3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 29, 2010 6:24 AM by metsrangers
xxMagic Level 1 (0 points)
So I've read through other posts that people have about this issue, but none of them really seem to apply to my situation entirely.

I recently started hearing a rattling noise coming from my laptop. It comes from the back portion, nearer to the mic or fan area, I am guessing. It really only seems to happen when my computer heats up while I play a video game - mainly WoW, it's the -only- game I play on this computer. Otherwise the only thing I do on here is play around on the internet. The game -does- heat up my computer quite a bit, so I set my computer on a flat, hard surface to keep it as cool as I can and shut the game off if it gets too bad.

Macs aren't gaming computers, I know, but this is really the only game I play. So I'm worried something might be wrong with the fan. The computer has occasionally taken a few bumps when moving it, usually when I leave it unattended and my brother gets a hold of it. Try as I might, you can't control kids. I do my best to keep it away from him now.

Any idea what this issue might be? I'd like to take it to a genius but I'm afraid if they find something, it'll be serious and my Apple Care ran out two months ago. I only got this computer in August of 2009 so it isn't old by any means. I'm in college and really don't have the money to replace it, or replace expensive parts it might have.

Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • andyBall_uk Level 7 (20,490 points)

    sorry to say, it sounds like the fan making the noise. Sometimes, cleaning them helps - but if you're paying someone, I'd plump for a replacement, unless they see something fairly obvious.
  • S.U. Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Welcome to Apple Discussions!

    One thing to do would be to run the extended version of the Apple Hardware test and see if you get anything in the form of an error code. If you have a fan going out, I think the error code will have "mot" (for motor) in it. You could also visit the genius bar and have them run their hardware test from the store feed. If you do have a hardware problem, you definitely want to find out what it is. If you don't, you want to know that too.

    The noise you hear could be a normal noise that the fan makes when it speeds up, or a bearing going bad, or even a blade hitting something and making a noise, possibly even due to some piece of debris caught up in the blade. Or just something loose that rattles when the fan speeds up. Whatever it is, you need to find out.

    If you do have a fan going out, you really do want to replace it. If you don't and it quits on you, you risk more serious damage to your computer from overheating.

    Fortunately, fans are not nearly as expensive as other things like logic boards. It may even be something you would feel comfortable doing yourself. Check ifixit or PowerBook Medic for parts and step-by-step instructions. But do run a hardware test first to confirm that you have a fan going bad.

    If you don't want to fix it yourself, check with both Apple and and an AASP for prices. It should not be a very expensive repair.

    Good luck!
  • metsrangers Level 1 (0 points)
    hey i just got a 15 in macbook pro, and when i got it, it was broken, so i went to the store to exchange and they just gave me a brand new one. Everything was fine but when i started using it a sort or rattling or clicking noise started coming from the bottom right corner of the computer (to the right of the tracking pad). Do you know what is there? Is it normal?