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Mac Pro Smell

40213 Views 52 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2007 5:25 PM by R Miller RSS
  • ken71 Calculating status...
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    Sep 11, 2007 10:57 AM (in response to ken71)
    The odor is coming from the compound used on the heat sink seal on top of the processors.
    The Mac tech just finished cleaning them and putting a different seal material on. It's running now to burn off any residual odor left behind.
    The fumes were getting channeled thru the vent system making it seem like it was coming from the psu area and the whole time it was coming from the area below.
    Check out
    MacPro Quad, 3.0, 10gig Ram, 4-750 Seagate's, 30" Display, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Tomino Calculating status...
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    Sep 16, 2007 9:39 AM (in response to coogie2)
    do someone know whether the Mac Pro smell is dangerous for our health, or not?

    Because I don't feel good, when I'm breathing this smell.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • dmcumbo Calculating status...
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    Sep 24, 2007 12:36 AM (in response to coogie2)
    I just bought a new machine and have noticed a scent, but mine smells like vanilla. Seriously. It's actually really pleasant. I can only smell it if I position my nose directly over the back handle (I assume due to the fan). Should I be worried?
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Silicondude Calculating status...
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    Oct 12, 2007 5:51 PM (in response to coogie2)
    Just one thing:

    How many of the machines manufactured in china generate that smell, compared to the machines made in the US?
    So, to all of you who have or have had that problem, what is the location of manufacturing of your mac pro?

    It could be quite enlightening to see if there is a connection between that problem
    and the place it was made, statistically.

    Feel free to drop me an email so i´ll put up a comparison here.
    Mac SE 20, iMac G3, Cube, iBook G4, PowerMac G5, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • FredGarvin Calculating status...
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    Nov 3, 2007 9:08 AM (in response to ken71)

    I've had my Mac Pro for about 90 days now. I had hoped that the fumes would dissipate over time, but they haven't, even after 3 months of daily use. And it's not just a matter of an unpleasant throat burns every time I'm in the room with the computer on. Now that the weather is changing, I can't leave my office window open, so it's time for action.

    From all of the threads on this problem, it seems that the removal of the excess thermal compound is the most promising solution.
    I've called tech support, and while the rep I spoke to hadn't personally received any calls on the matter, he confirmed this theory based on his years of computer maintenance. I will be covered under warranty to have an authorized repair center clean off the heat sinks.

    Before I take it in and have to do without my computer for possibly several days, I wanted to check with those of you who have tried this approach. Did the removal of the compound actually solve the odor issue for you? Anything else I need to relay to the repair guys that might ensure a proper fix?



    FWIW, my Mac Pro box says "Computer Assembled in USA."
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 2.66/3GB
  • p3ter_st0ry Calculating status...
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    Nov 3, 2007 1:39 PM (in response to Udo Weyers)

    Luckily I've got it bookmarked.
    MacBook 2.16 ghz, PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, etc., Mac OS X (10.5), Macs are cool. Very cool.
  • FredGarvin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 11, 2007 2:12 PM (in response to FredGarvin)
    Taking it for service tomorrow. Any last minute comments/suggestions on curing this odor problem (see post above)? Thanks!

    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 2.66/3GB
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,560 points)
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    Nov 11, 2007 2:19 PM (in response to FredGarvin)
    I have a small 150 sq ft air filter and purifier in my office area, and a larger unit for the house (dust, airborne, cat etc).
    Mac Pro 2GHz 6GB WD Caviar, Raptor, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Nvidia 8600 GTS Cinema HD Sonnet 2EP APC RS1500 Vista x64 Home Premium
  • ender.saka Calculating status...
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    Nov 28, 2007 2:46 PM (in response to dmcumbo)
    I have the vanilla scent too. For me it is similar to the smell of cauchu.

    I felt it really intense after a week I recived the new Mac Pro. 3 days ago. Now it seems to slowly decrease day by day. But I am not sure of it.

    But I am very afraid reading this thread.

    To give back the computer to Assistance for repair or replacement would be a big problem. The only authorized Apple center for assistance is about an hour (with a car) far from my home. And I have just completed to install a fresh Mac OS X installation and all my Applications and to transfer all my work documents from a Linux Box (even if I am a Mac User, latest year I have not been able to get enough money to buy a Mac). I was just ready do make a DMG of the whole system for fast restore.

    Now I should re-backup (or rsync back) all my documents somewhere (I already made a lot of changes to them) before to send it to assistance center, if it is the case.

    Moreover I tryed to call the number of Apple phone tech assistance (they say that there is 90 days of free of charge assistance); as a result I spent 11 minutes waiting for a response and spent 5 Euro with my mobile phone but nobody answered me (and a recorded voice saying "you will talk with a technician in less then 10 minutes"). Then I closed the phone call. I am very concerned about this.

    Tomorrow I will try to call them again.

    The Mac seems to be manufactured in China, by reading some of the labels attached to its parts (keyboard, mouse). How can I know if the whole computer is made in China?

    Mac Pro 2x Quad Core 3GHz, 4GB RAM, ATI 1900 XT 512MB, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • willtisdale Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
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    Nov 28, 2007 4:01 PM (in response to coogie2)
    I thought mine smelt like someone had been smoking cannabis in the room. It was a very strange odour. Seems to have gone now, but it took a month or 2. A bit of BOINC processing does every computer wonders.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much, its probably some mad Chinese person smoking pot at the factory.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2 * 2.66GHz Xeon 5150, 4GB Ram, ATI X1900, Apple 23" Display
  • mclinde Calculating status...
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    Nov 29, 2007 11:42 AM (in response to willtisdale)
    I had this occur on a repair - the machine was fine before a heatsink was replaced. I would agree (based on that circumstantial evicence) that the cause is either the thermal paste or the heatsink itself.
    Mac Pro
  • Leslie Bell Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
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    Dec 2, 2007 12:43 PM (in response to coogie2)
    No matter what it is, Apple had better find out and fix it or they're liable to have a serious class-action lawsuit on their hands. Any odor that strong and that objectionable has got to be detrimental to health and lung functioning. What is it with dangerous Chinese products anyway?

    Hopefully they'll figure it out and fix it before the new MacPros come out!
  • hanggliding Calculating status...
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    Dec 2, 2007 7:04 PM (in response to Udo Weyers)
    Just bought an 8core Mac pro and had the same smell. I googled MAC PRO SMELL and found this forum. I called apple care and told them I knew about the issue and I was one of the ones who got a smelly mac pro also. I also had a optical drive sound like it had a tick in it compared to the other drive. The smell was bad and was some type of chemical smell. I took of the side and it was clearly coming from the Ram area and NOT the power supply. It was pretty bad and gave me a headache for a few days.

    They immediately set me up as a DOA and sent me a fed ex lable via e-mail within 24 hours to send the whole sytem back. I had to back up about 250 GB of video work but I had an extra HD not being used so it was no problem.

    I also had been keeping in touch with my Apple store sales lady who was amazing to work with. She felt so bad that she is sending me an Ipod Nano next day air!

    I will be getting my new machine soon and pray it will not be so smelly with 2 working optical drives. I also took note of the serial numbers so they don't send me back the same unit.

    Hope this helps someone out there.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2-3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon,4GB, (2) 500GB internal drives, NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB, 20" Apple Cinema,Two 16x SuperDrives,FCP Studio
  • javier1968 Calculating status...
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    Dec 3, 2007 5:08 AM (in response to Leslie Bell)
    Hi there, I've had a Mac Pro for a few months now, sometimes needs to stay on during the weekend. On Monday mornings it gets very very stinky and the smell seems to affect your breathing. Obviously ome chemical is being evaporated and the health consequences of this can be very serious.

    Has anyone tried to have a canary, yes the pet bird, in a cage near the Mac Pro. Experiments using Dupont's teflon coated pans left many dead canaries behind as the fumes where lethal for them. Dupont's was sued in 2005 by it's own employees!

    I will be up for taking this further...
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • MillerTimeHI Calculating status...
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    Dec 4, 2007 9:57 AM (in response to javier1968)
    YES! I recently have had a bird die "mysteriously" which was caged near my MacPro which has had the terrible smell for months. The vet said it was likely he inhaled something toxic!!! I was afraid it might be the Mac but didn't know how to prove it and now reading this forum I'm convinced it is what killed my bird.

    I've had the unit in for repairs 3 times already for the smell and for not powering up with no resolve. They suggested I get a bigger UPS for $500 and I did and now it still suddenly will not power up again. They've replaced the power supply and the logic board so far, neither of which took away the smell. This smell is a horrible odor, like a skunk smell. I'm taking it back in today and will post any updates.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)


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