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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Oct 28, 2008
    Posts
    7
    Mild vibration / buzzing when tilted at certain angle
    I recently got the last generation MacBook Pro (early 2008) and noticed something kinda odd from the start, but couldn't put my finder on it until tonight.

    There is a subtle buzzing or vibration sound coming from the top-right of the keyboard/screen hinge area, if the MacBook is tilted at a certain angle. For example, if the keyboard is angled up about 30 degrees, the vibration can be heard.

    At first I thought it was the screen buzzing, but now I can reproduce it when I tilt the whole thing at a very specific angle. If it sits flat, or is at a greater angle, the sound goes away. For the most part it's not there, but I am wondering if there is something wrong with the fan or another part in that area of the laptop that makes this sound when at just the right angle.

    Any thoughts on what this might be? Has anyone else ever encountered this problem?

  2. #2

    ADKhikerVW's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 18, 2007
    Location
    Wilmington, NY
    Posts
    715
    Specs:
    15" Unibody MBP (2009), White MB (2009), iMac G4
    Hmm.. There is a fan in the top right corner which might be causing the sound. It may be rubbing against something or there might be something caught in there. Is there a disk in the optical drive? I know the drive is in the bottom right hand corner, but it can be hard to pinpoint these kind of noises.

  3. #3

    B&O's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2007
    Location
    Brit in Tokyo.
    Posts
    745
    Specs:
    MBP i7, Mac Mini & iPhone 3G.
    Ok it could be a fan or just the HDD.

    Simple put the fans up to full speed and then tilt it. If it is louder then it is the fans. If not then it is the HDD. Mine (both MBPs (2007 and late 08) make a noise when I move the computer quickly.

    This is why laptop manufactures are pushing SSD to eliminate this problem.
    MacBook Pro 2.66Ghz i7. Mac Mini 2.26Ghz C2D
    iPhone 3G 16GB iPad 3G 64GB
    Check out my flickr

  4. #4

    Desdemonica's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 30, 2007
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Posts
    57
    Specs:
    Late 2008 2.4GHz Core2Duo MacBook Pro, 4GB RAM
    I am experiencing the same issue with my new MacBook Pro, but my buzzing is coming from the rear left hand side and is more evident when flat. It is less evident when the fans are at full speed so sounds like it is a wonky fan.

    Shall pop into an Apple store next week to have it looked at - the noise is well away from the HDD area however

  5. #5

    pcasso87's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Posts
    8
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro Late 2008 2.53 ghz/320gb/4gb Ram
    Same problem here i have the 2.53 ghz macbook pro and it makes an anoying noise when you tilt it, think i can get a replacement, or something, i normaly lay down in bed with my laptop tilted and its making the noise all the time, it really bothers me my old macbook didnt make that vibrating noise.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Oct 28, 2008
    Posts
    7
    hmmm

    def not dvd drive. nothing in there, and sound is much further away. Almost positive now that it is the fan. I can also sustain the sound by holding laptop at specific angle. The weird sound stays until I change the angle.

    I wonder what would make a fan sound weird while tilted? I also did some tests, and it has nothing to do with the casing slightly warping/bending. It does it when supported on a flat surface that is tilted.

    I guess I'll call Apple and see what they suggest.

    This is my first Mac... this sucks.

    Thanks

  7. #7

    Desdemonica's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 30, 2007
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Posts
    57
    Specs:
    Late 2008 2.4GHz Core2Duo MacBook Pro, 4GB RAM
    I spoke to Apple today and am taking my MacBook Pro to an authorised repair centre locally tomorrow so will see what they say when they look into it.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Oct 28, 2008
    Posts
    7
    Desdemonica,

    What happened when you took it to apple care?

    I don't want to leave my machine for a few days with repair, and I also would rather my casing not getting opened up, but I guess I don't have much choice unless I want to hear this buzzing.

  9. #9

    Desdemonica's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 30, 2007
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Posts
    57
    Specs:
    Late 2008 2.4GHz Core2Duo MacBook Pro, 4GB RAM
    I got asked to take it to the nearest Authorised Apple repairer which I will do. The advisor said they were unaware of the issue but said if people were getting this to let them know in case it was a big issue.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Oct 28, 2008
    Posts
    7
    Something I just noticed: The vibration sound is coming fro the keyboard. If I tilt the macbook pro to make the sound, but the put a few fingers gently over top of the right side of the keyboard, the sound stops. I can make the sound stop/start by touching or not touching the keyboard while the sound is present.

    So it seems to me that my problem is caused by a loose keyboard or something like that. it's not local to any specific key, because I the sound will also stop if I touch the Return, Delete, slash, etc.

    Can you see if that is the same on yours?

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts
    1
    i have the SAME problem as OP. bought my mbp back in september and the buzzing noise occurs on the right side, desists when i alter the angle of the laptop, and can be mitigated when applying light pressure on the front part of the keyboard (near the trackpad).

    currently residing in japan (okinawa), however makes it difficult to bring in to the nearest apple retailer. i'm not even sure if there are any on okinawa. i'm 90% sure it's the fan, and strongly considering taking the laptop apart to examine this area. wonder how far i can go without voiding the warranty...

  12. #12

    Desdemonica's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 30, 2007
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Posts
    57
    Specs:
    Late 2008 2.4GHz Core2Duo MacBook Pro, 4GB RAM
    Update:

    I finally got round to taking my MacBook Pro in to be looked at and it was a faulty fan assembly which they replaced under warranty. They said they had already had quite a few of these new ones in with fan assembly problems.

    Had a bit of a surprise to note that apparently the rear screw of the case was held in place by something resembling plasticine as it was missing a small retaining bracket so they fixed that too. Looks like the early ones were a tad rushed out

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