View Full Version : Macbook pro buzz

18th February 2008, 07:28 PM
Recently my macbook pro has developed a noticeable buzz in the bottom right hand side near the speaker. It seems to be more prominant when using XP in bootcamp, but still exists in Leopard.

As it only had one year warranty, I believe it may be out of warranty now.
However, I am aware of the 'Of merchantable quality' provision in the trade practises act that could potentially cover me in this instance.

Has anyone else experienced this problem or had out-of-warranty claims processed?

18th February 2008, 07:41 PM
Sounds like the inverter in the screen. Good luck with your 'Of merchantable quality' route.

18th February 2008, 07:45 PM
My MBP has a similar buzz on the left hand side, which is due to the fan on that side becoming worn (ie the bearings are getting worn so the fan is noisy when it spins). I've confirmed this by pulling the case apart when the MBP is running and momentarily stopping the fan, which stops the noise until the fan gets back up to speed.

The fact you hear it more when using Bootcamp might be related to the way the fan is controlled when in Windows XP mode - I certainly hear the noise more when processor intensive tasks force the CPU temperatures upwards.

I've worked around the problem by installing smcFanControl, and setting the 'high speed' option such that the right (non-noisy) fan has a higher minimum speed than the left (noisy) fan. This means when the MBP starts getting hot the quiet fan kicks in first and hopefully cools the internals sufficiently that the noisy fan doesn't need to wind up as fast.

As for the warranty claim issue, you could certainly try asking your local reseller and/or Apple customer support, but I doubt the TPA will help you much as the 'of merchandisable quality' clauses are more about goods that exhibit multiple major unrepairable faults from the time of purchase.

Still, it's worth asking your reseller as they may be able to help you out if the noise becomes too much of an annoyance. Me - I'm just living with the issue until my Air arrives.

18th February 2008, 07:46 PM
I doubt that you could argue the Trade Practices Act because the MBP is not defective or broken in the sense that it doesn't do what it is primarily meant to do (computer). Good luck with it though, as astr0b0y said, if you are going to go down that route.

AppleCare is a must on portable machines. If the problem existed before the limited warranty period was up, you should have had someone look at it earlier?

Have you updated to the latest firmware? Latest software updates? Maybe a firmware update will fix this CPU buzzing/whining/mooing issue (not sure what the problem really is, besides a buzz). Is it the MagSafe? Battery? CPU?

Run Software Update in any event, to see if there are any fixes you can install.

18th February 2008, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the quick replies.

Yeah, I figured it might be the fan.
Not particularly happy if it is an ongoing problem.

The applecare plans sounds a bit too much like an extended warranty scam to me. When you spend in excess of $3k on an electronic product you would expect it to last longer than the supplied one year warranty. And by 'last' I mean not exhibit any obvious faults or make lound noises when in use.

Not going to waste too much time talking to apple and I would prefer not to take it to small claims.

18th February 2008, 10:35 PM
You might be able to buy a replacement fan somewhere. Wouldn't surprise me if they were a generic size. Last I looked they were hooked to the motherboard using a standard connector as well.

18th February 2008, 10:42 PM
You might be able to buy a replacement fan somewhere. Wouldn't surprise me if they were a generic size. Last I looked they were hooked to the motherboard using a standard connector as well.

From my examination of the internals, it does appear that the fan is a reasonably standard part with a standard connector - I found what looked to be a suitable replacement on an electronics website (Jaycar maybe?).

What stopped me replacing it are the strands of very fine ribbon cable that appear to be run quite tightly over the fan housing - I wasn't game to attempt to remove the fan and in the process risk damaging the cables - whatever they do.