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Question: Airport Extreme makes grinding and excessive fan noises…

… since I applied the 7.7.9 firmware update.


Is this a known issues, please?

iMac with Retina 5K display, macOS High Sierra (10.13.2), Clean machine... no haxies; no Microsoft etc

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Dec 15, 2017 8:21 AM in response to Mark Sealey In response to Mark Sealey

It's too early to know whether this might be a potential issue with the 7.7.9 update, but we have not seen any other posts from users with the same question.


It was never an issue with previous firmware updates.


But, if the fan is making noise, the AirPort Extreme will need to be replaced. If the AirPort is less than a year old, ask Apple to replace the device. If the AirPort is older than a year, and you have AppleCare in effect on a Mac, then the AirPort is usually covered under the AppleCare for up to three years from its purchase date.


Otherwise, you can open up the AirPort and try cleaning out the fan. Better yet, replace the fan.


AirPort Extreme A1521 Teardown - iFixit


COOLING FAN FOR Apple AirPort Extreme A1470 FAN Sunon$9.50AliExpress.comFree shipping, no tax

Dec 15, 2017 8:21 AM

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Dec 15, 2017 8:23 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Thanks, Bob. I think it's the fan: Airport Utility does give the '…may be overheating' error/warning.


I have AppleCare; but I bought the Extreme much more recently than my iMac.


Is there any truth to the rumors that the device is (about to be) discontinued?

Dec 15, 2017 8:23 AM

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Dec 15, 2017 8:31 AM in response to Mark Sealey In response to Mark Sealey

Is there any truth to the rumors that the device is (about to be) discontinued?

We're all users here.....just like you.....so no one here will have any reliable information about what a very secretive company like Apple may or may not do, or when they might do it.


When/if Apple makes an official announcement, then we will all know.

Dec 15, 2017 8:31 AM

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Dec 15, 2017 10:17 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Got it, Bob; thank you!


Our Apple store opened early to-day and right through the Holidays.


I decided I have no choice: $200+ but I can't salvage the old one.


Any tips on a smooth transition so that my wi-fi network can be transferred to the new Airport Extreme, please?

Dec 15, 2017 10:17 AM

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Dec 15, 2017 10:24 AM in response to Mark Sealey In response to Mark Sealey

Select the option in AirPort Utility to Replace an existing device


When you click on Next, you will be guided step by step through a process to automatically transfer all of the settings on the old AirPort over to the new AirPort.


User uploaded file

Dec 15, 2017 10:24 AM

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Dec 15, 2017 10:32 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

As usual, Bob, clear and helpful. Thanks!


Since I haven't yet even unpacked my new A/Extreme base station, I'm not sure: will I see that screen which you kindly reproduce above just as soon as I attach it (the new one)?


So I should not try and delete network settings first?


Safe to disconnect the old one without preserving any of it?


Both old and new are base stations. So may the 'small print' at the bottom of that screen mean that it will do it all for me?


Much appreciated :-)

Dec 15, 2017 10:32 AM

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Dec 16, 2017 1:19 PM in response to Mark Sealey In response to Mark Sealey

I'd imagine that I really need to find a way to keep dust out: could be that dust was clogging the fans.

The airport AC design did not include a filter.. but there is no reason you cannot be a bit nerdy engineer type.


Air is drawn into the airport from power side.. and exhaust from opposite side. It is split on the diagonal.


User uploaded file


Here is a picture of the base.. you will notice it is divided into sections.. 1, 2, 3 I marked green for cold air in.


4, 5, 6 for warm air out..


7, 8 sit on the frame and should be pretty well blocked..


Put a filter (very thin piece of highly porous foam) across 1,2, 3 plus 7, 8 to make sure..


Leave 4, 5, 6 open to exhaust.


That will help as long as you remember to clean the filter say weekly at first .. if the dust build up is not too great then monthly.. on the full moon..

Dec 16, 2017 1:19 PM

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Jan 5, 2018 10:51 PM in response to Mark Sealey In response to Mark Sealey

I have a similar problem. Since updating to 7.7.9 my AE woke me with a loud (and I mean loud!) shrieking noise that went on for 30 secs or so. Blinking yellow light, loud fan noise, then returned to normal.. Happened 3 times since I updated. No heat sources nearby, worked perfectly for months before. I downgraded the firmware to 7.7.8 via the iOS Airport utility. Let's see whether the problem persists..

Jan 5, 2018 10:51 PM

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Jan 5, 2018 11:48 PM in response to oseveneleven In response to oseveneleven

You get exactly the same effect on any TC or AE when it goes over 1 or 2 years of age.. regardless of firmware.. I doubt this has any direct connection to running 7.7.9 as opposed to any other firmware version.


There is a big flaw in the design that a moving part.. fan.. cannot be easily removed for cleaning, or replacement. Since the fan runs at all times.. the airport being designed to depend purely on active cooling.. and using fans of unexceptional quality.. the lifespan is built into the box.


A fix of sorts was presented in this thread to turn off file sharing.. assuming you don't have a USB HDD plugged into the AE it is unnecessary ..


why is my airport extreme overheating?

Jan 5, 2018 11:48 PM

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Question: Airport Extreme makes grinding and excessive fan noises…