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Mac mini fan noise
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Jan 18, 2006, 02:31 AM
 
I'm a proud owner of a Mac mini since May'05, and during the first months of use the machine was completely silent. All mini owners know what I mean: you can't tell if the little beast was on or off just by listening to it. But in the course of months it has become noisier and noisier. being now crearly audible at all times, --of course not as your typical PC fan noise, but it is noticiable even after a cold boot. It is not the noise what annoys me, it's the fact that it was noiseless BEFORE.

The fan's not running at full speed, I can make CPU usage skyrocket and the fan spin s even faster, making it louder. I understand this is normal, though.

Any help? Has anyone had this issue? I guess it's time for opening the Mini and doing some serious cleaning on the system fan.
     
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Jan 28, 2006, 04:57 AM
 
I have had a Mac mini for about the same length of time and recently noticed an increase in fan noise. I can't associate the change with any particular software update. It occurred in roughly two stages over a couple of weeks: from virtually silent to audible then to louder still. I wouldn't say the noise at this point is particularly annoying or distracting. It is just easily heard whereas before the machine was nearly silent.

I have tried the procedure for resetting that involves holding down the power-on button while plugging in the power cord. It hasn't helped with the fan noise. I don't have the nerve to take the machine apart for cleaning, but please let me know if you do and it seems to help.

fcol
     
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Jan 28, 2006, 07:00 AM
 
all fans accumulate dust it's probably just that. I don't envy having to disassemble for cleaning though
     
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Mar 10, 2006, 02:37 PM
 
Hmmm... I can hear the fan on my new mini... it isn't revving high, but it has that "whine". That might drive me a bit crazy after awhile. I wonder if Apple sells parts? I could replace it myself.
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Mar 10, 2006, 03:05 PM
 
I can hear my new Intel Mini too. I couldn't hear my old G4 mini, though.
     
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Mar 10, 2006, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lava Lamp Freak
I can hear my new Intel Mini too. I couldn't hear my old G4 mini, though.
Me either so this is what I just did:

In my desk I have a drawer that is about 4 inches tall... It has 1/2 open space around all sides but the front. I drilled some holes in the bottom for better air flow and dropped my mini in the drawer. It has at least 3 inches on each side of it and 2 inches above it for space.

I will monitor for a day or two to see how the temps fair. I can no longer hear the fan, or the disk.
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Mar 10, 2006, 05:08 PM
 
This is my first Mini, but my new CoreDuo Mini is almost COMPLETELY silent. You have to basically put your ear down on the thing to hear it running at all.
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Mar 12, 2006, 04:57 AM
 
You guys might try getting a can of air and blowing it into the vents a bit. If it is dust, I think that should take care of it.
     
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Mar 12, 2006, 05:37 AM
 
And then after that, I would recommend running one of those CD-ROM lens cleaning discs through the optical drive... sometimes blowing the dust around in your computer will get it into your optical drives.
     
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Apr 17, 2006, 05:45 AM
 
Fyi... have the same problem and no solution yet...
     
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Apr 19, 2006, 09:09 AM
 
I have 2 minis one 1.2 g4 and one 1.5 g4

the 1.2, overclocked vram, running seti@home 24/7 is ... need a stetoscope to see if it is on !! = silent.

the 1.5 out of the box was noisy when idle.
the noise do not go up with seti@home 24/7
however, when I play wow, the fan seeds up.
if I overclock the vram, it is even louder.

I discovered that when idle, it is the harddisk that is making the most noise.
when the mac is at work the fan, then is the noise.

anyway the noise of the mini is far below the formula one turbo fan of the imacg5 1.8 17inches.
     
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Jun 9, 2007, 03:48 PM
 
Hi All,
couple of weeks ago I acquired a 2nd hand Mac mini G4 1.5. It's in mint condition, but the fan gets really loud quite soon (e.g. Firefox w/ Flash-movie) although cpu load is under 50% average. I checked the bottom side for obvious obstacles but all seems to be ok.
What I noticed recently, that this mini sometimes doesn't get quiet even when it idles again.

Any clues?

Thanks, Michael.
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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Jun 11, 2007, 05:35 PM
 
My first question would be, what enviroment are you running your Mini in? At average room temp? Pet dander and/or dusty conditions?

Since you described that you've been operating for such a long time without audibly hearing the fan, I would suggest first visually inspecting (and cleaning) it's air intake and exhast for any blockage. If that has no effect, check to make sure you have the latest firmware for your model.

Lastly, if all else has no effect -- then it's time to reset the PMU (Power Managment Unit). For the neophytes, one of the key PMU functions is that it regulates (controls) all power and fan operation. Resetting it (importantly, once and one time only), will clear any corruption and return it to "factory normal". To read more on the PMU, and how to reset it on the mini, visit Apple's Knowledge Base Article.
     
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Jun 11, 2007, 06:04 PM
 
Hi, thanks for responding!

The unit is clean and in mint condition.
It sits in an office environment and has been bought second hand recently.

There are no visible obstacles in or at the intakes or such.
So I assume, that resetting the PMU could be an appropriate measure!?

Thanks, Michael.
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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Jun 11, 2007, 08:05 PM
 
So I assume, that resetting the PMU could be an appropriate measure!?
Michael -- Thanks for clarifying. Given your responses, I'd go ahead and do a PMU reset.

So that you follow the PMU reset directions exactly for your model, first enter your mini's serial number into the "Support Coverage" box at Apple - Support. This will give you AppleCare's name for your unit and will aid in determining the correct procedure. Different Mac Mini models have separate procedures.

I looked up the Apple Knowledge Base article for PMU reset on a PowerPC Mini, it is here: Mac mini: How to Reset the PMU

Just remember, only do the PMU reset ONCE and one time only -- the PMU is sensitive to multiple resets and can crash. Its not that scary if you follow the directions.

After the PMU reset procedure, boot your mini and test it out. With the latest firmware and the PMU reset, you should be good to go.
     
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Jul 1, 2007, 07:39 PM
 
....
( Last edited by TonTaub; Jul 1, 2007 at 08:22 PM. Reason: erratic double post - sorry! (where can I delete this?))
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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Jul 1, 2007, 08:18 PM
 
Hello!

Originally Posted by dowNNshift View Post
I looked up the Apple Knowledge Base article for PMU reset on a PowerPC Mini, it is here: Mac mini: How to Reset the PMU

Just remember, only do the PMU reset ONCE and one time only -- the PMU is sensitive to multiple resets and can crash. Its not that scary if you follow the directions.

After the PMU reset procedure, boot your mini and test it out. With the latest firmware and the PMU reset, you should be good to go.
Eventually I did reset the PMU according to the KB article.
I've to say that it changed nothing.
What's disturbing about it is, that the description in the article says, performing a reset of the PMU will reset the PRAM and so time and date of the system will have to be set.
But on my PPC Mac mini time and date still were ok after the reset.
Is there an indicator to tell if it did reset anyway?

I also looked around if there's an firmware upgrade available.
I either searched the wrong places or there's no update.

However, since you mentioned not to reset the PMU several times I wonder what's next to get back on track.

Thanks a lot! :-) Michael.
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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Jul 8, 2007, 11:34 PM
 
I had the same problem, and tracked it down to Virex which used to be supported as part of my .mac subscription, and now isn't. It's also doesn't work with Tiger although I don't remember them telling me

When I looked under Activity Monitor (All Processes) I found one that was eating up processor time, and the apple article here showed me how to uninstall it. 3 seconds after running it my Mini was back to it's old silent self!

Andrew
     
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Jul 10, 2007, 03:16 AM
 
Hi Andrew, thanks for responding!
Unfortunately I don't have Virex running on this particular Mac mini.
This little thing just gets too "excited" when the cpu load increases.
Resetting the pmu didn't help. :-/

:-) Michael.
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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Nov 25, 2007, 08:53 PM
 
Hi again, All ...
Well ... Right now I'm sitting next to my Mac mini G4 1.5GHz with its fan at full speed ... :-(
Activity Monitor shows the CPU at about 55% for two minutes now (I'm running rsync between two volumes for backup).
No matter what I do, YouTube video, a little Photoshop, rsync, many files in Preview ... this xxxx fan goes on.
Are there something like silencing kits on the market I could accquire?
I'm definitely running out of ideas ...

Thanks, Michael.
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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May 4, 2008, 05:37 AM
 
Hi all,
I still have this Mac mini G4 and it still is noisy.
Resetting the PMU helped only a very little.
As soon there's some CPU load on this little fellow it gets excited and loud.
E.g. I'm also using it to connect some external desktop disks to the network.
When transferring some larger file and therefore kernel_task gets a lot more to do (according to Activity Monitor) that's reason enough to spin up the fan and sound like small hair dryer (no kidding!).

The environment the Mac mini is in hasn't changed at all and is a nice office-like work room in my flat.
Meanwhile I started looking for a replacement for the fan or other parts.

Is there a hardware method to get this little thing more silent?
I want to keep it!

One again, thanks! Michael.
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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May 4, 2008, 05:59 AM
 
Hi again Andrew,

Originally Posted by Andrew Beattie View Post
When I looked under Activity Monitor (All Processes) I found one that was eating up processor time, and the apple article here showed me how to uninstall it. 3 seconds after running it my Mini was back to it's old silent self!
What I forgot the mention:
While I fully agree to remove any software or task/process that eats up CPU-time for nothing I can benefit from (at least because it saves some energy) I don't want a desktop device that loud if the average CPU-load is just around 50% for a couple of minutes.
Things get worse if I use some not so well implemented software (like CheckPoint Secure Client) which consumes almost all available CPU resources. In this case I wished it would be at least half as loud like it is now.
I'm typing this on my MBP 17" w/ 10.5.2 and this fellow also can get very loud.
But this really takes something to get that far. And only within reason.

Michael.
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
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May 4, 2008, 10:56 PM
 
I know how you can fix it for $599...
     
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May 5, 2008, 03:26 AM
 
So, what I would get for that money?
May 19th 2004: Switching Day! ( AlBook.G4/1,5GHz/768MB/80GB.5400rpm/128MB.VRAM/Superdrive/10.3.9 )
ok, that is history! :-)
     
   
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