I noticed a clicking noise comming from the underneath the keys around the number 5, 6 and 7 (make a circle with your thumb and pointer finger around those numbers, and thats where the sound is comming from). It mainly does it when I tilt the MBP back and forth or left and right. I turned the computer over and noticed the black foot on the front (nearest the spacebar, not the screen) left side was gone. The one on right has been missing for a while but it has a black "stick" in the center where the hole is.. But the one that I noticed is missing today doesn't have that "stick" in the hole and I can see right into the computer. I have put black duct tape over it to prevent any dirt or anything from getting in there. The noise has actually stopped, unless I tilt it forward nearly upside down..

1.) Does someone has any suggestions on what I can do to fix this myself?

2.) Is this harmful to the MBP?

3.) Is it okay that I put the duct tape on the "feet" holes tempararily?

4.) Should I try taking the bottom panel off my MBP and see if that little black stick fell inside?

P.S. - Please don't suggest going to an Apple store or Genius Bar because I'm in Laos (South East Asia) and there is none of which anywhere near me. It will be 20 days before I get somewhere that has an Apple store. Do you think the computer should be okay until then?

-Macbook Pro 13" 2009, Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5.

  • What model Macbook Pro do you own?
    – njboot
    May 10 '14 at 2:58
  • Macbook Pro 13" 2009, Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5. Just edited that to the original post as well, thanks.
    – Jake
    May 10 '14 at 3:00

1) The region you are referring to is exactly where the fan is located. This may be what is causing the noise, although it could potentially be the optical drive as well. You can find an extensive DIY guide, along with the needed components, at iFixit. See below:

enter image description here

2) You will void any warranty you have with Apple, whether it be Apple's one year limited warranty or its extended warranty (Apple Care). Additionally, Apple may refuse to service it in the event that you fail to fix the problem.

3) Yes.

4) If you are okay with (2), and are able to carefully follow the guide linked to in (1), then yes. It's very possible that either the fan is damaged or there is some small component stuck in its vicinity, rattling around. It's also possible the optical drive is damaged and would require replacement. I wouldn't advise this if you were in any warranty window, but you aren't. Make sure to have the proper screwdriver if you decide to do so.

Best of luck

  • The fan for a MBP looks like this, and if obstructed would not make a "clicking" noise, but a "whirling" or "buzzing" noise, as it spins too fast for what we'd describe as "clicking." However, perhaps that is exactly it, and something is lost in translation. Bah... you added your picture after I commented... did not mean to patronize.
    – chillin
    May 10 '14 at 3:20
  • I agree with your assessment, but the location is exactly that of the fan, not the HDD. It's also right next to the optical drive, which, when you combine the type of noise with the vicinity, may actually be the defective component. Without actually hearing anything, it's hard to identify (I didn't think you were patronizing and I have actually edited my original post accordingly).
    – njboot
    May 10 '14 at 3:22
  • If it is the optical drive, do you think this would be okay to leave until I get to an Apple store in 20 days? Or would is it worth it to take the panel off and check it out myself? (note: the warranty is expired)
    – Jake
    May 10 '14 at 3:36
  • 1
    thx njboot, it is a valid assumption. I was unable to determine the proximity of the noise from the information given or by any other method. You have very good hearing. ;-)
    – chillin
    May 10 '14 at 3:42
  • You're welcome. Insert a CD or DVD. Is the optical drive working? Do you hear any clicking/buzzing/irregular noise when doing so?
    – njboot
    May 10 '14 at 3:44

The feet help air to get under your Mac and cool it, which is essential because heat destroys just about everything a computer needs to keep working, like the processor or hard drive. The clicking noise is probably your internal harddrive beginning to fail. You should back up your data immediately and prepare to replace your hard drive, as clicking is often a good indicator that the drive is about to stop working. You can check the drive's SMART status using Disk Utility.app, but it may not report anything amiss until its too late.

You can find detailed instructions on checking the drive's SMART status here, but the meat of it is accomplished just by stealing their image, which I'll link to below.

enter image description here

  • How do I check the drive's SMART status..? I'm in Disk Utility and I dunno what to do??
    – Jake
    May 10 '14 at 3:12
  • @Jake - see my changes; you don't have to do much, just select your boot drive and look at the bottom right of the Disk Utility window.
    – chillin
    May 10 '14 at 3:17
  • It says that the SMART status is "verified"... The clicking noise actually hasn't happened since I put duct tape over the "feet" holes... Any idea why that might have stopped it?
    – Jake
    May 10 '14 at 3:32
  • If it was the hard drive clicking, it does not necessarily mean the hard drive will definitly fail, but is only an indicator that it is a good possibility, and is likely a part of some mechanical process to prevent catastrophic failure. On the wiki page linked, there is an audio example of what hard drive clicking sounds like in ogg format... which might be difficult to listen to from a mac without vlc.
    – chillin
    May 10 '14 at 3:45
  • Okay, well I just listened to that on the link, and it is nothing like that. The click on mine sounds more inconsistent and less like a mechanism trying to work. Kinda sounds like it might be the fan or something bouncing in the fan now that I've heard that noise on the link.. and if it was something in the fan, it might explain why it's not happening anymore, because maybe it dislodged itself.
    – Jake
    May 10 '14 at 4:18

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