Fan on iMac is 'Growling'

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I have the following iMac:
Model Identifier: iMac9,1 (early 2009)
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz

The fan is running 'growlier' than usual. It is not running fast or super loud, just making a low growly noise that it has not made before. It does not seem to be a speed problem.. but??

6 months ago it was running super fast so I reset the SMU and SMC per instructions at Apple. It fixed the issue. I tried that again today even though it's a different type of noise. It didn't help. I also used compressed air to clean both the air intake and outflow vents. (and yes, I've done the obvious "restart" ;) )

I am not having any other performance problems of any kind.

Ideas?
 

chscag

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Which fan is running noisy? You have three in an iMac: CPU, HDD, and Optical.

Resetting the SMC will usually only have an effect on the CPU fan. In any event, if the machine is covered by an Apple care extended warranty take it on in to Apple as it sounds like one of the fans has developed a noisy bearing.

If not under Apple care, go to iFixit: The free repair manual and take a look at the instructions for taking apart your iMac. (not an easy task) If you feel comfortable in taking it apart, you can probably lubricate the noisy fan or replace it if necessary.
 
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I don't know which fan....and I'm certainly not comfy trying to take it apart...I guess I will have to live with it for now and see if it gets worse. Thanks for responding!
 

chscag

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In the meantime I recommend keeping a close eye on the temperatures and fans speeds in your iMac. You can download the free iStat Pro widget which will show the temps and fan speeds. You don't want your iMac to overheat if that noisy fan slows down or quits.
 
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My cpu fan is running at 1200, hard drive fan at 1600 and optical drive fan at 800. Does this sound about right?
 

chscag

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Yes, all within normal limits. So far so good. :)
 

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