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

15" MBP emitting sudden constand whirring sound along with electrical distress!


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juniperjupiter

 
Member Since: Jun 06, 2011
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Monday morning: I start up my computer and get a nasty greeting in the form of a sudden, constant whirring sound coming from the rear of the computer, evenly distributed (neither side is louder). It sounds like the fan(s) are running at high speed.

Attending this sound are these other dysfunctions: the optical CD/DVD drive is dead, won't accept a disc; the screen will go near-black when idle, instead of grayed down; when in sleep mode, the intermittent sleep light does not come on; the power cord (there is no battery in this laptop since it split apart long ago), which typically glows bright green, is now just a whisper, barely glowing at all; and the whirring begins IMMEDIATELY when I touch the on button and doesn't subside for several seconds after I close the laptop for sleep.

What. On. Earth?

The computer has never behaved this way except during brief periods of extremely high temperatures (it happens to be very cool right now), but even then, the other electrical issues were never present. I've looked on forums and see various possible explanations, but nothing that covers this combination of sudden maladies. Everything is backed up at this point, including all my applications (carbon copied).

Here are the results of hard drive diagnostics, all of which look ominous:

Disc Utility says,
Invalid node structure
Volume check failed.
Error: File system verify or repair failed

and,
"Overall SMART Status: FAILED"

Does anyone have a notion about what all of this means? Can a failing hard drive affect electrical functions like the optical drive and sleep light? Is there any hope for this poor machine? In your well-informed opinions, do you think I can just replace the hard drive and expect positive results?

A couple extra details:
- I bought the laptop in September 2008, so it's not too old. Though, I am a writer and photographer, so I use it A LOT - every day for many hours, typically.
- The battery pooped out in 2009 and I never replaced it. I just keep the computer plugged in (unless I'm not using it).

Thanks in advance for ANY information you can share!
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juniperjupiter View Post

In your well-informed opinions, do you think I can just replace the hard drive and expect positive results?
Don't inadvertently lump my opinion in with the "well-informed" as they'll be along shortly but it doesn't sound promising to me. While SMART status is typically associated with HDD failure - your other symptoms make me think you have something larger going on here.

You could try an SMC reset Link - but I'm concerned that you might have a bigger problem on your hands.

I think a trip to the Apple Genius bar is probably in your future - to get a diagnosis.
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juniperjupiter

 
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BrianLachore, you are better informed than I, so I appreciate your advice.

You say you think the issue is bigger than hard drive failure. What terrible demon could it be? What might have caused this? The computer is pretty young (in my opinion), and I'm pretty darn careful with it. My last Mac laptop lasted 8 years! I wonder if not having a battery and keeping it plugged in is a contributing factor?

I'll try the SMC reset and see if that helps. Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to consult with the mac nerds at the Genius Bar. I wish I did!

Thanks again,
JJ
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juniperjupiter View Post
BrianLachore, you are better informed than I, so I appreciate your advice.

You say you think the issue is bigger than hard drive failure. What terrible demon could it be? What might have caused this? The computer is pretty young (in my opinion), and I'm pretty darn careful with it. My last Mac laptop lasted 8 years! I wonder if not having a battery and keeping it plugged in is a contributing factor?

I'll try the SMC reset and see if that helps. Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to consult with the mac nerds at the Genius Bar. I wish I did!

Thanks again,
JJ

Someone here can correct me if I'm wrong - but I don't think they'll charge you for a diagnosis. Try the SMC reset and post back. If your other symptoms disappear - then we can move back to it being your HDD.
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robduckyworth

 
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If the smc reset doesn't work... (usually sorts sleep issues)

it definitely sounds like somethings wrong with the motherboard itself...

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