Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Fans Running at Max Speed?

When i start the MacBook from cold boot it is always running at max RPM (my bad had to edit it from temperature to RPM).

I tried to use SMC Fan Control but it fails to open even though I am running Snow Leopard. I did try another app called Macs Fan Control that actually works.

When I opened the app it showed a max speed of 5976 and a minimum rpm around 3000 - 5000 the minimum temperature isn't constant because everytime i turn on the mac the minimum temperature always changes but didn't matter anyways because the fans are always running at max speed.

Can this be a defective fan that i need to replace or failed fan sensor? BTW I couldn't turn down the offer for the macbook because the price was $200 for it.

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There are many reasons why your fan is running hard. I don't like using software to over-ride what the system wants to do. It's likely you will damage your system running it like this so you do need to deal with the problem.

  • Something is blocking the system to breath (keyboard covered or back vents blocked)
  • Heavy dust buildup inside due to the age and/or environment being dusty
  • Thermo paste has dried out and not conducting the heat as well to the heat sink
  • One or more of the temp sensors or fan unit is broken or you could have a problem with your HD or the display sensor.

I would start by doing the first two things on my list as anyone can do them. Get the needed tools to open your system and a can of can'ed air and a soft brush to scrub down the fan blades heat sink fins and the logic board taking care not to snag any of the small components as you can break them off with little force. You should have a anti-static mat & wrist strap and have it properly grounded to protect your system from ESD. Using the can'ed air blow out the dust making sure not to spray any of the liquid out.

Put your system back together is it better?

If not you will need to go back in, but before you do download and install a better temperature monitoring app which accesses your systems thermo & fan sensors telling you what they are saying. As it can tell you what area needs to be looked at more carefully or you could have a bad sensor or fan unit. Here's a free app Temperature Monitor 4.85 that should work with Snow Leopard.

In any case review this iFixIt guide on removing your heat sink iFixIt Guide - Heat Sink Removal. Make sure to get a good grade of thermo paste (iFixIt sells a good one) and use the correct cleaner to remove the old.

More often than not cleaning and putting new thermo paste on the heat sink fixes these systems.

At to a bad sensor or fan lets us know what the software tells you. So we can guide you the rest of the way - Good Luck

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Even though you say it could be dust i don't think it is because my macbook is always running cold and when i boot it from cold it immediately goes max rpm in less then 5 seconds so i was thinking it could be the temperature sensor on the fan because the app i installed is saying my computer is running around 39 to 55 celsius depending on what i do. And when I mean that I mean the processor temperature. So that probably also mean it isn't the thermo past but probably a bad fan or defective one, i just came here to ask other people and see what they think, before i actually replace the fan. Also the macbook doesn't shut down or overheat, it also didn't overheat when i controlled the fan myself when i watched youtube videos because i set the app to change speed by temp on the cpu instead of system controlled because system controlled makes it ramp up to max.


Ooops sorry i meant max RPM.


You might want to reset the SMC before you replace the fan unit. 9 out of 10 times these systems need a good cleaning & new thermo paste. The covers don't transmit heat well so you could be overheating just not aware of it. It doesn't hurt to open you covers to take a look.


I tried the smc and nvram/pram reset and it didn't work. I will open the topcase, once i get the proper screw drivers, overheating not really cause im monitoring the cpu temperature and it seems to be right, for the thermo paste maybe i might replace it with silver ceramique? Not silver arctic 5 because i heard it dries out in 6 months or so. But the thermopaste doesn't explain why after I boot up the mac the fans ramp up max rpm in less then 5 seconds after pressing the power button.


I will open the top case and look for any wires that could be disconnected or broken once I ask my friend for some tools to open it.


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