 2.0 ghz, 1 g of ram. I love everything about it, except for the dreaded moo. Just browsing and doing email, everything is fine. It's silent. But once it I open something that slightly causes the temperature to go up, I get the mooing. The mooing sounds exactly like a small cow is inside my macbook. I've read, and it sounds like, it's the fan coming on, and then shutting right back off. When it's mooing, it's constant, every 3-5 seconds, continuously.

I checked the temp, and with just browsing it runs at 65-66 C. When I open another program, it kicks up to 69-79 and the mooing starts. The only thing that will stop the mooing is closing programs until the temp goes back down, or open enough programs that the fan finally comes on and stays on.

I love my macbook, and in a busy coffeeshop, I don't hear it. But when working in silence, as I often do, it's maddening.

I've heard people say they returned their mooing macbooks to apple and were told it wasn't normal and they would do something about it. I've heard others were told it is normal and to deal with it. Should I deal with it? Could this be by design? Should I name my baby cow and let it go? Or is this a flaw with my macbook and I should send it back.

I'm lost. Any help is appreciated.
posted by gtr to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
 
Return it to Apple and demand they fix it. You're already unhappy with your purchase. Returning it won't make you more unhappy.
posted by smackfu at 2:17 PM on June 5, 2006


check the macintouch thread:
http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/macbookpro/topic4057.html
posted by unSane at 2:25 PM on June 5, 2006


Is your rear vent blocked?
posted by web-goddess at 2:45 PM on June 5, 2006


Do you mind it less when the fan stays on? You see where this is going.
posted by trevyn at 3:01 PM on June 5, 2006


Return it to Apple and demand they fix it. You're already unhappy with your purchase. Returning it won't make you more unhappy.

I agree, but I live 6 hours from the nearest apple store and this web page doesn't give me much hope in sending it back in.

I'm really curious if apple designed the fans to work this way or if it's a problem they're just choosing to ignore.

And I checked the rear vent and it's clear. Thanks web-goddess.
posted by gtr at 3:01 PM on June 5, 2006


I imagine this problem will be fixed in firmware at some point. It is obviously a fan-cycling issue and presumably the hysteresis is set wrong.

The fixes I have seen on the web work the CPU harder, so the fan comes on and stays on longer. It's a simple fix for apple to set the target CPU temp when the fan comes on a bit lower, so the fan stays on longer to bring the temp down, and off longer as the temp rises back up to the trigger temperature again.

As I remember the early G5 desktops had exactly the same problem, which was fixed in firmware.
posted by unSane at 3:31 PM on June 5, 2006


MacBook Pros mooed, and it was fixed in firmware.
posted by zsazsa at 4:20 PM on June 5, 2006


I imagine this problem will be fixed in firmware at some point.

MacBook Pros mooed, and it was fixed in firmware.

Well, thanks. At least there's hope.
posted by gtr at 4:51 PM on June 5, 2006


I live 6 hours from the nearest apple store

Call AppleCare. A shipping box can be delivered to your doorstep in 24 hours, which you use it to send the laptop to Apple postpaid. The shipper (DHL, I think?) picks up and drops off. I've had repairs-by-mail completed, under warranty, in as little as 3 days. Once it took a couple weeks, while they were waiting for a backordered part to arrive from China. That time was a drag, but it did get fixed.

Just be specific (on your trouble report form included in the shipping box) about the conditions needed to consistently reproduce the obnoxious noise. Don't leave any wiggle room for some lazy tech to just power up, hear no moo, report A-OK, and ship it back to you unchanged.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:04 PM on June 5, 2006


IT moo's? Just tell people it's a gateway in disguise.
posted by IronLizard at 8:08 PM on June 5, 2006


A shipping box can be delivered to your doorstep in 24 hours

Thanks ncm. I've read about a lot of calls to apple care where people are not being sent a box, but being told it's normal for the fan to go on and shut off over and over again.

But I' calling in the morning to see for myself.

Again, thanks.
posted by gtr at 8:09 PM on June 5, 2006


MacBook SMC Firmware Update (420K)

"The SMC Firmware Update adjusts fan behavior in the MacBook. After this update has completed successfully, your SMC Version will be: 1.4f10. The updater application will be installed in the /Applications/Utilities folder.

Please follow the instructions in the updater application to complete the update process. Here are the instructions within the updater:

To update the SMC firmware on your MacBook:
Your computer's power cord must be connected and plugged into a working power source.
1. Quit all other open applications.
2. Click Restart in the MacBook SMC Firmware Update window and wait for your computer to restart."


[via MacUpdate.com]

posted by blueberry at 2:58 PM on August 17, 2006


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