Noisy MacBook: Mooing gone, but now squeaking | iLounge Backstage


Noisy MacBook: Mooing gone, but now squeaking

imageA lot has happened since the last update to my ongoing MacBook saga. I’ll try to make this as brief as possible, but it’s a long story… and still isn’t over.

After taking the MacBook to the Apple Store, the Mac Genius confirmed that it had major internal problems and that I would need to send my MacBook to Apple to have repairs done. He even said that he had a “normal” black MacBook and that his power adapter charged quietly and cool, and that his fan comes on and stays on to cool his MacBook without any mooing. Congrats, buddy.

So, I called Apple and set up the return. They received my MacBook on July 7th. On Tuesday, July 18th, my online repair status still said “Parts on order.” Great. Nearly two weeks and my MacBook is just sitting around waiting on parts. I called Apple Support to see what was up. The woman said she was very sorry and that she was putting me on some sort of priority list where they would locate the parts within 48 hours or they would discuss “other options” with me if they couldn’t find them. She basically said that because of the large amount of MacBook repairs going on right now that parts were scarce.

On Thursday, July 20th, my repair status jumped to “Repair completed” and then “Pending shipment.” Awesome. All of my “unacceptable” comments finally worked. Then this morning at my door, the FedEx man cheerily handed me my MacBook, which was shipped via FedEx Air late last night. I put the iPod news on hold and ripped open the box to once again set up my black beauty. I first looked at a piece of paper with the service details on it. I’m not sure what all they replaced, but it sure looks like a lot. I can make out words like fan, heatsink, 2.0GHz, and (strangely) camera.


But as I triumphantly opened the lid of the MacBook, I heard something I had never heard before. Not a moo this time, but a loud, high-pitched squeak. Ugh. Apparently, the brainiac technician who replaced all the parts didn’t put the case back together correctly or bothered to test the MacBook before shipping it back. Either he tightened something too tight or just didn’t get all the panels to seat correctly. The screen hinge is rubbing against the bottom part of the MacBook every time you open or close it. Or when you just barely adjust the angle of the screen. Or when you’re walking around with the MacBook and the screen moves back and forth a little with each step. Want to hear how annoying it is? Here’s a recording of the squeaking I made. You may have to turn up your volume a bit—I used the poor, built-in mic on my PowerBook to record it.

The good news is that the power adapter is charging without any excess heat (though it’s still making a noise—just not as loud as before) and I’m pretty sure the mooing is completely gone—I actually heard a fan come on and stay on for about 5 minutes (woo hoo!). I now have a super squeaky MacBook that runs correctly. But I can’t stand the noise. And no, I’m not going to try WD-40 or risk taking it apart myself.

Back on the phone with Apple Support today, the woman told me to call my local Apple Store to see if they can fix the squeak in the store so I don’t have to send it back in again. They can’t. They said that MacBooks are a pain to take apart and that they would have to send it off to Apple just like I would (just for a squeaky screen!). So I called back Apple Support and arranged for another pickup. My MacBook should be heading back to Apple either tomorrow or Monday. Hopefully, they’ll fix the squeak and I’ll have an animal noise-free laptop.

So let’s recap: It’s been over month since I bought my MacBook and have still yet to use it as my main machine. It’s felt hotter than the sun, made power adapters noisy and scarily warm, and has sounded like both a cow and a mouse. I’ve tried three power adapters, made two Apple Store trips, called Apple Support 9 times, and will be sending the MacBook in for repairs at least twice. Not cool.

Please don’t think I’m just a whiney consumer. I’m the definition of an Apple fanboy. I have four iPods, three Macs, and a trail of hand-me-down Apple gear that family and friends now cherish. I’ve written about the company nearly every day for four years. I even have a picture of Steve Jobs overlooking me from my office wall. I want the company to succeed. But this is by far the worst experience I’ve ever had with an Apple product. I know I was pretty much asking for problems when I ordered a first-generation model, but come on, it’s 2006. Apple should have this whole building computers thing down after 30 years, right?

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You’re right on the money. They shouldn’t treat you like this. If they really wanted to make you happy they would give you a new pc

Posted by Jonathan Keim on July 21, 2006 at 8:24 PM (CDT)


First generations always seem a bust no matter how good anyone is at doing anything. Intel macs are a new frontier and look at all the issues with the Pro power adapters. Good things explode in the beginning.

Perhaps gaming console market is far more forgiving. Look at how awful the first PSP, how ugly the first DS, and how easily broken the first Xbox 360s were. These companies should all know what they are doing but first runs do/will have their issues. The upside is that Apple has a customer support system that is willing to get rid of your mooing and squeaking.

Posted by a person on July 22, 2006 at 1:06 AM (CDT)


I work at ExperCom, an Apple Specialist in Salt Lake City. After a few days, my black MacBook developed this same squeaky hinge problem. I solved it by removing the top case/keyboard and applying a TINY bit of graphite lubricant to the right screen hinge. It’s been over a month now, and the squeak hasn’t come back. I would advise you to take your MacBook into a local Apple service place & ask them do the same thing.

Posted by Ryan Kummer on July 22, 2006 at 2:12 AM (CDT)


“If they really wanted to make you happy they would give you a new pc”

He bought a Mac not a PC. :)

Posted by Vannoy on July 22, 2006 at 4:01 AM (CDT)


They’ve done this to me several times as well.  I tried to send my mom’s laptop back to replace the battery, and they wouldn’t send me a box or anything until after I brought her computer into an apple store or other retailer.  It was such a pain in the ass. 
After 4 repairs, if your MacBook is still not working, tell apple that you request a replacement MacBook, because that is what they are obligated to do under U.S. Lemon Law.

Hope that helps!

Posted by Daniel on July 22, 2006 at 7:13 AM (CDT)


I noticed the squeak immediately on a black MacBook floor model at the Clarendon, VA Apple Store a few weeks ago. I was astonished to hear such a cheap noise emanating from a sleek and elegant device. I think I’ll wait a bit longer before taking the MacBook plunge.

Posted by LarryP on July 22, 2006 at 10:22 PM (CDT)


They’re not all bad.  Mine is quiet as a church mouse.  It does run warm, but frankly no warmer than my old Dell Inspiron.  I’m happy all the way around with my blackbook, and I have a feeling you will be too ;-)

Posted by Vinny on July 23, 2006 at 12:41 AM (CDT)


We have had problems with official APPLE repairs with our iBook G3 logic board recall replacement last year. Both of our iBooks failed within 2 weeks of each other. My iBook came back with a new keyboard and keyboard bezel which was fine when I sent it in but after looking into my husband’s iBook I can understand why they probably had to replace it. Plus my extra RAM was working intermittently because it was loose and had to be reseated (missing a screw, too).

We replaced my husband’s hard drive in his G3 iBook shortly after receiving it back from Apple. We were horrified by how they had reassembled his computer. There were screws missing, stripped screw heads, broken screw fittings from overtightening (do they use a pneumatic wrench as for remounting automobile tires?), a broken piece of aluminum casing. His keyboard bezel has now developed several cracks in it due to their mishandling. They can mistreat your computer because “normal” people won’t see the interior of their machines.

Anyway, enough ranting.  Thanks and I hope your problems will be solved soon.

We will be buying a new Mac notebook of some sort soonish and hope they’ll have all the bugs worked out by then.

Thanks for your articles. Appreciate your hard work.

All the best!
Our Personal Sailing Blog
Currently in St. Maarten

Posted by Sheila on July 24, 2006 at 10:50 AM (CDT)


I had the exact same problems with my MacBook that you did, but when mine came back after 2 weeks unrepaired, I didn’t go to the store or the support line, I called Customer Relations through Corporate and demanded that they make things right.

I am to receive my NEW MacBook on Monday, and a copy of Apple Remote Desktop ($299) for my trouble.

Posted by Andrew on July 28, 2006 at 1:21 PM (CDT)


Larry -

If it makes you feel any better - your story turned me off of these first-generation Macbooks for good - and, thanks…

Posted by Sebastian on July 28, 2006 at 5:46 PM (CDT)


when are the second gen macbooks due out ???  as im going to hold out for one of these :)

Posted by TR1GG3R on July 30, 2006 at 1:21 PM (CDT)


Yeah, sucks that you had problems, but I mean I have a white 2.0 Macbook and it is pretty much perfect. Hot, yes, but that is the only bad thing about it. I guess I got lucky!

Posted by Zac Shuck on July 31, 2006 at 10:50 PM (CDT)


I just love it, “has sounded like both a cow and a mouse”.  What are you hoping for next? A cat, a dog, maybe even a duck?

Really though, this all sounds like typical first generation problems.  Hate to sound cynical but that is what you should expect if you get the 1st generation of ANYTHING (laptop, car, TV, vacuum, HDTV DVD recorders, etc.).  If you want to spend the extra money to be the first on you block to have something new that nobody else has, then you were just asking for these gliches.

Posted by Blue Moon on August 1, 2006 at 12:22 PM (CDT)


I bought a MacBook back in June and was very excited when I first recieved it, as I was a first time Mac user. It was perfect the first week or two, than the problems started appearing. It began to moo, get extremely hot, some keys began to stick, and it also began randomely shutting off. I had enough so I called Apple and demanded my money back. I will never buy an Apple Computer again. Back to a PC for me, and I could never be happier. I cannot believe Apple got this crappy product out the door. I know for a fact they are having loads of issues with this product. They need to issue a recall.

Posted by |LOST|Lunatic on August 6, 2006 at 3:22 PM (CDT)


“I had enough so I called Apple and demanded my money back. I will never buy an Apple Computer again.”

Wow. So you decided, “Apple computers must be cr@p since this was my first Mac and I didn’t even sent it in to be repaired/replaced”, automatically assuming all Apple comps must be shyt. Dude, this is a first gen product. As in, yeah, there will most likely be something wrong with the product. Heck, even second gen and on products often have problems. For example, Ford (and I think some other GM brands) had problems with some of their pickups and SUVs where a spark in the cruise control ignited some fluid (I forgot what fluid), ultimately resulting in some people loosing part of their house from the flames. No, this wasn’t back in the 80s. This happened only a few years back.

“I cannot believe Apple got this crappy product out the door.”
You can say that about Microsoft and Windows…oops, I said it aloud.

Posted by Microsoftie on August 8, 2006 at 11:10 PM (CDT)


I’m considerintg getting a Macbook Pro (I’m still working with a 7 year old G3 Powerbook!) but I’ve heard all sorts of negative stuff. I figure if I wait till my early November birthday then maybe most of the kinks will have been worked out.
Happy Birthday Me!

Posted by Buffy on August 20, 2006 at 3:41 PM (CDT)


I’m quite happy with my Core 2 Duo Macbook. So far, it looks like all the growing pains mentioned about the MacBook have been addressed in the Core 2 Duo versions.

General rule of hardware: Don’t buy the first version and expect no problems. It’s true of ANY consumer electronics… Sometimes, testing doesn’t find things that only show up after being used in the field, by a variety of consumers.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on April 29, 2007 at 2:17 PM (CDT)


I have a MacBook Pro and I absolutely love it. Except for the squeaking noise when I move the screen back and forth. I’m so afraid to try to fix it because I don’t want to mess it up. I guess I’ll just have to live with it. Unless anyone has any solutions?

Posted by Lauren on June 17, 2008 at 11:20 AM (CDT)

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