MBP: An Uneventful Return

April 26th, 2006

This post is part of the MacBook Pro Complaints series. Instead of (or in addition to) linking directly to this post, consider linking to the series link, which includes a summary of all findings to date and direct links to the pertinent downloads that users may find useful. Thanks for reading!

I got my MacBook Pro back from Apple repair, today. It was actually ready late last week, but I was out of town. I had called DHL to arrange for them to not attempt first delivery until today. When I got home from my trip I discovered two messages on my machine from DHL, each warning me that my machine was in imminent danger of being returned. Instead of following my request to deliver today, they just went ahead and tried on Friday and Monday. Today I drove out to the DHL shipping center 20 minute away so I could take care of it once and for all without waiting around all day for another delivery.

I opened the box with anticipation. Maybe all of my concerns would be addressed. Or at least the screen brightness noise! I opened it and started it up to discover that they had completely wiped the hard drive, and reinstalled the base system (10.4.5). Well, at least maybe this was a sign of a huge overhaul of the system. The service slip describes replacement of four distinct parts, including (I think) the main logic board. I still have the same serial number as before, however.

The worst news? The one thing I thought would absolutely fixed completely – the screen-brightness relating buzzing – is clearly not 100% resolved. I can’t tell if the new behavior is the same or better, because it seemed like the buzzing varied a lot throughout the day, but I know that if I put my ear up to the right side of the computer, there’s a buzzing when the brightness is less than full, and no buzzing at full. Something in there is still “more noisy when not full.” That sounds like “not fixed” to me, but maybe it’s much quieter and “within spec,” now.

The expected-but-sad news? The whine is present as ever. I was shocked to come home and discover that the 17″ MacBook Pro was announced at NAB of all places. If the 17″ edition of this computer exhibits anywhere near the same noise problems as the 15″, then I don’t see how any NAB professional could possibly use it for their work. My only A/V interests with the machine is for home recording, and even for that it seems to be dodgy at best. If I make a blank recording with GarageBand, with the audio input set to “built-in audio”, but nothing plugged in to the input plug, I can record the noise. That just doesn’t seem right. Plugging a mini-jack to RCA cable into the headphones line-out on the computer, I am able to amplify the CPU whine to whatever volume I care to, through my home stereo. The freaking noise is there, Apple! Is it acceptable? I have a hard time accepting it, and I don’t see how any professional would allow it on their A/V portable computer.

Among the components replaced by Apple are some heat regulator parts. Hopefully this will make the unit run cooler, but I have to suspect that if the main noise complaints were not addressed, this repair might have been a waste of effort, since I’ll be pursuing further repair as suggested in my original complaint.

If Apple or anybody else can convince me that it’s OK for my machine to make a headache-inducing, audio-track ruining noise during ordinary operations, then I’ll shut up and stop posting about this. Otherwise, I want a freaking Pro computer, Apple. And I’m exhausted already just thinking about dealing with another round of DHL shipments and ineffective Apple repairs.

I’m going to hold on to the unit at least for a few days, since I’m doing some traveling next week. Yes, it’s true. I rely on the computer. It is in fact useful, but it’s fatally flawed and does not meet my expectations for an Apple computer.

Update: Positive Notes

I’m cranky because the main problem of the CPU whine wasn’t fixed. But on a positive note, I should add that both the CPU whine and display noises seem much less noticeable than before. The CPU whine is now my main concern as it’s still loud enough to notice all the time in a quiet room, and it gives me a low-grade headache, but I think the display brightness noise is now “quiet enough to ignore.” That’s good!

Other bright points? It’s now been running for a couple hours and it’s still relatively cool. I think there was something wrong with the heat management and it’s now fixed. That’s nice! Thanks, Apple. Also, I have yet to hear the mooing noise since I got it back. We’ll see how it holds up when I head out of town again this weekend. It’s always easier to hear the noises on the road – in part because hotel rooms are quiet, and in part because I’m more likely to be running on battery power.

It’s possible. Just possible that I might be willing to cut my losses and keep this computer as-is. The whining CPU still drives me nuts, but as long as one of my workarounds continues to work, I might prefer to just live with it (albeit with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth about Apple quality), instead of pursuing further action. I’m afraid if I pursue the repair process any further, I might end up with another machine that is worse than this one. Crappy way to have to look at the world, huh? Is this how PC owners feel?

Update: should have known not to write anything about this until I had used the machine for a couple hours. The mooing is still there. Silver linings are falling like flies.

68 Responses to “MBP: An Uneventful Return”

  1. monkeypox Says:

    sorry to hear that you’re still having the same issues as before. I was tempted to buy a macbook pro when they were released, but now it looks more and more like I’ll be waiting for the ibook version.

    and DHL just plain sucks. I don’t know how they expect to be able to compete with UPS and FedEx when they have so many problems with their own system. The 4 or 5 times I’ve dealt with them have all been nightmares; and of the 2 times I’ve had to send my ibook back to apple (faulty logic board), they 1. decided to deliver to my home instead of my work address, and 2. left the ibook sitting by the front door in plain sight, on a signature-required package.

  2. ssp Says:

    I really hope your problem will be fixed!

    In a way this painfully reminds me of the problem I had with my TiBook some years back. I sent it in because of a buzzing sound of the screen and it came back with a new mainboard (check your MAC address, back then I only learned about the new mainboard because the network refused to let my computer into the internet) and some other replaced parts _and_ with the screen still buzzing just as before, even though I had included explicit instructions on how to reproduce the problem as well as a note that it may not be apparent to people with bad hearing (although my hearing isn’t all that good to be honest).

    From what I’ve been told exchanging the main board is what the technicians do when they don’t know how to solve (or even understand) a problem. That way they can at least say they’ve done something.

    [However, the worst things happened after that as I didn’t get my own, upgraded, hard drive back but a small empty one… and then I had to fight Apple for weeks to get a replacement and tolerate numerous waiting games and lies in the process.]

  3. Mark Says:

    Well well well. Your description of the screen invertor buzz led me to test for this on my mpb. By jove I’ve got it. However i’ve gotta get my ear next to the keyboard and then wiggle the brightness. Until now I thought my only prob was the cpu wine which I fix with magic. Can anyone tell me if the 10.4.6 update, which i’ve not yet installed stops the magic working, I read it did when 10.4.6 came out but nothing since.
    The CPU wine when not hidden with magic is annoying, intollerable – I get the impression most do it this is my second machine I swapped the first during my 14 day money back thing and got number two with a different cpu freq that whined also.
    Regarding the heat, I worked in a Pizza Hut for four year and my fingers have an asbestos quality to them, however before they fixed your heat issue was the mac book too hot to hold in your hands, paml up ? Obviosuly too hot is ubjective but I want to know if I ocmplain and make apple care gimme new stuff will it be cooler than my curent one, which is pretty hot but to my hand tollerable, however if I can get a cooler one I would.

  4. Angie Says:

    Mark, my MBP with 10.4.6 works with Magic if I don’t use my iSight camera. Serial #W8612

    Here’s how it goes:
    1. Unplug power cord and hear annoying CPU whine.
    2. Start MagicNoiseKiller and the noise stops.
    3. Open Photobooth or a project in iMovie (no noise).
    4. Quit either and noise begins again.
    5. Open Magic again and noise stops.
    6. Open Photobooth again (no noise), quit again, and noise comes back.
    7. Open Photobooth (no noise), click on the thumb of a photo, and noise stops.

    The heat is tolerable palm up for me.

    I get the mooing occasionally.

  5. ebob Says:

    Frankly, you’re being too kind to Apple. I’d return the MBP and get a G4 portable.

  6. maverick808 Says:

    I agree you are being too forgiving with Apple. You can definitely get at least the screen inverter fixed. It took me 3 MBPs but my 3rd has no inverter noise AT ALL. I am positive as I had two of my own that had it to to differening degrees and there are 3 others in my office which all of it so I’ve heard a lot. My 3rd one definitely has no inverter buzz at all. So if you persist you can eventually get one without that buzz.

    However, I do have the CPU whine. Since I can control that with MagicNK I can put up with it but I’m still annoyed with Apple.

    Oh, and my MBP runs cool and always has. Oh and finally… any chance of updating MNK so that it works without having to run PhotoBooth first? It’s been like that since the 10.4.6 update.

  7. Ian Says:

    I can understand that people would put up with annoyances like the whine and the heat if these things still allow the machine to function and they really need the machine for work right now. However, I believe that “putting up” like this on an expensive “pro” machine just sends Apple the message that poor design / testing / quality control / repairs are acceptable, as consumers will generally tolerate such things.

  8. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Thanks everybody for the votes of confidence. It’s hard to stay committed to getting things fixed “for good” when it seems increasingly likely that they won’t be. It also sucks to give up the computer for a long period of time just to get it back and have it not be fixed. I don’t look forward to that experience playing over again in a week or so.

  9. richard Says:

    Wow, this story keeps getting worse and worse for you.. man. I got my MBP last week, it’s as silent as can be, and everything just works… All of your problems detailed here had me pretty worried about it before I actually got my hands on it. I hope that stuff gets sorted out.

  10. bigwasp Says:

    this is crap dude. i had 3 mbp replaced and all of them exhibited the whine. I called apple today and the product specialist was like “apple will do whatever it takes to repair your item” just “send it in today!”


  11. Some guy Says:

    Call Apple, ask for Customer Relations. Tell them you can’t live with the machine in this state and see if they will trade for a 17″ MacBook cause who knows maybe the 17″ MBP won’t have the same issue.

  12. ebob Says:

    Sorry, Daniel. I’m confident in you, guy. But Apple rushed this one. OTOH my 2004 G4 iBook, now 1½ years old, and has a flickering screen backlight. As I can’t predict when it happens, Apple’s attempt to fix it was fruitless. Portables must just be hard to get right when pushing the envelope.

  13. Pork Chop Says:

    Daniel, if you get a chance, could you try swapping power supplies and seeing if the whine continues (and subsequently posting your results)?

    We have several MBPs and doing this seems to fix it, possibly indicating some sort of power sensitivity issue.

  14. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Pork Chop: I would try this out if it seemed pertinent, but since I get the whining much worse on battery power, I think it’s irrelevant. I would be curious to see, however, if running on a different battery helped or hurt the noise effect.

    I’m also curious to know whether the noise is coming through the speaker or not. I’d like to be able to somehow disconnect the speaker internally, but I’m not sure if that would void my warranty (for whatever good it’s worth).

  15. Mav Says:

    I have two batteries and two power supplies for my MBP (I travel a lot). The CPU whine is not different in any way with the different batteries or power supplies. It is more noticeable on battery power than when connected to either power supply though.

  16. Scott Ellsworth Says:

    I do understand your frustration. I had to send a PB back twice for a latch problem.

    I still suggest forcing them to try again, because they should not be allowed to get away with shipping broken product. It costs way too much for them to not fix it.

    Good luck,


  17. Matt Henderson Says:

    Man, I’d hoped to hear some good news from you. Can you still return it to Apple for a refund? I mean, to avoid losing time to repair cycles, could you start purchasing new ones, and have overlap until you get one that works?

  18. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Matt: It’s a good question. At this point I’m struggling to understand whether there are any MBPs out there that work any better than mine. It seems likely that there are, but for the most part it seems that people who report “no problems” just aren’t listening closely enough. On more than one occasion I’ve coached an allegedly “problem free” owner through steps that reveal the problems to them. Then they’re not so happy, either.

    I think I’ll make a trip to the Apple Store and see if I can identify any flawless MBP, just for my own curiosity, before I pursue any other action.

  19. Lekun Says:


    Some people have reported needing to upgrade firmware even recently after sending their MBP in for repair, and still others have reported firmware updates have helped? Does your *new* MBP need a firmware update?

    Also, is it really a matter of putting your ear to the case to hear the whine or can you hear it fine just typing away?

  20. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Lekun: I did upgrade the firmware as soon as I got the MBP back from repair. No improvement.

    I believe I won’t hear the brightness-related buzzing anymore unless I put my ear up to the computer. For the CPU whine, it’s still quite noticeable to me even with the computer sitting 3 feet away from me (set aside while I’m working on another machine). So the CPU whine is now the most problematic defect, hands down.

  21. Strukt Says:

    I have a MBP 15″ 2,0Ghz 1GB ram with the CPU whining, and the occational “mooing”. I dont have the buzzing from the screen thank god!. I live in Norway / Trondheim and have had a discussion with my local apple store where they are fully aware of the problems. He even told me to wait for bringing it in before he had some more information on how this problem could be fixed. He too knew that he couldnt garuantee that the machine would be fixed. This conversation took place a few weeks ago.

    Today we spoke with each other again, i asked him if he had found out some more information about the CPU whine issue. According to him he had just recently been talking to apple where they told him that they knew about this specific problem, and an new logic board would fix the problem.

    I have a hard time believing this but i will give it a shot considering they are located in my home town, and i dont need to send it by post.

  22. bigwasp Says:

    no way dude. ….the logic board repair does not totally fix the whine – this is bogus – apple get it right!

  23. Raf Says:

    Yeah, I spoke too soon the other day also when I wrote how dropping my MBP fixed my issues.

    The heat has actually improved and it’s bareable, but the whine is there, as is the occasional “moo”.

    I spent hours and hours on the phone with Apple. I swear I felt like I was talking to some real idiots. I called Tech Support, and I get someone who could barely string a sentence together, let alone give me technical details. I’ve given up for now since I too, rely heavily on this thing. Sending it in is not an option right now.

  24. Odysseus Says:

    I’ve got to say that I’m surprised that well-informed people would buy a first-generation version of *any* PowerBook. There have been considerable problems with every new design.

  25. Rob Says:

    I have the CPU whine as well. i also just got my MacBook back from service. It sounds like they did most of the same changes as they did to yours. 2 Heat pipe type parts (It does stay a lot cooler) so this worked well. The whine is still present. The intresting thing is that they swapped out my CPU and upgraded my 2.0 Ghz to a 2.16 Ghz. I was very surprised they would do this and am curious if anyone else had their CPU upgraded when they sent it back. Thanks

  26. bigwasp Says:

    whatever – buying the first revision – blah blah. The point is you either make a quality product or you don’t. You don’t start shipping units that are defective! That’s dumb

  27. Mike B Says:

    Just an observation regarding MagicNoiseKiller and Photobooth workaround… Since 10.4.6, MagicNoiseKiller doesn’t work anymore. I usually do the “advanced” Photobooth trick: open photobooth, select a picture that I have already taken before, close (not minimize!) Photobooth. This works perfect and the iSight doesn’t have to be on all the time.

    Now comes the interesting part. Once I’ve done this, when I open and close Photobooth a second time (without selecting an already taken picture as before), the whine starts again as expected. But! Surprise, surprise, from now on, running MagicNoiseKiller quiets the whine again until next restart! So? This is kinda strange, maybe it will help you to develop a 10.4.6 compatible version of MagicNoiseKiller…

  28. moiety Says:

    WARNING TO ALL MBP USERS: Under no condition install Apple Keyboard Update 1.0 from Software Update, which I presume is supposed to address the occasional trackpad lag some users have been experiencing.

    This update completely breaks the Photobooth/Mirror Widget trick. There’s no way to silence the buzz anymore! It also broke my AirPort.

  29. moiety Says:

    Sorry, I should have been clearer (regarding the above): Running PhotoBooth and the Mirror Widget still works, but there’s no way to silence the buzz by opening and closing either — they have to be kept running all the time.

  30. Sam Says:

    I believe that the noise issues (both the noise fixed originally by noisekiller and the mooing) will be fixed in a software update. These are power and fan controller issues and they have been annoying enough that I’m certain apple is working on a fix.

  31. Peter Says:

    it seems like apple doesn’t give a shit about these issues. it’s been months and they didnt even announce that they are aware of the god damn issue.

  32. Peter Says:

    I thought I was making a right choice when I finally decided to ditch Windows and move onto Mac, but maybe I was wrong.

  33. Marcus Says:

    I updated to 1.4.6 so the MagicNoiseKiller didn’t work for me.
    I used the Mirror widget to get my MBP silent, but as other already found out: after installing the Keyboard update, the Mirror widget and PhotoBooth don’t work any longer (in sense of making my MPB quiet)
    However, QuietMBP still seems to work, so as long as there is no way of deinstalling this keyboard update, QuietMBP can still be used to get rid of that sound.
    I just can hope Apple is doing something about this.

  34. Rob Says:

    Moiety – You are right. but (just saying this sounds ridiculous with a $2500 laptop) open photo widget and close it. Noise is still there. Then close the lid go into sleep and then reopen. The noise is gone. I think with the next update your going to have to spin three times and jump up and down.

  35. Rob Says:

    how do you uninstall the keyboard update?

  36. Tea Cozy N1 Says:

    Ah, crap! Was not paying attention and did the stupid keyboard update and now the Mac Book is a Whining mess again! WTF!!? When is Apple going to solve this for us? Someone please help!!! We need another Magic Noise Killer 2.0. Damn, if I wanted stupid problems like this I would have bought a Dell.

  37. Tea Cozy N1 Says:

    Ok, update: tried the QuietMBP, but am confused. Does a higher number mean that the duration of the rest is longer between CPU usage by the program, meaning less work on the CPU? I found that if you listen carefully, the whine fluctuates quite a bit. I found my MBP to be quietest when the slider is set at “70” it gets noiser if I go down to 60 and between 80-100 it is quiet but not as quiet as 70. Once you go beyond 110-120 then it is full bore wild banshee’s being slaughtered. Although it works and I appreciate it, there has got to be a better solution than having to constantly run this program in the background. Daniel if you come up with another Magic Noise Killer 2.0 fix for this, I am buying you a 6 pack of Sam Adams.

  38. Tea Cozy N1 Says:

    Crap! Rob your right, it works! I did the stupid keyboard update by mistake, which killed Magic Noise Killer. However, I did the trick you mentioned above.

    Now if you launch the photo widget, close it (click on the “X”) Leave dashboard and close the MBP lid, the computer goes into sleep mode. Wait like maybe 15 secs just to make sure Intel-Chernobyl Core Duo is actually “sleeping” and then reopen the MBP. No whining!

    I did all this with the MBP unplugged from the magsafe just to make sure the noise actually did disappear. Ugh, next step to getting rid of MBP noises is going to involve throwing chickens into the Volcano to appease the gods!

  39. fabi Says:

    Same for me. Starting mirrot widget closing it, leave dashbord and close the mbp and after the wakeup the whining is killed. also after the keyboard update.

  40. williaty Says:

    Much to my dismay, I noticed this morning that the keyboard update breaks the mirror widget trick. Does anyone know how to either 1) roll back the keyboard update or 2) fix the noise in some other semi-permenant way? It saddens me that I can no longer recommend Apple laptops to people. This must be how windows users feel…

  41. Tom Says:

    I ordered a 1.83 mpb with 2 gigs of ram on Monday April 17 at 3:00 PM EST. I ordered it from one of Apple’s business rather than consumer reps over the phone and specifically asked about heat and noise issues. She said they were fixed so I ordered the machine and even knocked $105 off the price. It arrived 66 hours later having been shipped from Shanghai. It is an 8616xxx and I’ve put all the updates into it including the new firmware and the keyboard/mouse revise. Eight days later, the machine continues to work flawlessly (I am knocking on wood) with little heat and no noise. I thought some would like to hear that not all is awry in Appleland.

  42. wasp Says:

    Tom that pisses me off because I’ve gone through 3 replacement MBP and I now have week 13. ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE NOT DEAF?

  43. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    I too have become very skeptical of reports of silent MBPs. There are many factors that can hide the noise. It’s much easier to identify a noisy machine than a silent one. If it appears silent, I would try at least all of these:

    1. Unplug the power cable.
    2. Make sure you’re in a quiet room.
    3. Make sure no USB devices are plugged in.
    4. Make sure nothing is using iSight.

    If you still can’t hear it, then stick your ear to the upper-left quadrant of the keyboard and listen while you open Photo Booth or something that uses iSight. I am of a strong belief that *some noise* will then go away. It may be that the whine is so quiet on some machines that it’s not worth mentioning. That’s cool. But I am beginning to doubt that any machine is free of the whine. I would definitely settle at this point for something that was merely quiet enough that I couldn’t hear it from typing distance.

  44. Tom Says:

    Daniel and wasp: I unplugged the mbp and am running on battery; have no applications running; am in a quiet room in our home which is in the middle of three acres surrounded by tall oaks and sugar maples baffling any outside sound; have no usb devices plugged in; and isight is not being used. I am now writing this on my dual 1.8 and the mbp is two feet away. As i move toward the alleged culprit, I only hear the faintest hum when I put my ear to the keyboard (i.e. within 6 inches). Even then it is considerably quieter than the dual 1.8 when I do the same. (By the way, I do a lot of audio recording and have been using the G5 which has never presented any distracting ambient sound even with its own level of noise. Therefore, my hope is that this quiet background will prevail with the mbp as well.)

    As to being deaf, I had my annual physical two months ago and my hearing was fine then.

    Somehow I feel I should apologize for this anomoly and hope that future circumstances don’t prove me wrong.

  45. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Heh, thanks Tom for the rigorous reply. Gosh darnit, you maybe just got lucky! Envious :)

  46. Tom Says:

    Daniel: I’ll let you know if things degrade as I put the mpb through its paces (when I do some remote recording and it experiences the rough and tumble of life away from home.) This is a handsome machine and I am counting on it to disprove the notion that beauty’s only skin deep.

    Good luck to you in your travails.

  47. sw Says:

    I also just installed the Keyboard/Mouse update and noticed that the Photobooth trick no longer works.


    If Apple can influence the CPU whine in a negative way through software then SURELY they can also fix it in a POSITIVE way with a soft-/firmware update? Or am I being too optimistic here?

    And as for the heat. I am in Switzerland. It’s been a cool April. It’s 20 degrees C in doors and this thing gets uncomfortably hot both underneath and on the left palm rest (apparently where the hard disk is located.) What’s the heat going to be like when it’s 35 degrees Celcius in the summer? This thing’s going to melt and take my skin with it by the looks of things…

    I went to a local Apple reseller recently and asked them about the heat situation ( actually bought the MBP from Apple directly so they had no vested interest in helping me out) and they coyly stated that the heat is simply a fact of life with all Apple laptops, both MBPs and PowerBooks. He even thought it was a positive attribute that the hardware would switch itself off before getting damaged when it overheats.

    Brilliant. Come the summer and the laptop will only run for two hours at a time?!?!

    What gives?

    Has Apple fixed the heat issue with the new logic board?

    Daniel: when you say that it’s now cooler, even after a couple of hours, how much cooler is it when running from power?

  48. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Tom: thanks! Keep us posted!

    SW: I haven’t really put it through its paces yet. But I’m taking it out of town this weekend so I should get a better feel for how it behaves over a several hours period.

  49. Rob Says:

    SW and Daniel – I sent it back to Apple for the whine and still have the whine. They replaced part 630-7571 (PCBA 2.16, 256 VRAM (M1) MBPRO 15″) Keep in mind I started off with a 2.0 Ghz machine. It is now a 2.16 Ghz. (are they trying to buy my silence)? Also part 593-0233 (CBL, Temp SNSR, Heatpipe,M1) and part 593-0290 (CBL, TEMP SNSR, RT FINSTACK,M1). Basically I have a faster (still whining) much much cooler MBP. It really stays cool on battery or plugged in. They figured that part out. I called a tech last night and they gave me the “all MBP’s have a whine and you need to bring it to a service center to let them listen and see if it’s out of the norm.

  50. Joseph Williamson Says:

    I myself also owns a MBP 1.83 week 12. It too has the whining noise, but it is very quiet, and only comes on the first ten seconds after the power cord is unplugged, then it turns into a low sort of a crackly noise. After a bit of looking around on the internet I’m starting to believe it is actually a software problem, somehow OS X isn’t doing a proper power management for the Core Duo. As looking on the Apple discussion forum I see that MPBs running Windows XP using boot camp don’t have the whining noise. Could anyone with boot camp running WinXP confirm this?

  51. George Phillips Says:


    Have you seen this? Supposedly a permanent solution to the whine (via digg):


    BTW, I got a replacement for my first MBP (2.0ghz) from my Apple re-seller because of the whine, but they refused to replace the second one.

  52. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    George: My impression is that the apparently permanent solution is just one of many variants of “disable power management.” The problem with these solutions is that your battery life goes to hell. If anybody experiments with it and has an opinion to the contrary, please let me know. I wouldn’t endorse trying that method though – it seems really risky to mess with power management issues that are not well understood.

  53. Sam Says:


    check it

  54. George Phillips Says:

    Joseph Williamson: Yes, I run WIndows XP on my MPB: there’s no whine.

  55. Justin Mazzi Says:

    Any updates on the heat issue?

  56. Barnier Says:


    Not sure if this was mentioned already but connected a Bluetooth apple wireless mouse to my 1.83 MBP (1,5 GB, 80GB hd) seems to completely take out the CPU whine…. not having to run any other software….


  57. moiety Says:

    Guys, Daniel’s MagicNoiseKiller can be made to work again!

    Simply re-install the original IOUSBFamily.kext (v2.4.0) kernel extension included with Mac OS X 10.4.5 (build 8G1454) from the package not ending with “log”, add MagicNoiseKiller to your login items, and everything is noise-less! Yay! You can download it from here:



    To recap:

    1. Original IOUSBFamily.kext in 10.4.5: MagicNoiseKiller and the PhotoBooth/Mirror Widget hacks work.

    2. IOUSBFamily.kext included in 10.4.6: MagicNoiseKiller ceases to work reliably; PhotoBooth/Mirror Widget hacks still work.

    3. IOUSBFamily.kext included in Apple Keyboard Update 1.0 for Intel Macs: MagicNoiseKiller still doesn’t work; PhotoBooth/Mirror Widget hacks cease working (have to be run all the time now; simply opening and closing no longer works); in addition, the machine starts whining in closed-lid mode, which it did not do before.

    Solution? Return to IOUSBFamily.kext from 10.4.5, and MagicNoiseKiller works again!

  58. Ian Says:

    Check out the following if you’re afflicted by the whine / heat problems:


  59. Michael Henry Says:

    I’m considering the purchase of a 15.4″ 2.0 GHz Macbook Pro. I’ve read quite a bit on the whining problem, and I’ve boiled it down in my own head to this:

    – The Macbook Pro could well have the whining problem, even for the week-16 (W8616xxxx) models at my local store

    – The store won’t let me listen for the whine before I purchase

    – Once I open the box, I’m told I may return it within 14 days, but only if I pay a 10% restocking fee

    – I am not willing to live with an _unstoppable_ whining noise; BUT…

    – I’m willing to accept reduced battery runtime as a tradeoff for removing the whine via one of the various software-based hacks that are floating around

    Which brings me to my question:

    Does anyone know of a Macbook Pro whose whining was not cured by a software hack?

    I’m willing to buy a Macbook Pro if my worst-case scenario is running a software hack, but I’d hate to lose $250 in restocking fees if the whining is unstoppable, and I dread the idea of fighting to get Apple to repair or replace it (not to mention the time that would take).

    Thanks for any information you can provide.

  60. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Mike: I believe the 10% restocking fee only applies *after* the 14 day period.

    Chances are good that the QuietMBP solution (utilizes CPU) will work even when the other workarounds don’t.

  61. Matthew Gilbert Says:

    Daniel, I’m pretty sure it’s 10% no matter what. At least that’s what I’ve been told every time I’ve purchased a machine at the Apple store.

  62. Tea Cozy N1 Says:

    Yup, it is pretty much 10% no matter what. I bought an ipod accessory by mistake and tried returning it the same day, package was not even opened and they wanted 10%. Pretty Nazi-ish. Ended up ebaying it off and made dinero on the shipping.

    So much for customer service from Apple. Plus, on a side note, the folks at the genius bar act like they are all going to be the next big star on American Idol and/or aspiring actors and actresses. They take their fine old time to deal with any questions you may have about MBP issues.

    The lack of customer service reminds me of standing in line at Kinko’s for 40 minutes to pay for a 10 cent copy back in the good old days in college. : P

  63. Tea Cozy N1 Says:

    In regards to Mike’s inquiry, why not buy from a retailer that has a full refund policy instead of an Apple Store? It’s not like Apple has better pricing unless you are a student, and even then not much, it offsets the sales tax.

  64. bigwasp Says:

    i just returned my 15 inch for the 17! Lets hope the whine issue is resolved

  65. mike Says:

    They only accept returns within 14 days, and 10% restocking fee in that period.

    BUT, they will waive the restocking fee if your machine has problems. If your machine has a loud whine, you just have to convince Apple that it has problems, and they should waive the fee. If your machine is truly defective, you can always return it and contest the fee with your credit card company.

    I’ve also heard of people being able to return for refund after the 14 days, but that’s more rare and seems like apple is being nice or just gives in after multiple failed attempts to solve the problem.

  66. Johan Says:

    The Apple bluetooth mouse had removed the noise for me completely. Last night I ran out of batteries and so I started to play around with the magicnoisekiller (it didn’t work for me) and the QuietMBP (which did work.) Today I got some new batteries and I tried to connect the mouse to my MBP and it didn’t work. Can anybody help me?

  67. OCDan7 Says:

    Add me to the list my brothers, as my newly swapped out logic board (15″MBP) has the same ol’ CPU whine. I’m afraid I’ll have to hibernate on this a while and use QuietMBP.app

    Just got it back today- the Apple Store personnel fall into either the sympathetic or antagonistic crowds- the manager unfortunately the latter.

    I was in the store, powered it on, and the noise was audible (even in their store (louder) environment, I could hear it)- and especially now that I’m back in my quiet office.

    VERY SAD. I wonder if the MacBooks announced today will suffer the same fate.

  68. Angie Says:

    Moiety, I started to get sick of leaving my Keyboard Update non-updated, so I found the same problem you did: isight tricks didn’t work. I used your IOUSBFamily trick and now I have the same conditions as before: a fixable whining MBP.

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