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Angus Davis Level 1 Level 1

Recently, I opened my computer to hear a "rat-a-tat-tat" sound occurring for about 1 second, repeating every 4 seconds.

 

I searched the Web and came across a video posted on Youtube of someone who speaks in a foreign language, but is experiencing the EXACT same clicking sound, here is that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bPrCCujLJ4 - best rendition of the sound is around :46 and :57 into the video.

 

This is a 13" SSD Macbook Air - there is no hard drive in this unit. Any ideas on what is causing this sound and how best to resolve it? It's really annoying. Thanks.


MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7)
Reply by Angus Davis on Dec 5, 2011 8:55 PM Helpful

Of course. The only moving part in the device is the fan. The noise eminates from the top left corner near the power connection. According to tear down images that is the location of the fan. It would appear to me the fan has failed.

 

I installed Fan Control 1.2, an app that among other things reports current fan RPM. I have several macbook airs. A normally operating (no noise) shows my fan RPM at all times. This noise-making macbook air consistently reports zero (0) RPM on the fan in the Fan Control app. So, the fan is jammed.

 

A few swift knocks on the case just above the fan, to the left of the "esc" key, and voila - the fan starts spinning at 4000 RPMs and temperature on the CPU drops precipitously. Nice. If the problem recurs or persists we will bring to Apple to replace the fan. In case others are wondering about this noise, there is the reason...

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  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7

    I doubt an SSD would make a noise as they have no moving parts.

  • Angus Davis Level 1 Level 1

    Of course. The only moving part in the device is the fan. The noise eminates from the top left corner near the power connection. According to tear down images that is the location of the fan. It would appear to me the fan has failed.

     

    I installed Fan Control 1.2, an app that among other things reports current fan RPM. I have several macbook airs. A normally operating (no noise) shows my fan RPM at all times. This noise-making macbook air consistently reports zero (0) RPM on the fan in the Fan Control app. So, the fan is jammed.

     

    A few swift knocks on the case just above the fan, to the left of the "esc" key, and voila - the fan starts spinning at 4000 RPMs and temperature on the CPU drops precipitously. Nice. If the problem recurs or persists we will bring to Apple to replace the fan. In case others are wondering about this noise, there is the reason...

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7

    have you run the apple hrdware test? AHT

  • tk99 Level 1 Level 1

    @Angus,

     

    Had the same issue.  Tried the "few swift knocks" approach and voila, fixed.  Fan ramped up and is cooling like it should.  Figured it was the fan but never thought to try the more manual approach.

  • Alsloginid Level 1 Level 1

    would probably grab a new one to be honest, it'll be cheaper than a logic board!

  • arktos888 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for this great advice. I was pondering taking the computer in for service when I thought I'd just look to see if anyone else had been experiencing the clicking. Perfectly described above, and "problem solved" with a few short knocks as advised! Much appreciated.

  • CBM3NYC Level 1 Level 1

    Excellent tip - problem solved. Thanks!

  • jean.dertousse Level 1 Level 1

    Hi there, not sure if i have the same problem. (edit: no problem anymore, "problem" solved, see text below)

     

    here are the facts: mba 11'', may 2012, ssd hd 250 gb.

     

    makes a clicking sound about four times an hour, sometimes more often. sounds exactly like a triple mouseclick with a little bit of hi-hat (the bronze cymbal) sound. it is definitely not from the fan and it comes more from the right side. Since i have SSD HD it is not a moving head or so. also, the sound doesnt sound bad or irregular, i am just wondering what it is. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh solved! just found out what it is:

     

    my outlook for mac makes this noise when it has checked for new email and there were no new emails on the servers. since i use three servers, it makes three clicks when none of them have new emails, two, if blablabla...

     

    thanks anyway, and maybe this will be helpful for somebody else.

  • misterwell Level 1 Level 1

    Same problem, same solution worked for me. Gave the area above my escape key one firm punch with my fingers and all of a sudden the fan spun up. Great tip, there must have been something blocking the fan internally.

  • 1robertino Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you. It actually worked. I hated that sound!

  • Wendy287 Level 1 Level 1

    Hello everbody Iam having the same clicking noise on my Macbook Air, can somebody help me pls?

  • Wendy287 Level 1 Level 1

    I tried the tapping and is not working!!!   :-  (

  • ComputerFixer Level 3 Level 3

    I have seen other posts be resolved with the problem coming from the speaker.   The fact that a swift smack fixes it tells me you MAY (no guarantees) but MAY have a loose audio cable.   If the computer is under warrenty, I would recommend taking it in for service.  If not, check the audio cable and make sure it is properly seated in its socket.

  • yoannthebohbot Level 1 Level 1

    lol knock the bottom

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