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#25367 - 03/12/13 06:31 PM Fan Always On - MacBook Air
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Someone else's 13" MacBook Air, about 2 years old, waiting for her to send me info on operating system and build, etc., fan is constantly on lately. She doesn't seem to notice that computer is any warmer than usual. I haven't seen it yet. Is the processor chip overheating? If so, why?
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
iPad Air

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#25368 - 03/12/13 10:42 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
It's been expected behavior for the fans to be running full-time (as they do on my Early 2009 MacBook) for a few years now, so the real question is have they gotten louder, i.e. are they running faster, lately, or has she just noticed her MBA's normal behavior, perhaps because her environment has gotten quieter?

I very clearly remember it taking me quite a while to realize that my deuced Mac(hina)'s fans never stopped, what with the background music/white noise I've always got running.


Edited by artie505 (03/13/13 12:13 AM)
Edit Reason: Positivity & Expansion
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25374 - 03/13/13 10:00 AM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: artie505]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Are the fans for the battery or the processor? She thinks they are louder than usual. If she were to check if the machine is running hotter, where would she touch?

btw, it is a 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo from 2011.

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#25377 - 03/13/13 01:03 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
You'll have to wait for somebody like V1 to answer your questions.

I d/l'ed a temperature sensor app once, and I couldn't even begin to figure out what most of the readings (I think it gave me 6 of them.) were about (and that's aside from the fact that I know nothing about MBAs).

Edit: My best suggestion is that she touch the MBA all over to see if any one spot is noticeably hot.


Edited by artie505 (03/13/13 01:04 PM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25380 - 03/13/13 03:03 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: slolerner
If the machine is running hotter, where would she touch?

Touching the computer is a highly innacurate measure of temperature fraught with too many variables to do any diagnostics. Apple has lots of sensors all over the computer such as ambient temperature, CPU temperature, memory temperature, HDD temperature, power supply temperature, fas speed etc., etc.. There are six or seven utilities in the App Store ranging in price from $1 to $6 that can read and display those sensor values. I would start with CPU, memory, HDD, and fan speed. By-the-way some of these apps know what temperature ranges are normal and can alert the user to unusual conditions.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#25381 - 03/13/13 03:22 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Alternatively, Marcel Bresink offers a free app: Temperature Monitor

I've got no idea how it compares with those sold by the App Store.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25382 - 03/14/13 07:22 AM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
It may be helpful for your friend to keep /Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor > All Processes > % CPU open on her desktop to see if the fans are maybe running because some process is using a lot of CPU cycles.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25390 - 03/14/13 02:56 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: artie505]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Artie wins the duck with the $100 bill! It was being used to live monitor a video security camera over the internet when the fans got louder. I guess it was overloading the processor, my prime suspect!

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#25395 - 03/14/13 04:18 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
you may have a fan that's getting dusty and the smc has determined it's not coming up to expected RPMs fast enough and is spooling it up as a result.

run your hardware test, it should check all sensors and fans.

If its an overheat issue, activity monitor set to show all processes, sort by %cpu, is very useful. some use menumeters also, I just keep it's cmd-4 global floater up all the time.

(looks like I ninja'd artie...)
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#25396 - 03/14/13 04:19 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Artie wins the duck with the $100 bill! It was being used to live monitor a video security camera over the internet when the fans got louder. I guess it was overloading the processor, my prime suspect!

It's delightful, it's de-lovely, it's delirious, it's delectable, it's de-latest, it's de-limit, it's deluxe, it's de-answer! smile
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25397 - 03/14/13 04:35 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> (looks like I ninja'd artie...)

??? confused
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25401 - 03/14/13 06:26 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: artie505]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: artie505
> (looks like I ninja'd artie...)

??? confused


We'll have to go to the videotape for this one... sorry V1, it looks like Artie's duck.


Edited by slolerner (03/14/13 06:30 PM)
Edit Reason: reviewed for accuracy

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#25403 - 03/14/13 11:09 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
However... V1 did snatch one pebble from my hand. My next guess was something like one fan was not working and the other was compensating. Artie still gets the duck and V1 gets the pebble and everyone gets my thanks once again. I showed her the Activity Monitor and now she can prevent that sort of thing from happening again.

Note: V1, I'll recommend she run the hardware test when she has a chance, the computer is in constant use. I can't remember how you do it from a startup when you don't have the disk.


Edited by slolerner (03/14/13 11:17 PM)
Edit Reason: I'm tired and getting this wrong!

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#25404 - 03/14/13 11:20 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> I showed her the Activity Monitor and now she can prevent that sort of thing from happening again.

Activity Monitor isn't a preventer, it's an informer.

But if your friend must monitor that camera, revved up fans are no reason why she shouldn't.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25405 - 03/14/13 11:23 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25406 - 03/15/13 12:00 AM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: artie505]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: artie505
> I showed her the Activity Monitor and now she can prevent that sort of thing from happening again.

Activity Monitor isn't a preventer, it's an informer.

But if your friend must monitor that camera, revved up fans are no reason why she shouldn't.


It's the wrong computer to use for that. Inadequate ventilation. The other one must have been in the shop or being used for something else. I didn't know until I saw her today and she told me that when she disconnected it the fans slowed down. The activity monitor will tell her WHY the fans are spinning up to prevent something that is backgrounding, be it unnecessary (like Adobe Reader was hogging power and not being used) or nefarious from grabbing up CPU capacity and possibly causing heat damage to the SSD (memory sticks, whatever you call them.)

Thanks for the link to the Hardware Test. I'll pass it along to her. It's been a long time since I bought a new Mac and I always run that in the store before I leave with it. That was 2010. I've been real bad with maintenance and am tempted, with all the marketing gathering and tracking cookies besides Flash ones, to backup my user folder and just reformat my drive for some semblance of privacy. Also, so many errors in Disk Utility.

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#25407 - 03/15/13 12:34 AM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> ...SSD (memory sticks, whatever you call them.)

"SSD" is the acronym for "solid state drive," which is a hard drive that replaces spinning platters with flash drive technology; DIMMs are RAM chips. Both can be damaged by excessive heat.

Wow! Talk about caution... It's never occurred to me to run Apple Hardware Test other than when I thought I had an issue.

Happy to hear that your friend's issue is cleared up, but tell her to not get too wrapped up in watching Activity Monitor; it can get to be a majorly annoyingly neurotic habit.

I like MenuMeters, but pretty much don't even bother looking at it other than when things get sluggish and I get antsy.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25417 - 03/15/13 02:58 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: slolerner
That was 2010. I've been real bad with maintenance and am tempted, with all the marketing gathering and tracking cookies besides Flash ones, to backup my user folder and just reformat my drive for some semblance of privacy. Also, so many errors in Disk Utility.

Since virtually all of the undesired stuff, tracking cookies, etc. are in your user folder you would simply be reproducing the junk when you reinstalled your backup. mad You need to invest the time and effort to do some serious housekeeping and then perhaps the erase and reinstall will not be necessary. A friend of mine recently installed Cookie Stumbler, the full version, and in the first pass it removed over 4,000 cookies from his system that were phoning home and/or being used to track his activities on the web.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#25421 - 03/15/13 05:43 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: joemikeb]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Well, there is not much I can do about the mail because each mailbox is one big hairball, and the address book is 'what it is' but I was just going to grab my ACTUAL FILES, no library, no apps, etc.
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
iPad Air

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#25423 - 03/15/13 05:45 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Cookie Stumbler has some bad reviews...

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#25424 - 03/15/13 06:23 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Quote:
Cookie Stumbler has some bad reviews…

It took me a while to get Cookie Stumbler "trained" on what cookies to keep and which to put on the "blacklist", but so far it is working well for me. I have it set to run every night and when I come in there are around 200 cookies. At the end of the day Safari will have accumulated another 300 to 400 more. The next morning back to around 200 and the cycle starts all over again. Between the Cookie Stumbler and Ghostery extensions in Safari most of the outbound traffic from the remaining cookies is blocked. I do not kid myself that is complete protection, but it does significantly reduce the cookie clutter and pretty dramatically reduces the volume of information leaking out.
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#25433 - 03/15/13 10:03 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: joemikeb]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Actually, doing an adequate level wipe is consumes the most time. I keep copies of all the upgrade installers. It takes me about 6 hours to put everything back together again, I miss something here and there. I don't think it's a waste of time. I don't like how much crap is on here. It's maddening enough that I have this weird Metadata folder that always shows up the minute the minute I connect to the internet and every site I've ever been to is in there and always comes back.

Maybe a moderator should move this thread, it's getting off-topic...

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#25448 - 03/16/13 01:56 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
dianne Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
slolerner,

Quote:
Maybe a moderator should move this thread, it's getting off-topic...

As post #25406, addresses your friend's "Fan Always On - MacBook Air" topic and also introduces a new topic about removing marketing data and tracking cookies, it is difficult to make any elegant and skillful changes as a moderator.

If you would like to continue troubleshooting your marketing data and tracking cookies topics, please start a new thread in the Networking forum.
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dianne • moderator

Back up everything you can't afford to lose – documents, mail, movies, music, photos, and other data and settings.

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#25469 - 03/18/13 06:38 PM Re: Fan Always On - MacBook Air [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
oh and fyi on the fans.. iirc all mac fans idle at 1000 rpm, which should be silent for all of them. the smc speeds them up in response to a rise in temperature somewhere in the zone the fan cools. macs have from 3 to around 16 temp sensors scattered around, and 1-3 fans, many more for xserve and mac pro. Fans only spin a fast as they need to, they are individually controlled, by RPM. I think 5000 is the max rpm for all the fans. (may have seen a 7500?)

Fans have tachs, and the smc knows how fast the fan is going. If a fan fails to perform properly, spins too slow, fails to spin fast enough, fails to get up to speed fast enough, the rpm sensor fails, or if any temp sensor fails or gets otherwise out of spec, the smc will crank up fan speeds. Possibly all fans, possibly just one or two, as a safety measure. Then you will hear them.

It may only spin up one fan to max. If a temp sensor for the optical drive fails, in an imac, the fan that cools the ODD and gpu will go to max rpm, but the othe fans will continue to work normally.

It still surprises me that I never see a windows pc, desktop or laptop, that has controlled fans. They all just spin them at max all the time, and you always hear the fans. Desktop that's some kind of law. I think I may have heard a quiet pc laptop or two though?
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