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screeching fan noise

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject: screeching fan noise Reply with quote

today when waking my Macbook from sleep, i had started watching a youtube vid that someone had linked me on twitter.
while midway into the short vid, i heard a clanking screeching sound that id never heard before. at first i thought it was the terrible music from the video but when the vid stopped the noise was still going.

i turned it off to immediately. i first thought it was the fan, and when i checked to see if it was abnormally hot at the vent, i could smell a burnt battery type of scent. which freaked me out. cause usually the macbook just smells like that brand new car smell when its been on for the majority of each day. but this was like if something was smoking.

i then popped in the OS X install disc and ran the hardware test,and the noise was still there and quite loud. i then tried turning the thing off but it was stuck in doing its scan. the noise then went away. the fan then turned off and then i could hear it going on again like normal. test finished and showed nothing was wrong. i then ran the extended test which took about 25 minutes and that also finished saying nothing was wrong.

so i left it off for a half hour or so while i did my usual routine. when i turned it back on again the fan did seem to make a sort of clanking sound upon startup. while it was loading , since i have iStat Menu running all the time, i noticed that my fan was going at 1800RPM and the CPU temp was 47 degrees. and it stayed that way for a while. in all the time ive had this thing, its never stayed with those readings for more than a few seconds.

i Googled and tried to see if i could find any info, most i found was on a wiki that had an mp3 of the sound, and thats exactly what i had heard.which indicated that it was indeed coming from the fan. by this point the fan was not making any loud noises, it ran like normal. but it seemed strange that my CPU and fan speed were so low.

i read that a solution to the fan noise was to install smcfancontrol. so i did that and as the users had written, to raise the speed up to 6200RPM. which i did. so now i can hear the fan on, while on startup i could barely tell it was on. so now i hear the fan running like normal.

cause in all the time that ive had my macbook, while i cant remember the fan speed cause i rarely ever pay attention to that. but in all these years my CPU has always been at a temp of between 68 degrees and the max has always been 80 degrees.
but now it has been at 58 degrees and pretty much stays from 60 to 63 when surfing the net on Firefox. i tried multi tasking a bit and watched a podcast on iTunes, and the highest i saw it go was 72 degrees.
with the smcfancontrol the fan seems to range from 5900 or so to 6100. havent used this before so im not sure what is the best speed to set the fan to. but at least with the app i know the fan is working.

guess what im asking is what is supposed to be the norm???
so far i havent heard the loud screeching noise coming from the fan anymore, so im a bit more relaxed but still not at ease. because of the reading its showing from the CPU.
its been a couple of hours of it being on now, and i keep checking and theres no more burnt smell coming from where the vent is at.

is there anything i need to check for? should i just leave it be until i hear the noise again?

or should my first action be to take it to an Apple Store to be checked out? ive had this MacBook since late 2006, never got Apple Care for it since i could never afford it with all the other expenses i have.
this Mac hasnt given me any issues in the past other than the hard drive died, but Apple has stated that the drive was defective and that i can get a free replacement, but i have to give them the defective harddrive. which i wont do because im trying to save money to be able to get the drive sent off to get the data transfered to a new drive. since everything i ever had was on that drive.
for the past couple months ive been using an old Mac Mini drive via USB to boot into Leopard.
Intel Core 2 Duo
OS X 10.4.11
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd keep an eye on it. If it is one of the fans starting to fail, you can always proactively replace it (assuming you can identify which one). There should be places to get replacement fans on the Internet, and there are excellents guides available for taking the system apart.
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