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  • Tracking down ominous noises in your PC

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Tracking down ominous noises in your PC

    This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by

     tonyl 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

    • Author
    • #1745966 Reply

      Tracey Capen
      AskWoody MVP

      By Fred Langa Strange sounds — especially abrasive or grinding noise — emanating from inside a PC are definitely cause for alarm! Here’s how to correc
      [See the full post at: Tracking down ominous noises in your PC]

    • #1746538 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      It might help to clean the mouse nest out of the case  😛

      Byte me!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1746908 Reply


      I’ve had noises that made me feel uneasy before. Like sometimes when I play a game I’ll hear a sort of buzzing. And it might stop when going to a different menu, I never could explain it. But I felt like the computer might explode.

      As for Windows Defender, I do use it, but at the same time I think it’s a good idea to supplement it with something else like Malwarebytes.

      • #1747651 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        Could it be the sound system acting up? That means something being the matter with the speakers and, maybe, also the microphone(s), their drivers and the applications used with them. It might not be necessarily serious, just something minor that sounds alarming.

        • #1747780 Reply


          I’d say it’s more of a coil whine. I probably should have clarified in my first post.

    • #1747601 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Notebook fans are troublesome, they are often inaccessible and prone to accumulating even more debris than your typical computer case fan. If you can get access, simply blowing the dust out with compressed air is a good quick fix for some noise. But I’ve found many notebook fans are often inaccessible even for a blowout unless you want to disassemble the entire machine.

      I had a close call with one noisy fan problem and it wasn’t dust that caused it. A Dell Inspiron notebook circa 2008 owned a very rattly fan pretty well right out of the box, and accessing the fan was a partial disassembly aggravation I didn’t want. I found a fix on the internet that implied removing one screw that held the fan on one side might resolve it, and sure enough with just the front speaker grill taken off for access, removing that one accessible fan screw (loosening wasn’t enough) stopped the rattling with no ill effect- it still runs rattle free and cools effectively 10 years later (5 years of Vista and 5 years of Ubuntu). Apparently the assembly process was overzealous in tightening that screw and warping the fan housing making the rattle, but removing the one screw didn’t unseat the fan at all. Thanks to the tech who figured that one out and posted the solution!

      I’ll add that for any notebook fan, you might want to run a core temperature monitoring app to check your fan’s effectiveness, noisy or not. Windows and Linux have versions.


      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1749051 Reply


        This is true. I once took a can of compressed air and cleaned out a fan on an old laptop. The amount of dust that came out was astounding. On a separate laptop, I accidentally sprayed some liquid from the can into the fan, and ended up having to send the laptop in to have the fan replaced. Good thing I sent it in when I did because the laptop’s warranty was about to expire. This was 4 years ago. I’m much more careful now.

    • #1749755 Reply


      I wish that they made an affordable workhorse like(not necessarily a portable workstation) but  serviceable regular form factor laptop for end users that need more power from their laptop. So that includes fans, and heat pipe assemblies that can be easily removed and cleaned/serviced as well as socketed  CPUs and discrete mobile/laptop GPUs that are MXM card based.

      Just give me a reasonably priced laptop with a durable laptop case that’s built like the old Nikon F body camera in design philosophy and very durable with standardized components that can be easily serviced and updated/replaced, and that includes the laptop’s keyboard and the display in that ability.

      PC’s are mostly upgradable by the nature of their design but not laptops and the laptop OEMs have had a good racket going on for years by obsoleting their laptop designs before their useful lives are over. Notebook fans and other components are more difficult to get at unless you have some of the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge Intel generation laprops, AMD also for their APUs and laptops, where the business laptops where mostly regular form factor and not Ultrabook/Thin And Light based designs.

      My Old business grade laptop(2012 model year) comes with a socketed CPU but the discrete mobile GPU is BGA and soldered to the laptop’s motherboard. With most PC’s the end users can replace/upgrade to PCs components over time but Laptops are getting less serviceable with each new model year that passes and even some laptop’s memory is not replaceable or upgradable .

      Maybe Elon Musk should get into the OEM laptop business and create a SpaceX/Whatever branded  series of upgradable/serviceable  laptops with  internal modules that can are easily upgradable by the laptop’s  end users, including the module that communicates via that Star Link Satellite service that scheduled to go online after 5-6 more launches at 60 satellites a pop(They will probably try and launch more than 60 at a time).

      Musk’s SpaceX has got some of the brightest engineers as does Tesla and Musk appears to even be branching out into the tunneling business. But I’m sure that those Tesla/SpaceX folks could engineer a better series of serviceable laptops than the current OEM’s who are more about keeping their end users on that constantly having to purchase a new laptop treadmill at great waste generated with older laptops that are too soon made obsolete before their time business model.

    • #1750747 Reply



      – Fan bearing noise (healthy and dying)

      – Water pump noise for those special systems (and that makes almost no sound with dying)

      – HDD noise of all sorts of useful and interesting diagnostic value

      – And don’t forget the high pitched whining sound a bad choke coil makes when things on the main-board or in the power supply are about to go “boom” in the uncertain future.

      – But my least favorite sound is mercifully short, but deadly. That sudden frying sound sometimes followed by a loud CRACK when a power supply takes out the entire system in a back-surge of revenge and kills your workstation. Usually followed by magic blue smoke.


      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      • #1751553 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        The water pump in an older car used to make a high-pitched continuous squeal when it was going out. The fuel filter would clog, too, but that’s another story.

        The key, here, is to listen to your equipment and know how it should operate. It’s telling you something.

        Group G{ot backup} Win7Pro · x64 · SP1 · i3-3220 · TestBeta
        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by
    • #1754731 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      I had a small “kerplunk” once – imagine a wood screw falling on a concrete floor – followed after a few seconds by a small puff of smoke from an unused case-fan aperture, a bit like someone exhaling from a cigarette. The machine, of course, went cold and dark.

      I thought, “That’s funny”. Off came the side panel and the problem revealed itself straight away. The fan had fallen off the video card and was hanging by one of its contacts; the last thing it ever did was blow the resulting smoke (the card had fried and taken the MB with it) directly out the fan aperture.

      I sourced an identical MB but you can be sure I upgraded the card…

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