Is Your Computer Making Noise? Time For A Computer Checkup
Summary: This 3-minute article addresses the causes of abnormal sounds coming from computers. Find out how to analyze the source of the sounds and fix it. Contact GEEKAID Computer and Network Support at https://www.geek-aid.com/ for more comprehensive business IT solutions and to discuss your SMB’s IT support needs.
As we barrel through our workdays, we rarely think very much about our computers as long as they are fully functional. Computer repairs are not on our radar until something breaks down. However, when you find you’re repeatedly asking yourself, “Why is my computer so loud?” it is time to stop, look up from your screen and figure out the source of the noise. Powered-up computers are rarely completely silent. But when your computer is making strange noises that continue and gradually become louder, it could be a sign of something more severe and debilitating happening to your machine. Most often, unwanted sounds from PCs are related to the hard drive or the cooling fan. Here are some things to listen and watch for:
- Loud Whirring Noise – A whirring sound is usually from an over-working fan. Depending on the fan's size, the higher pitch and the more grating the noise will be. Sometimes, take a break to close some open programs running in the background and give your computer a little time to rest and cool off.
- Check to see if the fan needs cleaning or replacing. For example, a grimy fan clogged with dust can start to malfunction and overheat. On the other hand, if your PC is on but idle and the fan’s still making strange sounds, it could be overheating. Blowing out the fan with compressed air, wiping it clean and lubricating it can sometimes be a quick fix.
- A Clicking Sound From Computers – A “dying” hard drive sometimes makes a constant clicking, low-pitched grinding and sometimes a thumping noise. If you hear these sounds, you should stop working, back up all your data and consult an IT Maintenance professional as soon as possible. If you’re lucky, the sound might be coming from a loose component or malfunctioning fan. But it is not wise to wait until your hard drive fails to get an analysis from IT experts.
- Phantom Speaker Noise – It is not normal for speakers to make noise when no audio is playing. The most common cause is a loose audio cable or feedback from internal components. Also, electromagnetic fields can sound like interference on speakers. The good news is that phantom speaker sounds are unlikely to be a sign of more significant problems.
- Screeching and Buzzing aka “Coil Whine” – Sometimes, when the internal components of a PC are working hard, they start to vibrate. At specific frequencies, the coil whine will become audible and sound like a high-pitched screech or loud buzzing noise.
- DVD Drive Noise – When a disk drive is accessed, it is normal for it to make a light whirring sound. However, if you are not using the drive, it is worth checking to ensure there is no disk in the drive that you’ve forgotten.
- Noisy Power Supply – Power supplies provide power, but they also have a fan to cool the computer. Therefore, a bad power supply or a dirty fan can contribute to significant overheating. If cleaning the fan doesn’t alleviate the issue, it is likely that you will have to replace the power supply.
- Monitor Popping or Clicking – When you are using your computer under normal conditions, if the monitor pops, flashes or clicks, the monitor might be on its way out. If an IT expert examines your monitor and cannot fix it, you should replace the monitor before it fails or worse, becomes a fire hazard.
- Laptops and Grinding Noise – For laptops, a grinding noise can be very serious. It could be a sign that your laptop’s hard drive read-write head is touching the disc platter. This contact can cause permanent damage to the drive. Often “clicking” starts before “grinding,” so if your laptop starts to click, it’s time to back up your data and seek professional computer repair from an IT expert.
- Chiming Sounds – With everyday use, a computer makes a “chime” sound when any peripheral device is connected or disconnected. Also, malfunctioning and incompatible peripherals might cause your PC to chime repeatedly. Disconnect all your peripheral devices and reconnect them one by one to determine which is malfunctioning.
Many users listen to strange sounds coming out of their machines and ignore them for far too long until they can’t bear the distraction or their computer malfunctions and they can’t work. Understanding the various sounds a computer can make is essential, especially when they are signs of computer failure. You need not be a techy to realize the significance of each noise and know when it is time to seek help. By ensuring that you have a basic understanding of what different sounds mean, you may be able to fix an oncoming computer issue before your system fails. Early detection could save you a lot of money and keep your computer from going down completely.