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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MBP Unibody Noisy Hard Drive


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amagzz

 
Member Since: Oct 07, 2009
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Hello everyone,

I bought my 15" MBP back in May and I've never really had a problem with the noise of the hard drive. It was there, but it was a slight hum, nothing really bothersome, and I had read that it was normal for the MBP to be making this noise. But, yesterday, I was playing WoW and I noticed that the humming of the my HD was a lot more distinct and louder. I figured it was because of the high CPU usage. So, when I was done playing I thought I should just leave my computer off and just let it chill out over night. The increased noise has happened before when I was playing, but never this loud.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning I started up my MBP and noticed that the hum was still happening and it was as loud as it was last night. Also, I noticed that it will hum for about 15mins and then stop for like 10-15s and then hum again. I thought maybe my HD was dying so I checked to see what the S.M.A.R.T status via Disk Utility was and it said that is was still verified. What's weird is that I'm not doing anything CPU or HD intensive, yet the hum persists.

Should I take it in to my local Apple Store to see what's wrong or is there anything else I could do? I really don't want to be misreading the signs of my dying HD and lose everything.

Oh, I guess I should mention that my HD is partitioned for a 50gb Bootcamp drive. Could that be causing the hum, though I've had that partition for a month or two and the hum has never been loud like this?

Thanks
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Kevin6432

 
Member Since: Feb 10, 2008
Location: Dallas, but school in Arkansas
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Does it still hum when you pick it up off your desk? Does it do the same thing once it's running on Boot Camp? Have you upgraded the hard drive or did it come with the computer?

15 inch MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo w/ 3GB ram and 160GB 7200 RPM HDD.
Apple OS-X Snow Leopard / Boot Camp - Windows XP
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amagzz

 
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Yes it hums when I pick it up. I haven't checked in Boot Camp yet, but I will do that after I post this. And no, I haven't upgraded it. It's the HD that came with it when I bought it.

EDIT: Yes, the hum persists in Boot Camp.

I guess it's not the hard drive that is making the hum noise. I opened up the compartment where the battery and HD are housed and the HD was making no noise. The hum seems to be coming from the left side of the keyboard. Could it be something in the fan?
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Kevin6432

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amagzz View Post
I guess it's not the hard drive that is making the hum noise. I opened up the compartment where the battery and HD are housed and the HD was making no noise. The hum seems to be coming from the left side of the keyboard. Could it be something in the fan?
It could be. How old is the computer? And does the hum change at all when playing wow or any other graphic intensive application? If it's still under warranty, apple should be able to take care of it for you without a problem.

15 inch MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo w/ 3GB ram and 160GB 7200 RPM HDD.
Apple OS-X Snow Leopard / Boot Camp - Windows XP
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amagzz

 
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Well, it's only about 7 months old. The hum gets progressively louder. I'm probably just going to take it to the Apple Store tomorrow for them to check it out. Thanks for the help. Could it be my video or graphics card maybe?
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chscag

 
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It's not your video chipset. It's either one or both of the fans that are making the humming sound(s). Could be a bad bearing or just accumulation of dirt and dust. In any event, the folks at your local Apple store will take care of it for you. Call ahead and make an appointment before you take it on in. This time of year the genius bar is swamped.

Regards.
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amagzz

 
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Thanks so much chscag. How sure are you? =]
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ticedoff8

 
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The only things that can make the noise are the fans and the HD.
It isn't the HD (right?) so it must be the fans.
The fan speeds are controlled by the system - so sometimes they run fast, sometimes slow. That would explain why sometimes the noise is there and other times not.
The fans pull in air from the keyboard - so you might have pulled in some debris that was dropped on the keyboard (lint or crumbs).
If it's under warrantee, the Apple Store should be able to help.
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TheGreatApple

 
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Hmmm...that is strange. My mbp 15 is virtually silent. I really have to listen and lean in to hear it run at all. Expect the dvd drive is a bit loud at times.
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ticedoff8

 
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Originally Posted by TheGreatApple View Post
Hmmm...that is strange. My mbp 15 is virtually silent. I really have to listen and lean in to hear it run at all. Expect the dvd drive is a bit loud at times.
Same as mine.
Except when the fan sucks in something, the CPU get real hot (fan speeds up) or the fan is about to die.
Then it can sound like coffee grinder / jet engine failing.
Or, it can get REAL quiet - because both fans died. That's what mine did.
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amagzz

 
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Yeah, I took it to the Genius Bar today and they said it was definitely the fan. I gave it to them at ~1:30pm and they replaced the fan and did their diagnostics tests by 3:30. They said the fan was faulty to begin with; it was looser than most. They replaced it and checked to see if anything else might have not been up to par, but it was just that fan. I freaking love Apple and their customer support. It's SO much better than PC companies by leaps and bounds.

Now I can totally understand the silence you guys were talking about. It's incredible.
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