computer making funny noises


If the fans are not running, the computer will not be running for very long. If a power supply fan is not running fast enough, the computer will act very strangely. if a CPU fan is not running, the CPU will overheat, and if it is a newer machine, the computer will shut itself down to protect the CPU. If it is an older machine, the computer will act very strangely. If you hear your computer making strange noises, it is probably a fan, hard drive, Zip drive (if you have one), or optical drive motor. Usually these things dont happen.

computer noises
noise what it is
clicking noise hard drive, Zip drive
high-piched whine hard drive, HP cpu fan
loud buzzing noises optical drive,fan (could be case fan, PSU fan, CPU fan), defective recalled HP m9340f video card (nvidia 9500GT)

clicking noise

  • The clicking noise usually means that a hard drive is dying. However, I got a new hard drive that clicks once in a long while and it seems to run fine otherwise (it is a hard drive reset I think).
  • With a zip drive clicking either means that the drive is dead (if it does the same thing with any media) or if it acts differently with different media, that that particular media is bad and you have to throw the media out.

high-pitched whine

  • this is a hard drive that has either crashed, is dead or is pretty much there.
  • if the whine gets faster and faster and louder and louder, chances are it's an HP cpu fan that's clogged (it is possible that it may be other companies too). Oil the fan with one drop of oil (by this time, it probably needs it). use tweezers or a small thin wire grabber tool to grab at the chunks of dirt in the cpu fins if that is possible, or even better, use an old toothbrush to carefully scoop the junk out of the cpu fins. you will have to unscrew and remove the CPU fan from the heatsink fins first. make note of which side of the fan is up (very important!).

loud buzzing noises

  • I have an optical drive that makes an awful buzzing racket. in the same machine the power supply has a fan that also buzzes until the fan "warms up". That means both of these items need to be replaced (the power supply and the optical drive). Nowadays the only type of optical drive available is a DVD drive or a blu-ray drive. Yes, you can replace a cdrom with a DVD burner, there are no compatibility problems.
  • unbalanced cd's or dvd's (typically mass-manufactured read-only) can vibrate. this vibrates your optical drive, and especially in laptops, can also vibrate your hard drive, and if you happen to be writing to the hard drive during the buzz, you can end up with sectors where the head smacks against the platter or just gets too close or too far away from the platter and you get write and read errors. reformatting your hard drive and reinstalling your operating system will fix these problems, or if that is something you want to put off and you don't mind losing some data, you can try [windows-logo-flag-key]-R chkdsk c: /f /r and then answer y when it says filesystem is locked and asks if you want to fix the filesystem on reboot. then restart the computer. I have learned that sometimes the registry and system restore can be affected if you don't quickly remove a bad disc.
  • Another thing that causes buzzing noises is the HP m9340f (nvidia 9500gt) video card. HP support has finally recognized the buzzing noise as not being normal and has worked with MSI to offer replacement video cards, but only under certain conditions. youtube video of the fan noise, HP forum posts on this issue.

Lost Hard Drive Data?

  • There are Hard Drive Data Recovery shops with a clean room in town usually, but they are expensive. $250-500 last time I looked. There are also places online that do it for a fee. I am not one of them and am too poor to afford it. forensic may be your best bet, but most expensive. you may need company with a "clean room" if your hard drive has crashed (whine, clicking, or won't spin), since hard drives can only be opened in a clean room environment. this does NOT mean a vaccuumed house!
  • Stellar Phoenix NTFS Recovery software. plug your drive into another computer, and run thisd software to recover your data. $70 I don't know how this program reacts to bad sectors.
  • bad sectors?'s spinrite software. $90 can read marginal sectors.