Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Aug 20, 2010 4:37 PM by KXsig
SOSAA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
When my laptop is on and I tilt my laptop to the left or right (with the lid open) or if I shake it... it makes a weird sound. When I tilt it towards me, it makes a click sound. When I tilt it to the left/ right it makes a Star Wars' lightsaber sound... haha I know that sounds weird but that's the best description I could think of.

Is this the hard drive moving? I don't think there are any moving parts in the newest generation macbook pro? Should I be concerned... or just let it be?

P.S. I don't "purposely" move my laptop around like this... it's when I'm walking around with my laptop in my hand and I have the lid open and walking to another room, etc.

Thanks for the response!

Macbook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.6.4), 2010 model
  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,185 points)
    Hi S, and welcome to Apple Discussions.

    I never move a computer around when it's running, so I I've never heard the sound of the Sudden Motion Sensor engaging, but I suspect that's what you're hearing (let's hope so). I strongly recommend putting the MBP to sleep or shutting it down before moving it. The SMS is really intended for accidents, and if you're moving the MBP around that hard, it's simply not good for it. If you're concerned it's something else, you have 90 days of phone support and 1 year hardware warranty, so you could call Apple Care or bring it in to an Apple Store.

    Message was edited by: tjk
  • Scott Billings Level 4 Level 4 (1,655 points)
    It's probably the HDD's sudden motion sensor doing it's best to protect the drive against your rather foolish, some might even say stupid, actions.

    NEVER move a laptop when it is on, unless the goal is to kill the HDD. Portable, with laptops, means that if it's turned off, or at least in sleep mode, you can move it with ease relative to a desktop. It does NOT mean that you should move it while in operation. Doing so WILL shorten the life of your HDD, and it WILL greatly increase the odds that you will damage it in such a way that recovery of data will be impossible.

    When a laptop is turned on it should be sitting on a nice FLAT surface. Not tilted, FLAT. It should also be a STABLE surface, not some wobbly table. It should also be a HARD surface, to make sure there's plenty of ventilation. So carpets, beds, blankets, pillows, etc... All of those are out. Even your lap is pushing it with modern laptops. In the days when the term was coined, laptops were 3-4 inches thick, and they didn't generate as much heat.

    In the future, when you're going to move from one room to the other, CLOSE THE LID. Then wait about 5 seconds to make sure it's in sleep mode. AFTER that, you can pick it up and carry it to another room. There's nothing you can do about the damage you've already done to the HDD, but you can at least do your best to limit the damage you do in the future.
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
    Hi there,

    T and S advices are more the correct and should be followed, adding also that you should get an AppleCare Protection Plan if you do not have so you can have a three year extended warranty.

    Now, about these sounds, it seams that you have already damaged something. Hard to believe that while moving around the high-tech tool that your Mac is, open lid became a Stargate and some Star Trekkie got inside it. :P

    The SMS is very sensible and produces no sound.

    Good luck.
  • liam27 Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Ha! Maybe I should follow that rule...

    However, the SMS does make a sound. A soft click noise, like you said. However, the other noise.... if you're still under warranty, take it to an store and ask.
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
    Hi L,

    I you have the application iAlertU then you will have a sound associated with SMS, otherwise you do not have any sound.

    The noise you are experiencing is not from SMS, it is probably from the HDD actuator arm movement that not always is associated with the SMS activation, I hear the this noise even with MBP still sitting.

    Soft click sound may be associated with friction in the lid junction axis, if it is not from there you better find out where it is from so you can fix that.

    Good luck.
  • Da Vinci Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    Scott Billings wrote:
    It's probably the HDD's sudden motion sensor doing it's best to protect the drive against your rather foolish, some might even say stupid, actions.

    NEVER move a laptop when it is on, unless the goal is to kill the HDD. Portable, with laptops, means that if it's turned off, or at least in sleep mode, you can move it with ease relative to a desktop. It does NOT mean that you should move it while in operation. Doing so WILL shorten the life of your HDD, and it WILL greatly increase the odds that you will damage it in such a way that recovery of data will be impossible.

    When a laptop is turned on it should be sitting on a nice FLAT surface. Not tilted, FLAT. It should also be a STABLE surface, not some wobbly table. It should also be a HARD surface, to make sure there's plenty of ventilation. So carpets, beds, blankets, pillows, etc... All of those are out. Even your lap is pushing it with modern laptops. In the days when the term was coined, laptops were 3-4 inches thick, and they didn't generate as much heat.

    In the future, when you're going to move from one room to the other, CLOSE THE LID. Then wait about 5 seconds to make sure it's in sleep mode. AFTER that, you can pick it up and carry it to another room. There's nothing you can do about the damage you've already done to the HDD, but you can at least do your best to limit the damage you do in the future.


    Umm... huh?!?!?!

    What on earth are you talking about?

    I have a Mac laptop. A 15" MacBook Pro. Hardly a day goes by when I don't move around with it while it's, "gasp", switched on!!!

    Are you saying that this is wrong and I should immediately stop doing that? What about when I'm on a train? Can I switch it on then? How about when I'm on an airplane? Should I not switch on my Apple Mac laptop?

    Please respond as I, and a million and one other laptop users (Mac or PC), are really concerned with your comments!!!! NOT!!!!!
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
    Hi there,

    I think that the prayer is only to guide the sinners.

    If you testify freedom to move around soon we will have to assume that weird sound mentioned here is expected - which is not true.

    Back to issue and taking advantage of the previous, SMS activation alert sounds are not a system's default and HDD actuator arm noise is not like Ben Burtt's lightsaber sound and can be heard even with machine standing still.

    Knowledge that can be useful: lightsaber sound effect can be produced by a television set interference on a microphone.

    Regards, K.
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Da Vinci:

    The greatest risk of moving around with your computer on and the display comes from possible accidental damage. It is best to close the display down when moving around, although for moving short distances this should not be a problem. I do it at home quite often. As for the computer needing to be on a flat surface, I've never heard that one before. Many people tilt theirs up with a block under the back side to facilitate ventilation. It should work flat, elevated, tilted or upside down. Working on a hard surface is advisable, though, to keep from overheating.

    cornelius
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
    Hi there,

    For those curious about SMS accuracy and capabilities here is a collection of - almost fun - applications, they rotate screen as iPhone, track SMS activity, provide visual interpretations a others. I had only the StableWindow and the SMSRotateD, now that I checked out the link to provide you I found this new ones.

    Scroll to Sudden Motion Sensor section - http://www.osxbook.com/software/

    I constantly use my Mac sitting on my lap, having hole days sessions, hardly have it over a table or stable surface, and the StableWindow always shows that Mac is not horizontal aligned - I wish I was straight (physically, I mean)

    Cheers!
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    I constantly use my Mac sitting on my lap

    I do so mostly at night when sitting in my lounging chair. However, I have a pad under it so as not to singe the hair on my thighs The advisability of a hard surface still holds, though, as it allows for better ventilation.
    I wish I was straight (physically, I mean)

    You can design a lap pad with them little spirit level bubble tubes thingies so it wouldn't matter if you were straight or gay, your laptop would be level.

    cornelius
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
    kkkk
  • Da Vinci Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    cornelius wrote:
    Da Vinci:

    Cornelius
    cornelius wrote:
    The greatest risk of moving around with your computer on and the display comes from possible accidental damage.

    No argument from me there.

    But then, when I'm moving around the office or my home or wherever with my Mac switched on I do so with the pace and care one does if they were walking with a cup of coffee. There's not light saber, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars type sudden movements or me pretending I'm Luke Skywalker.
    cornelius wrote:
    It is best to close the display down when moving around, although for moving short distances this should not be a problem. I do it at home quite often. As for the computer needing to be on a flat surface, I've never heard that one before. Many people tilt theirs up with a block under the back side to facilitate ventilation. It should work flat, elevated, tilted or upside down. Working on a hard surface is advisable, though, to keep from overheating.

    cornelius

    At the end of the day a laptop computer is a tool; use it as it was designed to be used and let it make your computing life easier, not more complicated.

    A lot of people, it appears to me, allow their computer to control them as opposed to them controlling the computer and using it productively. They continually run different utilities just to gain a few 'perceived' percentage points of performance (which they never utilise anyway); they install other utilities that continually provide long performance reports on each of the computer's systems which they then analyse in depth and then go into panic mode when something does not match their perceived tolerances.

    I have to wonder if they actually do any proper work!

    Da Vinci
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Indeed. It's your computer. Some people care for their stuff better than other people do. Walking around, even carefully, can be a risk, for example, if you suddenly feel something soft underfoot and it is kitty or the baby crawling. So long as one is willing to take responsibility for the consequences of one's actions... Fact is that accidents can happen despite our greatest care.

    cornelius
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    This has been a very illuminating thread for me. I guess I should quit turning on SeisMac and waving my MBP around to watch what the traces do.
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