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Thread: Help! There's this noise...

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Help! There's this noise...

    While I do alright with the software, I am not a person who knows much about computer hardware. Oh, sure, I can follow the instructions to add a card or plug in new pieces, but when something is wrong, I haven't much of a clue what to do.

    When I turned my computer on this morning, it began humming loudly. I continues to do so. I have tried the usual fixes - turning it off and on again, and whacking it a few times - but nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any ideas?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    While I do alright with the software, I am not a person who knows much about computer hardware. Oh, sure, I can follow the instructions to add a card or plug in new pieces, but when something is wrong, I haven't much of a clue what to do.

    When I turned my computer on this morning, it began humming loudly. I continues to do so. I have tried the usual fixes - turning it off and on again, and whacking it a few times - but nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any ideas?
    There is nothing placed on the computer case is there?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Nope. Nothing at all different from before.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Your computer has him frog in it.

    Geek Croak Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Is it a warbaling sound or more of a scraping or screaming sound?

    In the former case, it's probably a fan on its last leg, if it's the latter, it's probably a hard drive. Those are the only things in your computer that will make noise.

    Open it up and put your ear up close to the drives and fans and see which is making the noise. If it's a fan, they're really cheap but if you leave them, something much more expensive could burn up. If it's the drive, get a new one and copy everything over *right away*, it could fail at any minute.

    By the way, there's a fan in the power supply (the metal box with all of the warnings on it saying not to open it). Be sure to put your ear up against it too to see if it's the culprit.

    One time, my computer started making a very high-pitched buzzing sound. Upon opening it, I found a wire had fallen against the CPU fan. All I had to do is tape the wire so it didn't make contact with the fan.

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    jordanb is right. I'd have to know if the humming is in addition to noises that you would normally hear in the computer, like a hard drive whine, or did it replace something else?

    Crack open the case, find an empry towel or toilet paper roll, and listen around.

    CPU fan: replace it ASAP. Your CPU will die within a few seconds if it's not properly cooled.

    Power supply fan: they're hard to replace, and you might have to get a new power supply. I've had power supplies die on me, but it wasn't due to lack of cooling. Still, though, it's a critical part to keep cool, and if that fan dies, there may or may not be additional damage to other components. Replace it with a good name brand (Antec, Enermax, Zalman, Sparkle); the heavier and more solid, the better.

    Case fan: not that critical. Replace it as time permits, but consider that computers are more prone to hardware problems if the case interior is hot. Get the quietest fan you can find, preferably less than 22 db or so.

    Hard drive: start backing stuff up now. Buy a second hard drive, copy all your files from the old drive to the new, swap master and slave, and reinstall the OS and all programs to the new drive. If your hard drive is clicking, it's on its last legs.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    It is the fan on the power supply. Now I just have to figure out what I can replace it with.

    As for backing up, I bought an external drive a couple months ago and regularly transfer a copy of all my files onto it.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Your computer has him frog in it.

    Geek Croak Bear
    Gawd damn it, don't you are start this. I will find the humming problem.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    It is the fan on the power supply. Now I just have to figure out what I can replace it with.

    As for backing up, I bought an external drive a couple months ago and regularly transfer a copy of all my files onto it.
    get at least a 300 w power supply. less than that can't power many devices which will lower the number of new devices you can install in it.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I requested that the good people (i.e., idiots) at Gateway technical support recommenda replacement power supply, and they sent me back a nice letter saying that the computer is no longer under warranty (that's not what I asked...).

    I will be making a trip to Circuit City or CompUSA this afternoon. So tell, me is there anything special I should know about picking out a power supply? Does it have to be matched to my computer in any particular way?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    The basic rule with power supplies, like all other computer parts, is "don't buy the cheapest one in the store" After having a few power supplies go to power supply heaven, (one's fan actually seized up such that I couldn't even turn it with my hand! causing the caps to promptly blow, thankfully before something more expensive in my computer could be destroyed) I bought an Antec supply because I had heard very good things about them. It's been working for a few years now and I'm pretty happy with it.

    Antec aren't cheap though. A 300W supply will set you back ~$40, iirc.

    ATX has been the standard for power supplies for a long time, so every supply in the store will probably be ATX. Unless your computer is ancient, it's ATX too, so compatability should not be a problem.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Minimum of 250 Watt

    Minimum 250 watt and 300watt ideal with new cooling.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Just in case your computer is ancient, the way to tell if it's AT (the old standard) is if the power button is a big, mechanical job that physically pushes a lever inside the power supply. If it's a little, electronic button thats connected to the mobo, then it's ATX.

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