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Old 12-05-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
Bridget
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Diagnose this comp start-up noise.

A few months back, I was greeted with an unusual sound from my computer case upon start-up. It was a loud revving noise that progressively got worse and worse. I shut down my computer immediately, which remedied the problem, allowing me a successfully silent start-up the next try. I thought nothing of it. Then, it began to get worse and worse. Not in terms of intensity, but in terms of how often it happened. One week it seemed to happen every other day. It was a loud revving noise originating from the front of my case, where the hard-drive and optical-drives are located. This sound could start up immediately noticeable or it could progressively get worse and worse. It seemed to die down over time, but I could encourage it to die down prematurely by whacking the top of my case or giving it minor shakes.

The first time, I considered it was hard-drive failure, and prepared for having to purchase a replacement drive. However, the problem seemingly disappeared out of thin air for months. Now, it has resurfaced. The hard-drive failure theory does not fly well with me, though. My computer functions fine despite the sound. There’s no clicking, there’s no metallic tapping, nothing! In fact, my computer works fine even when the sound is present. You would imagine there would be some side-effects if it were a consequence of a dying hard-drive. But, I have seen none so far. Everything works as it always has. There are no missing files. Nothing of that sort.

I considered two temperature explanations. I have Windows set to increase my video card’s fan speed to 70% upon OS start-up. Otherwise, the card begins at standard 35-40%. I wondered if maybe the computer shutting down with the video card at 70% then being start-up at 40% could have produced this effect. However, toying with the fan speeds during the sound’s presence produced nothing. It’s not the video card fan speed. The second temperature explanation is that, because my house stays very cold, my components are often starting up at a base temperature of 15-30c. I considered the sudden change of temperature as being taxing on my components, but that makes little sense.

Then, there’s the partition problem. I have both Windows and Ubuntu on this machine. I routinely switch between the two. Windows is for gaming and watching Netflix. Linux is for everything else. Perhaps a coincidence, but I think this problem becomes more of one when I switch between operating systems. Sometimes, I spend months on Windows straight. Then, I get tired of Windows being a piece of shit, and I spend a month straight in Linux. Could this OS-switching (which can occur from day to day at times) be taxing on my hard-drive or some shit? I also had considered Ubuntu’s shutdown as a culprit. The shutdown is somewhat instant, even if all the dots on the shutdown screen are not lit. I was told, however, by multiple people, that this was not a problem. It’s also a defeated argument, as I can get this effect after a lengthy Windows shutdown as well. Then, I considered how quickly I turn my power supply unit and surge protector off after shutdown as perhaps a part of the problem. Nope. Seems to show up regardless of how I manage these two items.

Last, my video card is fucking gimped. It came fucked up, and I was reluctant to return it because I would be without a computer for weeks waiting for the fags to give me a new card, and it would just be a refurb’d piece of shit anyway, and I had already dealt with that with Logitech sending me a “replacement” G5 that simply zero’d out if I tried to move it too quickly on the pad. I found out that heavily underclocking my card and using performance-enhancing configurations for Team Fortress 2, I can play games without crashes. However, my processor seemingly picks up the slack of my card, clocking in temperatures during play at 90-100c. I routinely played at these temperatures for hours on end or in hourly bursts. This would also link up with my OS switching theory, as the only real reason I would go on Windows is to play games. Perhaps this is all taxing on my hard-drive?

Sorry for the wall-o-text. I want to familiarize you with the insane theories I have conjured up trying to figure this problem out, and to prevent you giving me advice on shit I have already considered and ruled out. Short is that this problem only occurs at start-up. It never shows up later. It seems to come from the front of the case, where the hard-drive is located. However, my hard-drive shows no signs of wear. It works as if I just bought it. There’s no missing files, no metallic clicking, none of that at all. It’s simply upon start-up. Whacking my case or shaking it temporarily denies the sound, which can build up or instantly hit full-force. I considered all the fans, but none of them seemed to respond to tapping or anything that would slow them, even though after the computer shuts down, the revving seems to linger, only to slowly die out as if it were something that was once spinning quickly coming to a sudden stop. I have no clue what it is.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:11 PM   #3
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Have you tried cleaning the thing out?
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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Cleaned out how? Physically? Cleaned it out a few weeks ago.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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Hmmm open the case up and listen to figure out where its coming from?
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:56 PM   #6
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Could you record and upload the sound for us to hear?
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixel View Post
Hmmm open the case up and listen to figure out where its coming from?
I did that. It's at the front, where my hard-drive and cd-rom drive are located, right behind two 120mm fans.

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Could you record and upload the sound for us to hear?
No means. But, it does sound a lot like:


It just isn't as grindy sounding for me. It's more of a fan-like whirring or revving.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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Cleaned out how? Physically? Cleaned it out a few weeks ago.
Yes. I meant physically.... but you've done that recently(as you've said). How old are the drives? It could be that they are going up. I'd start by making a backup and replacing them, just to see if it stops. If not, you've eliminated a possibility.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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It almost sounds like the sound some of my old fans made in the past.

Sometimes I could tap them or flick them and the sound would stop and some times wouldn't return for hours, days or even weeks. I replaced the fans and everything was good again.

Start isolating things. If you can disable the fans for a little bit to rule them out. Or if you can just stop the fan from moving while system is on just to see if the fans are the ones making the noise. (thats one of the things I did to see which fan it was at the time that was making the noise).
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I did that. It's at the front, where my hard-drive and cd-rom drive are located, right behind two 120mm fans.
Sounds like a loose fan or the fan just fucked up.

Last edited by Pixel; 12-05-2010 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:52 AM   #11
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My sisters crapbook (MacBook, Eat it ricey) was makin this sound for a while, although at a different pitch (higher), and it eventually went away.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #12
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Check the history on your computer. Sounds likes its been sleeping around with the other comps in the house... Electro-Gonorrhea... the noisy killer
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