Why am I such a pain magnet when it comes to laptops?
April 14, 2007 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Macbook (not Pro) hissing at me and crackling at mewhen I open it. What should I do?

I bought a Macbook (white, 13" Core2Duo 1G 80GB HDD DVD Superdrive) from the Apple Outlet two weeks ago).

Last night, I noticed two things:

1. Out of the left speaker, I hear a Velcro like sound each time I open the Macbook and wake it from sleep.

2. There is a faint but audible hiss out of the left speaker that gets considerably quieter when the iSight camera is used. The hiss happens whether the Macbook is plugged in or not.

Everything else on the Macbook works fine. I don't notice the sound when listening to music or watching movies on the Macbook.

I am posting this because most of these complaints that I read a from Macbook Pro users and not Macbook users.

The other (and main) reason is I want to know the best way to deal with this. Is it to go to an Apple store? Call Apple care? Will I be treated any better since I have only had it a short while? How long will I be without a computer?
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unless I'm very confused, you should have full warranty support on your side only two weeks after purchasing the system. Call the AppleCare 1800 number and talk to someone who can actually:

1. Give you an answer.
2. Actually help you get it fixed once you diagnose the problem.

Every time I've had to deal with AppleCare it's been a pleasure.
posted by odinsdream at 12:22 PM on April 14, 2007

Call Applecare. They'll send you a box to ship your computer in back to Apple. As long as the problem is not caused by exposure to water, you're pretty much covered by warranty. You'll probably be out of a computer anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
posted by phaedon at 12:24 PM on April 14, 2007

It shouldn't be 2-4 weeks; it should be less than a week. Otherwise, yea, deal with Apple.

If you don't have AppleCare, btw, I highly recommend it. I've had it on every Apple notebook I've had, and it's always paid for itself.
posted by raf at 12:27 PM on April 14, 2007

(Oh, and if you have an Apple retail store nearby, they should also be able to deal.)
posted by raf at 12:27 PM on April 14, 2007

You don't necessarily need to go to an Apple store or call AppleCare. Many independent shops are Apple Authorized Repair Centers and might be able to offer and even quicker turnaround than Apple itself. Generally if a local ship can't fix it, they just send the repair to AppleCare. You're not out anything for at least checking.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2007

I have no advice, but my MacBook makes the same velcro-like noise from the left speaker when I turn it on. I've never really worried about it, but I look forward to hearing what causes it, if you ever get it figured out! No hiss, though.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:45 PM on April 14, 2007

Thanks everyone for the responses. Please keep them coming.

I suppose one of my questions I asked poorly before is whether or not Apple ever does advanced exchanges on notebooks.

Thanks again.
posted by 4ster at 12:59 PM on April 14, 2007

The hiss.
posted by you at 1:08 PM on April 14, 2007

I have no advice, but my MacBook makes the same velcro-like noise from the left speaker

Mine too. Actually, it comes and goes. Mine was a reconditioned MacBook, so it's supposed to have been cleared by a technician. Makes me think this is an inherent design fault.

The OP's hiss noise might be the hard disk or CPU fan. My MacBook isn't quiet and there's a slight background sound in quiet rooms.

If I was the OP, I'd nag Apple to swap it for a replacement.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:09 PM on April 14, 2007

(the link above is about the MacBook Pro, but it is probably the same issue -- my old PowerBook had a mild case too)
posted by you at 1:11 PM on April 14, 2007

im curious, does plugging headphones make this noise go away?
posted by phaedon at 1:42 PM on April 14, 2007

if you check carefully, you might find the hissing speaker actually doesnt work. if it is not connected to the sound chip, its probably coupling noise from other components in the computer.

go into the sound control panel and mess with the Left/Right balance slider while playing music or something.

i had a macbook like this and i took it right back to the store and they gave me a new one.
posted by joeblough at 1:48 PM on April 14, 2007

its probably coupling noise from other components in the computer.

right, i agree this might be the case. if the noise doesn't go away when you plug in headphones, you're probably dealing with a non-speaker problem..
posted by phaedon at 1:50 PM on April 14, 2007

My Macbook makes the velcro noise intermittently as well. I'd love to hear what causes it if you find out.
posted by icebourg at 2:27 PM on April 14, 2007

Well, now it has quit doing it all. Which I guess is good.

(If) when, it starts again, I will try the headphone suggestion.
posted by 4ster at 7:05 PM on April 14, 2007

Mail-in Applecare should definitely be less than a week. When my MacBook's HD died (I blame Seagate, not Apple) it went like this:

1. Called AppleCare. Received shipping box two days later.
2. Packed up Macbook, called DHL. DHL guy picked up my MacBook at 6pm on a Thursday.
3. Around 8am the next morning, I got an email that said it had arrived at the repair facility (in Memphis, TN - I live in Houston).
4. Around 5pm that afternoon, I got an email that said the repairs were complete and the machine was on its way back, including a FedEx tracking number.
5. Macbook returned to my home on Monday

If the weekend hadn't gotten in the way, I would have had the machine back two days after sending it off for repair. Ironically, the machine came back with both the 512M DIMM I had installed, and an extra 256M DIMM! Unfortunately I already had two 1G DIMMs waiting for the machine to return.

Apparently the Macbook Pro repair facility is in Houston, while all Macbooks go to Memphis.
posted by mrbill at 2:45 AM on April 15, 2007

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