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

MB Pro freezes after Compressed Air cleaning

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Member Since: Jul 26, 2012
Posts: 3
Dondi is on a distinguished road

Dondi is offline
Hi all,

My 15" MacBook Pro Unibody from late 2008 is dying.
It had been getting very hot very easily lately, so after doing some research, I decided to give it some internal cleaning.
I took of the backside cover, and the fans were pretty clogged with dust as expected.
So, I cleaned the fans carefully using a can of compressed air. Now I regret doing this, because it only got worse.
It boots normally, and sometimes it even works perfectly for a few minutes. But then the pinwheel appears and it freezes completely. The usual deal is that it boots perfectly, but then the smallest task will make it freeze.

What do you think happened?
Maybe the fans were destroyed by the compressed air treatment?
Maybe it's a RAM problem (not likely, since it has two chips)?
Can something else have been messed up when I did this cleaning thing?

I really have no idea, but worth mentioning is that I freed up a lot of space (50 GB) on the hard drive before this procedure, maybe I messed something up there.

What's your opinion, hardware or OS related?
And I can't run any diagnose software, because it just keeps freezing.

Any help would be highly appreciated, as I'm getting pretty desperate. It's almost 4 years old so don't want to spend a lot of cash giving it to a pro.

Thanks and best,

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Member Since: Jul 26, 2012
Posts: 3
Dondi is on a distinguished road

Dondi is offline
Originally Posted by anynamewilldo View Post
I'd try booting from another source (your own or borrowed) and seeing if you suffer the same issues. This will at least tell you if it is a hardware issues or an OS install issue.

When you do this, disconnect the internal HD, just to eliminate any possibility that the problem is related to anything on there.
Hi anynamewilldo,

Thanks, that's good advice!
Honestly, I'm not a computer genius, what would be a typiucal source to boot from?
External hard drive, another mac? I'm not sure how this works. Then again, I may be able to search for this information. Thanks!

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Member Since: Sep 10, 2011
Location: Nelson,UK
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pendlewitch is a glorious beacon of lightpendlewitch is a glorious beacon of lightpendlewitch is a glorious beacon of lightpendlewitch is a glorious beacon of lightpendlewitch is a glorious beacon of lightpendlewitch is a glorious beacon of light
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Just to add that when you place a gas under a significant amount of pressure in a can a significant drop in temperature will occur when that pressure is released. The air in a can is not the same as the air that we breathe but is made up of mainly nitrogen and other harmless gases.

The gases are compressed into a liquid and you can demonstrate this by operating the can upside down when liquid will come out first before it can convert to gas. Coupled with the cooling action condensing water vapour in the surrounding air you have an awful lot of moisture spraying around your sensitive electronics.

My advice would be to steer well clear of proprietary canned air and think of other ways to clean your equipment. Fine brushes and vacuum suction are alternatives, and there are small compressors on the market widely used in the arts and crafts field for air-brushing.

The better ones have pressure regulators and vapour traps extracting the moisture from the air before it gets compressed so that the paint finish doesn't get mottled. It's an expensive route for cleaning you equipment but they are good for everything and not just your computer.

I've got the Sparmax TC-501G shown here sparmax-air compressors

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Member Since: Jul 26, 2012
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Thanks pendlewitch,

Yeah, I'm hoping I didn't ruin any vital part by spraying them.
I tried to be careful and keep it within the fan area, but thought that maybe the fans could have gotten screwed by the cold/moisture. I'd buy new ones, but they're pretty pricy. Even in Hong Kong, where I live for the moment.

In some way it feels like it's software related, because it boots perfectly and doesn't get warm. And I think I can hear the fans working inside. Hmm, how I'd love a miracle right now.

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