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Thunderbolt monitor makes faint ticking noise

1996 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Jun 15, 2012 6:32 PM by mwatters RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Susan A. Calculating status...
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Jan 10, 2012 7:03 PM

It's only a month old. At first thought it was my Apple wireless keyboard, but figured out it's the TB monitor.

It's a faint ticking/clicking sound every 30 or so seconds upon waking up from sleep or start-up. After 10-20 minutes it finally goes away (or I just don't notice it). But if I put the monitor to sleep then wake it up, it starts all over again. Tried installing the firmware update (version 1.1) posted by Apple on Dec 12, 2011 but when launching the installer, I got a message saying I didn't need it.

 

Any suggestions please? It's connected to an equally new 15" MacBook Pro on 10.7.2.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2), MacBook Pro w. Thunderbolt Monitor
  • mwatters Calculating status...
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    Mar 30, 2012 10:02 PM (in response to Susan A.)

    I'm having the exact same issue. Thunderbolt display connected to a new MacBook Pro 15". I'm getting a clicking/ticking out of the back of the Thunderbolt display. Really getting annoying. Did you find any solution?

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Apr 2, 2012 12:19 AM (in response to Susan A.)

    It's a faint ticking/clicking sound every 30 or so seconds upon waking up from sleep or start-up. After 10-20 minutes it finally goes away (or I just don't notice it).

     

    My theory on this is it is the fan possibly hitting its housing and the reason you only hear it while starting up or waking from sleep is that in both those state the machine is basically off and cooled down.  When you start it up it starts heating up again and some things start expanding as materials do when they get warmer.  Different materials expand at different rates and amounts.  So probably the fan is just touching its housing.  It warms up and then it doesn't touch anymore.

     

    As I said, just my theory.

  • mwatters Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 4, 2012 8:43 PM (in response to Susan A.)

    Interesting. It seemed to be coming out of the grill in the middle of the back of the monitor, I'm not sure what is back there. I'm guessing the speakers are along the bottom.

     

    The sound seemed to go away for a day, and then came back for a bit. I haven't had time the passed few days to work on it, but will see if I can pinpoint it this weekend. If it persists I'll follow up with Apple support.

  • mwatters Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 4, 2012 8:48 PM (in response to X423424X)

    I'm not so sure it's the fan (I didn't know there was one in there), although I wouldn't rule it out. The ticking/clicking is intermitent and not consistent like I would expect from a fan. For my monitor, it made the sound long after I had been using the monitor, i.e. it would have been fully warmed up. I'll see if I can figure something out this weekend.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Apr 4, 2012 9:05 PM (in response to mwatters)

    It might be such that only a small variance in the temperatures causes small changes to the expansion/contraction of the touching pieces.  Temps don't remain constant.  Your temps vary as a function of what you are doing (cpu temps) how heavy the video load is (video card chip) and of course the room temp of the air being sucked into the machine for cooling it.

     

    You should consider adding a temperature utility like iStat Pro, iStat Menu, Temperature Monitor, Hardware Monitor, etc. and see if yo can correlate some of the temperature readings with the sound.

  • mwatters Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 17, 2012 7:40 PM (in response to Susan A.)

    As odd as it may seem, the frequency of the clicking from the Thunderbolt Display seems to corolate with high CPU usage on my MacBook Pro. I'll call AppleCare when I get a chance and see what they say.

  • Joffrey L. Calculating status...
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    Apr 20, 2012 3:44 PM (in response to Susan A.)

    I have the exact same problem. At first I thought it was coming from my own speakers, but after few tests I can affirm it's not related at all.

     

    The ticking sound seemed random, but as mwatters said, it does look pretty related to CPU usage of my MacBook Pro. Try if for yourself: just launch a YouTube video in HD (Flash), you'll probably hear it too.

     

    I really hope Apple could release a firmware update as they did before. That's really boring.

  • Ricky Eggersman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 1, 2012 4:56 AM (in response to Susan A.)

    I would agree with everyone, i first thought it was an external hard drive thermal cycling, but it is definitely related to hard usage, btw i am on my second display since Christmas.

  • chaoflux Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    May 4, 2012 9:47 AM (in response to Susan A.)

    If you're connecting your macbook pro to the thunderbolt display's magsafe adapter, try disconnecting the magsafe adapter and see if you can still hear the sound.. one of my TB displays makes a faint ticking sound, but only when the magsafe adapter from the display is connected to the MBP.

  • Ricky Eggersman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 4, 2012 10:28 AM (in response to chaoflux)

    That's kind of the point the display though, is to have a pseudo dock?

  • chaoflux Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    i'm pretty sure the display is the point lol, but yeah, is definitely a touted feature... my other thunderbolt display doesn't do it, just one of them :shrug: not worth it to me to drag it into the zoo of a crowded apple store in portland to try and get the issue addressed... am guessing it could be something to do w/ cables not properly shielded, is hard to say though...  anyways, i'm not sure if we're talking about the same ticking sound, you can hear mine primarily when doing things like zooming in safari... unplug the magsafe and the sound goes away.

  • mwatters Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 3, 2012 8:04 PM (in response to chaoflux)

    Unplugging the magsafe power adapter did stop the ticking, but like Ricky Eggersman said, it is part of the reason to get the display.

     

    At any rate, I contacted AppleCare, explained the situation, and they sent me to my local Apple Store to get it fixed. The Apple Store replaced the power supply in the monitor and tested it but it failed to fix the problem so they ended up just replacing the whole monitor and gave me a new one. So far so good, no ticking. I'll follow up in a week or two to confirm that things are still good with the replacement monitor.

  • chaoflux Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jun 3, 2012 8:17 PM (in response to mwatters)

    Glad to hear they did you right... part of me wants to go get my ticking one replaced too, but a trip to the Apple store is so not my idea of fun times, and I now use my other display (I have two) to charge my mbp with.

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