What Are the Signs That a MacBook Pro Is About to Die?

By Jen Cordwainer

Strange noises, unexpected crashes, and high temperatures can signal the end of your Macbook Pro.
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Sometimes a MacBook Pro will display early symptoms of impending hard drive failure and other issues, which can serve as warning signs to backup your data before a disaster. Both old and new computers can suffer from hardware damage, which may escalate into irreparable damage if they are ignored. If you notice warning signs of potential failure, immediately take measures to avoid data loss and further computer damage.

Odd Hard Drive Noises

The standard hard disk drive in the MacBook Pro uses high-speed, rotating disks to store your files. Whenever you open a document, your computer will spin through these disks to locate the precise file. However, these parts can become dislodged or misaligned, causing loud mechanical whines, clicks, or scraping noises. If the pieces containing your data become scratched, you may lose your information. Back up your data by connecting your MacBook Pro to an external hard drive. Open Time Machine from the toolbar and click "Back Up Now." If your computer begins to beep during startup or make strange mechanical noises, power it off immediately and schedule a free appointment with the Genius Bar technicians at your nearest Apple retail store. These technicians will be able to examine your computer and assess whether your hard drive is at risk.

Excessive Heat

If your computer seems unusually hot to your touch, then power it down and visit an Apple technician. This may be a symptom of a broken fan or battery issues. The MacBook Pro comes with cooling fans built in, so that your computer can operate at a safe temperature. Dust or hardware damage can cause these fans to stop working, which can lead to overheating and further hardware damage. Sometimes heat is generated by a swelling lithium ion battery, which can place pressure on components and become a safety risk. You can prevent battery swelling and damage by operating your computer in environments cooler than 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unexpected Shut Down or Restart

If your computer suddenly turns off, there may be issues with the power supply on your MacBook Pro. Test out different power cables, since it may be an issue with your charger. Sudden restarts can be a symptom of dust or hardware damage. An Apple technician can examine your computer at the Genius Bar and provide you with the next steps in repairing this issue.

Freezing During Startup

If your MacBook Pro will not boot beyond the startup screen, your hard drive might contain corrupt files or have hardware damage. You might need to repair your disk permissions by holding down "Option" during startup and selecting the "Disk Utility" application. Disk Utility will also let you erase the hard drive completely, which can remove a corrupt startup file. If the issue is hardware-related, you will need to visit the Genius Bar and find out which components need to be repaired.