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Computer Getting Louder


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#1 Bub12

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 12:03 AM

Hello,

My machine has become quite loud over the past few months. By loud I am referring to the fans...I think. Even when nothing is running, it sounds as if the computer is exerting itself. It quiets a bit at times. It's not as if I can't hear myself talk, but the machine used to run much quieter. Also, if I try to start in safe mode, the fans? run extremely loud & never return to normal, to the point where it begins to smell like somethings burning, if I let it go long enough. It is normal for the machine to make some additional noise on start-up, but this is ridiculous.

Any ideas?

Thanks

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#2 Guest_The weatherman_*

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 12:56 AM

Hello Bub12,

You may find the interior of you machine needs a good clean, take a look here for more information. :thumbsup:

#3 Bub12

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 12:32 PM

Ok...so what to do when its clean & still sounds the same? :thumbsup: remembering how it behaves in safe mode.

Thanks

#4 hamluis

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 12:42 PM

You probably need to remove the cover...and verify exactly where the noise is coming from. There should be several fans in a system.

Fan bearings can go bad, the simple solution is to replace the fan...except when it's the power supply fan. I don't suggest fooling around with that.

Case fans are very inexpensive items to replace.

The first step is to locate the exact origin of the pronounced noise.

Louis

#5 Guest_The weatherman_*

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 01:56 PM

Ok...so what to do when its clean & still sounds the same? :thumbsup:

Reply here. :flowers:

#6 Bub12

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 01:25 PM

OK...I cleaned out the unit. Wasn't really that dirty. I am having a difficult time locating the exact source of the noise. Cannot determine if revving up noise is coming from case fan or power supply fan or the fans at all. Could something else sound as if it's winding out?

Thanks

#7 techextreme

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 01:59 PM

You stated that it smelled like something was "burning".

Can you tell us what make/model your computer is?

I know some of the newer HP's and Dell's will keep the fans running a maximum speed when in "safe mode" as the Advanced Power Management functions do not apply in "safe mode".

If you think that is may be your power supply fan, a simple test ( although not real scientific and not 100% correct ) is to put your hand on the top rear of the computer while it is running and check for excessive heat from the power supply. If you feel that excessive heat, then it's a good indication that you may have a power supply fan that has started to "spin down" because of bearing wear. This will allow the power supply to get hot enough to start to smell like "something's burning".

You may also want to take a look at the back of your computer, while it's running and making the most amount of noise, if you can pin point it with your ear up to the power supply fan ( make sure it's not really hot or you risk getting burned ). Get close to it with your ear but not "directly against" the power supply.

Another indication will be a vibration very close to the fan that is defective. You may have a socket 7/370/478/754 and so on type processor with the heatsink and fan assembly sitting directly on top of the processor. Put your finger directly next to the plastic surrounding the fan ( again being careful not to burn/injure yourself ) and feel for strong vibrations.

Somewhere in there you should find a fan that is making the noise.

Good Luck,
Techextreme

"Admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail."

-- Seneca

#8 Bub12

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 07:09 PM

Thanks Tech,

It's a Gateway w/ XP Home that I purchased new in '07 although on the back of the unit it says '05 Edition. I already did everything you suggested except to check that vibration. I had it apart while it was running & powered up in Safe Mode so as to diagnose the noise & still couldn't tell where the noise was coming from. It sounds more like a winding or revving up...am assuming it's fans. Now, I did not take anything apart while I was inside so I could only see 2 fans, the ps & the case fans. The ps fan doesn't blow much air & is quiet and the power supply seems cool. Now that I put the unit back together & really got my ear up to the fans, it seems to be the case fan.

Now, just to clarify.... this thing usually revs up when performing tasks. The more going on, the louder it gets. Is it the case fan that revs at such times?

Thanks!

#9 techextreme

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 10:33 PM

Alot of Gateway machines have a plastic cover over the CPU fan that directs air either in through or out the rear case fan. If you can pick that up ( some will "pivot" up ) and take a look at the processor fan my bet is that the fan and also the heatsink under the fan have a bunch of dust packed in them. As you stated, the machine "revvs" up when running tasks. That would be a good indication that the processor is starting to heat up and that fan is spinning faster to push or pull more air past the processor heatsink to cool it off.

If when you clean that dust and dirt out of that fan, you still find it making noise, I would suggest replacing the cpu fan and heatsink assembly as it's cheap insurance for the cost of a replacement.

Good Luck,
Techextreme

"Admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail."

-- Seneca

#10 Bub12

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:40 PM

Tech,

and take a look at the processor fan my bet is that the fan and also the heatsink under the fan have a bunch of dust packed in them


Any chance you could be a bit more specific as to where this heatsink assembly actually is? I think I am confused. I have never been into hardware. In regards to the fan, I assume you are referring to the 3.5-4" fan assy in the middle of the rear panel. There is only one more fan that I can see which is above that fan which is the fan for the power supply, I think. I just want to be sure because I do not believe that anything "flips up". I think it is held in place with 4 screws. I will need to take the side panel off again to see.

There is a pic here that resembles my machine http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/cleaning-the-inside-of-your-pc/

The pic indicates a CPU fan & heatsink. I didn't notice a fan inside the unit other than the 2 blowing out the back. ???

Thanks!

PS- I AM IN THE UNIT NOW... There is a large green cover with a handle, near the front of the unit. I am guessing I need to pull that off which will reveal more! Green cover houses another fan & there is a whole lot of dust under there.

Edited by Bub12, 23 June 2009 - 11:59 PM.


#11 Bub12

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:35 AM

OK...GOOD NEWS!

I, of course, do feel a bit like an idiot but that aside, the machine is running quietly again, as it used to, at least so far. I haven't been on it long since the cleaning but it barely made a sound on start up, which has not been typical & has been running extremely quiet.

I did notice that when I initially opened the unit again the heatsink/fins were hot. What I finally realized is that the fan making most of the noise was behind the large green plastic cover & sucked air in from the front of the unit, over the heatsink & then was drawn out the back by the case fan. My other machine is more sealed & does not draw in air through the front of the machine. The case fan at the rear of the unit seemed to pick up speed because the fan that was supposed to draw in in from the front, could not as the vents at the front of the unit, behind the front plastic fascia, were completely clogged, which I did not notice during my initial cleaning! So two fans were working overtime, so it seems. When the fans are working properly, is the heatsink supposed to get hot at all & what is the heatsinks function? Do you think any damage was done as a result of the lack of air for some months?

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP... IT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Edited by Bub12, 24 June 2009 - 01:37 AM.


#12 techextreme

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:34 AM

That's great to hear that you found the source of your problems.

The heatsink on the processor is used to dissipate heat from the processor itself. Most processors are quite small when it comes to heat dissipation surface area. The additional heatsink that is placed on top of the processor pulls that heat away from the processor and dissipates it away via use of air from the fans. This is turn helps to keep the processor at a reasonable operating temperature and keeps it from burning up. Most processors other than some very old 486's require a heatsink to keep their cool.

Do I think there was any damage caused? To be honest, it's hard to tell without running a battery of tests on the physical machine but my best advice would be, if it's still running good, not blue screening, and working in the very same if not almost identical manner as before, then your computer should be just fine.

Hope this helps,
Techextreme

"Admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail."

-- Seneca

#13 Bub12

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:26 AM

techextreme,

You have been terrific! Not only your guidance but with your patience in the way you went about explaining. I appreciate your lack of sarcasm & condescension for those of us who don't know what we're doing. :-)

Thanks again!

#14 techextreme

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:42 AM

Thanks, I appreciate that.

You're very welcome.

Edited by techextreme, 24 June 2009 - 10:43 AM.

Techextreme

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-- Seneca

#15 Chris_com28

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:35 PM

Thanks for the link on PC cleaning, I'm having a similar problem. :thumbsup:




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