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Old 12-26-2013, 12:36 PM   #1
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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Can I repair my own Macbook Pro?

I've got a Macbook Pro. Here are some specs:

OS X Version 10.7.5
2.4 GHz Intel Core i5
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
500GB Hard Drive

I noticed a ticking noise it started making (kind of like a VERY soft ping pong ball) and ran the quick hardware test and it came back with the code 4MOT/4/40000002:Exhaust-0. I found that that means there is fan trouble. I tried to run the more detailed hardware test and it wouldn't complete it. Seemed to get stuck.

I also looked up the ping pong ball noise and folks seem to think the hard drive is failing. (Anyone here disagree?)

I know just about nothing about fixing computers. My brain just isn't wired for that sort of thing. BUT, I CAN follow directions.

Anybody have a source where I could purchase the required parts AND a source for good directions? One of my biggest concerns is transferring data from the old drive to the new. My wife has an external backup drive and she's backing it up today.

The local trusted source gave me a rough quote assume that those are the only two problems. Roughly (from memory):
$100 diagnostic fee
$70-100 for a Hard Drive plus labor
$90-150 for data transfer depending on amount
$90 to install operating system
$less than 100 for exhaust fan plus labor

I'm making less money and I'm a student, so it would be nice to save a couple hundred dollars, but not at the expense of completely ruining my computer, which would cost at least $1500 to replace.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Any local (Lebanon, NH area) inmates want to do it, I'd be happy to pay. Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
TheNorthernMonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
I've got a Macbook Pro. Here are some specs:

OS X Version 10.7.5
2.4 GHz Intel Core i5
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
500GB Hard Drive

I noticed a ticking noise it started making (kind of like a VERY soft ping pong ball) and ran the quick hardware test and it came back with the code 4MOT/4/40000002:Exhaust-0. I found that that means there is fan trouble. I tried to run the more detailed hardware test and it wouldn't complete it. Seemed to get stuck.

I also looked up the ping pong ball noise and folks seem to think the hard drive is failing. (Anyone here disagree?)

I know just about nothing about fixing computers. My brain just isn't wired for that sort of thing. BUT, I CAN follow directions.

Anybody have a source where I could purchase the required parts AND a source for good directions? One of my biggest concerns is transferring data from the old drive to the new. My wife has an external backup drive and she's backing it up today.

The local trusted source gave me a rough quote assume that those are the only two problems. Roughly (from memory):
$100 diagnostic fee
$70-100 for a Hard Drive plus labor
$90-150 for data transfer depending on amount
$90 to install operating system
$less than 100 for exhaust fan plus labor

I'm making less money and I'm a student, so it would be nice to save a couple hundred dollars, but not at the expense of completely ruining my computer, which would cost at least $1500 to replace.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Any local (Lebanon, NH area) inmates want to do it, I'd be happy to pay. Thanks!
Id start by blasting it with an airduster, or a compressor if you have one. Blast the air in through the fan exhaust, so all the goop on the intake is blasted out.

If that fails, replace the HD with an SSD. If you don't have many files, get a 120gb or a 240gb SSD, from Kingston,

itll come with a USB hard drive caddy, and a bootable CD, which will copy all your crap from the old HD to the new one, including the OS.

swapping hard drives is easy with a set of good screwdrivers, a camera with which you record which screw you took out and in which order, and a box with loads of compartments to keep the screws separate.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
wxwax
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Try testing your fans by raising their RPM. Then see if the ticking goes away when you slow it down again. Sounds weird, but it worked for me.

Free. Download smc fan control (I use it, keeps the machine cooler by allowing you do adjust the fans' RPM.)

When you start it up, it will appear in the top right of your screen, the status bar thingie. Click on it and play with the fan settings.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
troidus
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Be careful when using compressed air. You can wreck your fan bearings. Blow just hard enough to remove the crud and do it in short bursts so the fan doesn't spin up very much. If you're using a compressor instead of canned air, make sure the air is clean and dry and turn your regulator down so it's no more than 35 psi. Less is better, but make sure it's high enough to actually do work.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
TheNorthernMonkey
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I've blasted 100s of laptops with compressed air in my time (used to fix them for a job), I've never heard of one of them going fubar after a 10 second blast of as much air as I have
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
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Does the pinging noise happen constantly, or just every once in a while? My girlfriend's mid-2010 15" MBP makes a ping/tinkle noise when the laptop warms up or cools down during use; according to Apple, it's from the heatsink moving suddenly from expanding and contracting. If that's the case, ignore it. There's nothing you can really do about it without taking the laptop almost all the way apart for basically no gains in anything other than peace of mind.

And unless the laptop is overheating so bad it burns you, don't bother taking apart and cleaning it. Just use some low pressure compressed air to clean out the exhaust (which at the back of the laptop) first, then the keyboard (since Apple thought it'd be a great idea to use the keyboard as an air intake.)

To rule out the hard drive, check the SMART data using a utility like this one.

If the hard drive is going bad, that quote is way overpriced. New drive would be <$100, and it'd take a whole hour to clone the old drive to the new one with a USB to SATA adapter and CloneCD. No need to copy all your data, no need to reinstall MacOS. Find a new technician.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #7
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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Thanks for replies... Responding from an iPad.... Backing up hard drive at the moment.

I'm not sure where to blow air in, there isn't an obvious hole, only a long slot where the monitor hinges. I'm not thrilled with the idea of blasting air in, wouldn't that blow crud back into the computer?

The ticking noise is two quick ticks with a four or five second break and then repeats. Doesn't stop as long as.machine is on. Doesn't change timing, volume, etc.

Once it's free I'll try some fan tricks and report back. If there are more problems it seems as though there is enough help out there to guide me through. Thanks again guys, adv always comes through!

Edit: missed last reply, thanks for clearing up air passages!
Edit again:also concerned that hardware test didn't seem to work when I tried the more detailed version

adam_c_eckhardt screwed with this post 12-26-2013 at 02:34 PM
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
I've got a Macbook Pro. Here are some specs:

OS X Version 10.7.5
2.4 GHz Intel Core i5
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
500GB Hard Drive

I noticed a ticking noise it started making (kind of like a VERY soft ping pong ball) and ran the quick hardware test and it came back with the code 4MOT/4/40000002:Exhaust-0. I found that that means there is fan trouble. I tried to run the more detailed hardware test and it wouldn't complete it. Seemed to get stuck.

I also looked up the ping pong ball noise and folks seem to think the hard drive is failing. (Anyone here disagree?)
We don't have enough information to tell you whether or not that noise is a failing HDD. Are there any other symptoms that might indicate that it's going bad, such as:
-programs crashing more than they used to
-OS/applications taking longer to do things than expected
-difficulty opening certain files/folder that didn't used to give you problems

Also, how old is the HDD?
Quote:
One of my biggest concerns is transferring data from the old drive to the new. My wife has an external backup drive and she's backing it up today.
If she's using Time Machine to do the backups, reinstalling your data becomes fairly trivial. Knowing what she's doing would help.

Quote:
I'm making less money and I'm a student, so it would be nice to save a couple hundred dollars, but not at the expense of completely ruining my computer, which would cost at least $1500 to replace.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Any local (Lebanon, NH area) inmates want to do it, I'd be happy to pay. Thanks!
Head over to iFixit.com, and see what the repair guide for your computer looks like. You should be able to figure out whether or not you're up to the task just by going through their pictures.

On the 'unibody' Macbooks made before the Retina model (which is virtually certain to cover yours), the hardest part of the fan or HDD replacement is keeping track of which case screws go where...and there's only two sizes in 8 holes.

Have a clean, well-lit space to work, get an ice-cube tray to keep track of parts, and go to work with a good chunk of time available so you don't feel rushed.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:37 PM   #9
hpsVFR
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Oh yeah, update to OS 10.9 Mavericks afterwards. It's a huge improvement over 10.7 (writing this from a 2008 MBP running Mavericks w/5GB RAM...and my battery life went way, way UP!)
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
troidus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNorthernMonkey View Post
I've blasted 100s of laptops with compressed air in my time (used to fix them for a job), I've never heard of one of them going fubar after a 10 second blast of as much air as I have
I roached a couple of fans before I learned to hold them still before blasting them. That was with canned air. I now have access to an unlimited supply of 100 psi shop air. I could probably blast components off of a motherboard now.
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #11
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http://www.ifixit.com/

Great resource for guides and specific tools (Apple loves fasteners like 000 Tri-Wing) Try finding that at Home Depot.

The unibody Macbooks are not the easiest ones to work on but they're doable for a determined, horny type.
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:56 PM   #12
mdouglas71
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Good to know, It's such a bitch to change out the fan too fyi. I did it on my macbook and man was I in for a surprise. If it's the harddrive you have a much easier fix ahead of you..
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Old 12-26-2013, 04:10 PM   #13
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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I downloaded the fan resource and it's also leading me to believe that the fan is toast. I can't change the fan speed and it's reporting back 0 RPM no matter what.

I think my first step will be to order and replace the fan, and take it from there.

I took a final exam that was proctored by an online service (proctoru) and the machine ran like shit during and after the exam. After I uninstalled their stuff it was back to normal. I haven't noticed anything running slower than normal.

After reading what you wrote I think I could handle a hard drive swap as well.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:54 PM   #14
Jonnylotto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
I downloaded the fan resource and it's also leading me to believe that the fan is toast. I can't change the fan speed and it's reporting back 0 RPM no matter what.

I think my first step will be to order and replace the fan, and take it from there.

I took a final exam that was proctored by an online service (proctoru) and the machine ran like shit during and after the exam. After I uninstalled their stuff it was back to normal. I haven't noticed anything running slower than normal.

After reading what you wrote I think I could handle a hard drive swap as well.
If you're going to do the hard drive swap, even though you're a starving student, look to see if an SSD is in your budget. I recently upgraded the wife's 2009 MacBook Pro to a 256GB SSD for $169 and it cut the boot time to under 18 seconds.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #15
wxwax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
I downloaded the fan resource and it's also leading me to believe that the fan is toast. I can't change the fan speed and it's reporting back 0 RPM no matter what.
That sucks. Sure sounds like a fan problem.

Question: is there any sign of the bottom of the laptop bending or buckling? Especially around the edges of the battery? Are the battery edges still flush with the rest of the bottom, or are they raised?

On my MBP, the edges were raised as the battery began to swell and die. I think perhaps high heat contributed to the problem. At times I heard the case/battery creaking as it expanded under the heat. When I changed the batt I also installed smc fan control to run the fans a little higher and cool the machine off.
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It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
-- Bertrand Russell

To make an apple pie from scratch,
you must first invent the universe.
-- Carl Sagan
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