MacBooks forum

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My MacBook gets hot and the fan runs full-speed when idle!

by grtgrfx / October 19, 2008 7:56 AM PDT

I have an early 2008 Black MacBook with 4GB of RAM and the stock 160GB hard drive. Sometimes, when I have only Mail and Safari open and am just browsing emails, the fan starts to run full speed, and the internal temperature reaches 180

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Check this.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 19, 2008 8:04 AM PDT

Make sure that there are no obstructions in the vents on the case.
Believe it or not, one of the overheating problems on the Macbook was caused by a strip of protective film that was over the vents below the screen. Check there too.


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Nope, it's just sitting...
by grtgrfx / October 19, 2008 8:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Check this.

around unobstructed on a table. Now if Apple were stupid enough to put vents on the bottom of a laptop, I'd be in trouble, lol!

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Targus Chillmat
by LSharken / October 24, 2008 4:28 PM PDT

I had a very similar problem. I bought one of the Targus Chill Mats with two fans it in, and I have not had any more problems since I started using it. They're fairly inexpensive and you can find them for about $25 at Circuit City or similar stores. They're frequently on sale. It plugs into the USB port. The computer sits on top of it, and the fans run when the computer is on. It really does the job to keep the computer cool. I haven't had the internal fan go on even once since I started using it a few years ago. The older models of the Chill Mat are thinner and flatter, but the new ones are a bit thicker and the fans are bigger and stronger. That's the better one to get, in my opinion. It's definitely worth the investment. Hope this helps!

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Laptop fan runs
by wcrutcher / October 24, 2008 10:07 PM PDT
In reply to: Targus Chillmat

I assume you have the widget that gives you the temp information.

I had a similar problem with a new iMac and it had a faulty temperature sensor.

I would suggest you take it to an Apple store and get it fixed while it is in warranty.

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I'll bet you're right about a faulty temperature sensor...
by grtgrfx / October 25, 2008 2:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Laptop fan runs

I will go to an Apple store and ask to check the temp sensor. They'll probably need to send it to the repair depot though, which means I'll be without the laptop for up to a week.

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Same Issue
by madeinak79 / October 25, 2008 11:40 AM PDT

I recently had the same issue. I took my MacBook Pro to the Apple store. They ran a full diagnostic on it, and it came back clear. They told me that yes, MacBook's get hot, that is why they are called portable and not laptops. The "Genius" I dealt with told me that some people do use those cooling pads, but they aren't really necessary. Apparently the MacBooks were designed to dissipate heat through the case, so if they are on a flat solid surface they perform better. Since I got mine back I've been more cognizant of how often I use it on my lap, and how often I leave it sitting on a table. With it being on a table more it hasn't been nearly as hot. Oh, and I was also told not to waste my money on a lap table with fans in it, a cutting board works just fine.

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by adscram14 / November 7, 2008 8:17 PM PST

This might not seem like help...but call 1-800-MY-APPLE. I have a late 2007 black MacBook that cracked and I called them and they told me I was out of phone warranty, but he let me talk. They told me to ship it to them or to take it to my local Apple store. I took it to the Apple store, and it was fixed.

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by Norseman_IV / November 12, 2008 11:08 PM PST

I have experienced the same issue lately with my late 2007 MacBook. Just cannot remember which SW update for which app I installed previous to the problem. I am running MS Office apps, Mail & Safari simultaneously - and the problem goes away when quitting the browser. Some processor-intensive web pages makes the fan start, but it keeps on going long after I close them, so it might be something going on in the background that should have been closed down. Just speculating - but the fan turns off when Safari is closed.

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