Hear that? Is my MacBook dying?
March 7, 2007 12:24 AM   Subscribe

Last night, suddenly and without provocation, my MacBook started grinding and crackling something fierce, mid-Google Reader browse. I shut it down quickly, savored the adrenaline rush, and started it up again. It wound up with a loud whine that accelerated until... well, it slowly dropped to a low whir. And it continues to whir. But the computer runs (for now) as if there's nothing wrong. My guess is it's the fan. If so, though, what happened? It was so sudden. (And this is not the iMoo.) And does this require Apple service, or can I somehow fix this myself? Should I stop using the MacBook entirely in the meantime? Want to hear the racket?
posted by pzarquon to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Heh, well, I answered my last question. About five minutes after I posted my question, the MacBook blinked off without so much as a by your leave. And, of course, the base was incredibly hot. I never had heat issues with this machine, but it's definitely got issues now...
posted by pzarquon at 12:35 AM on March 7, 2007

Burnt out fan methinks.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:04 AM on March 7, 2007

Yeah, that's definitely the sound of like a bent fan or bad glue on it or whatnot. Take it into the local Apple store, they'll switch it out in a second, I'd bet.... don't worry about real damage, it should have turned itself off when it got into the danger zone.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:08 AM on March 7, 2007

Fan. If a computer makes a great deal of sustained noise and still runs, it's a fan. Otherwise, it's a drive.

Impulse noises are something blowing up. Those are bad.

Hopefully, the heat soak didn't do any damage.
posted by eriko at 4:57 AM on March 7, 2007

That's definitely a fan noise. The bearings on those little plastic fans are extremely cheap. The fan should cost ~$20 to replace (and most of that is profit for the fanmaker, but whatever).

I don't know what service deal you have with Apple, but it's an easy fix, one way or another. Figure out what fan is making that noise, replace it. You can do it, if you have a small screwdriver and some patience. Or Apple can do it.

If you need to use the computer in the meantime you can use it outside, or sitting on top of an A/C vent, or something like that.
posted by jellicle at 6:42 AM on March 7, 2007

fan. apple store. you get it.
posted by shmegegge at 4:05 PM on March 7, 2007

Thanks, all. Took it to the Apple Store, got a promise of a 5-7 day repair, got it back by the end of the day.

And, not only did they replace the fan, but they also replaced the entire keyboard assembly. I don't know why, but I'm happy. The trackpad button actually clicks now (instead of smooshes), and a weird gap in the upper right corner of the case is now closed. Over $300 in repairs, free thanks to Apple Care.
posted by pzarquon at 9:40 PM on March 7, 2007

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