Rattling noise left side when hard drive is running at high speed

I hear a rattling noise, left side, when the hard drive is running at high speed. Also, the laptop gets so hot I cant keep it on my lap. Sometimes its consistent and I have to shut the computer down. Sometimes it goes away on its own.

Is it the fan, the hard drive. Would like to know before I order the parts. Is there a utility I can run to flush out exactly whats going on.




Thank you Dan and Wes for your advice. I will try your recommendations.

Now, the hdd back up I can do. But the teardown and clean, is there a manual for that. Never did that before.


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thanks for the quick advice guys.


I can't see a teardown guide, but I can see that there is a guide for replacing a mainboard which will guide you far enough to be able to perform a deep clean of your system. The link is below,

MacBook Pro 15" Core Duo Model A1150 Logic Board Replacement

Good Luck!


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I always tell folks to grab a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner and do a block level clone of you HDD onto an external HDD via Firewire or USB. Always have a back up.

I have to agree with the poster above on doing a good clean out with some canned air and replacing the fan. It's a cheap fix and shouldn't hurt.

My question for you is the HDD a 5400 or 7200 drive? Make sure the screws are secure on the drive mounts and if one is loose, use a bit (sparingly!) of loc-tite on the screw to help hold it in place.

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I would personally perform a teardown and clean before ordering parts. Grabbing some compressed air will help clear any blockages in your airflow. Re-assembling the Macbook could help resolve the issue if anything has worked loose through vibrations. I would also back up your hard drive ASAP incase of a due failure. Try getting hold of a copy of TechTool Pro and run a full diagnostics test.

It sounds more like the bearings may be grinding in your fan as the hard drive would usually give out a clicking noise, not rattling, but this is only an assumption from the description.

Hope this helps,


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Greg -

All you should need to do is pop the cover to dust it out. Which is not a bad idea to do every couple of years.

But, I'm not sure thats the root issue here.

Sounds like some application is hogging the CPU and HD resources causing the heat buildup (which over time will kill your system).

Rename the back up'ed removable HD system folder so it's not used. Then install a new copy of system files on to the removable HD from the OS-X install CD/DVD's so you have a straight vanilla OS to boot from. Using the Startup System Pref select the removable HD's fresh system to boot from.

Once you get there let the system run as it would when you encountered the HD noise and/or noted the heat build up. Is it still doing it? If not you have something running thats killing your system not a dust buildup problem (still could be a HD on the way South though).

Using a good copy of anti-virus software you can check to see if you have some malicious software running (Malware). You could also have background apps like antivirus, antispam, Peer to Peer or application pre-loaders (MS has a few) that are mis-behaving. Make sure you've upgraded all of your primary apps and removed any that you won't be using any longer.

You can also use the Activity Monitor app to monitor whats running click on %CPU column to see whats the killer (using the internal HD to boot from). WARNING: Quitting a process can make your system unstable so make sure you don't have any file open that you can't replace. Comparing a clean install Vs your running system can help you in isolating the normally running Apple OS processes as ones not to touch.

Also check network activity in case your system got zombie'd by some malware that for some reason has kicked in. Nothing should be going across the net (constantly) unless you're accessing it from within an app.

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ghsquad270 will be eternally grateful.
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