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Odd Noise


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#1 Kinote

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:21 PM

For the past day or so my case has been putting out a rather alarming noise, and one that is a little difficult to describe. It's like a kind of electronic whistling/buzzing that varies in pitch and volume every so often and sometimes becomes extremely loud or vanishes all together. At one point it sounded as if something were spinning, which leads me to hope for a failing fan but perhaps a HDD or DVD-ROM. I first noticed it when the computer was working fairly hard during a game, but it now occurs at random intervals from boot, even during POST and simply sitting at the desktop. I'm currently working on some audio from a few poor quality recordings that I'll post up as soon as I can, and hopefully before this thing blows up.

I stuck my head down by the case for a moment or two but I can't seem to identify exactly where it's coming from, which is kind of odd in itself. Any ideas?

Audio recording:
The sound you're listening for starts around 2 seconds in, then the clip cuts and goes to another version that is the sound in it's more steady form rather than the first little burst.

Edited by Kinote, 12 August 2010 - 09:35 PM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:35 PM

This may sound odd, but it is based on a simple principal of physics. Take a long handled wooden or plastic spoon, hold the spoon part to your ear, place the other end on the different components to see where it is coming from. Automotive stethoscopes are used for the same type of diagnostics. Because they have mettle probes I wouldn't suggest using one for this application.

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#3 Kinote

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:13 AM

I'm positive that little trick looked even more odd than it sounded, but you're quite correct. The sound is loudest along the HD mounting rails and in particular, the drive at the bottom of the stack. With my limited experience I'll go and wager that's the failing component.

Thanks for the help.

#4 dc3

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 09:56 AM

If this is your hdd then you might wish to make sure that all of your important data is stored on removable storage, like CDs, DVDs, Flash Drives, etc.

I would suggest that you go to the hdd manufacturer's website and download their diagnostic tool and run it to determine the condition of your hdd. If you aren't sure what the manufacturer is you can download and run SIW. Scroll down the list of options in the left side panel to Storage Devices, click on this and your hdd should appear in the right side panel.

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#5 Kinote

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 04:03 PM

And the case continues. Ever since I unplugged the drive emitting the noise and solved that problem, POST seems to take ages for some reason and the computer itself seems to chug a fair bit at times and is fine for others. Two HD's dying at the same time, but both reporting fine? This keeps getting more weird as we go.

Although my primary Windows drive is a replacement I received from SeaGate a few months back for another failing drive, and I have noticed it seems to squeak/chirp every now and then, as if something were skipping or getting stuck.

Edit 1: The delay during POST appears to be when it first begins to load devices, the first being my DVDROM where it sits uncomfortably long before continuing as normal.

Edit 2: It appears my sound has taken a step off the deep end too, upon trying to play a game my headset began broadcasting a weird clicking static over the ingame music.

Edit 3: Yet another turn for the worse, I went to turn my computer on to do some more diagnostics with the HD and this time I couldn't even get to the post screen. With fans running and nothing else occuring for a moment, I was greeted with a series of beeps before I shutdown the computer once more. I'm pretty sure this thing just hates me and is now toying with my sanity.

Edited by Kinote, 16 August 2010 - 12:39 AM.


#6 dc3

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 09:16 AM

I have to admit to being tempted to take my computer down to the river and baptize it at times.

What you have described is a beep code from the motherboard. If you can recognize the pattern you should be able to look up the beep codes for that motherboard and see what it is telling you is wrong.

If you provide us with the make and model of your computer and the beep code we should be able to help you.

If this is a custom build, please provide us with the make and model of the motherboard.

Beep codes generally are a combinations of long and short beeps.

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#7 Kinote

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:27 PM

The motherboard is an ASRock 939Dual-SATA2, I believe the BIOS used for these is AMI.

The beep code appears to be as follows: Two beeps very close together, a pause, followed by 9 short beeps and then... nothing. I waited for a minute or so and the code didn't come up again, and neither did POST.

Here's another little clip I tossed up on YouTube so you can listen to the sequence yourself:

Edit 1: According to BiosCentral, 9 short beeps is a "ROM Checksum error" with the following report: The contents of the system BIOS ROM does not match the expected checksum value. The BIOS ROM is probably defective and should be replaced.

I'm quite sure this is bad in every possible way.

Edited by Kinote, 16 August 2010 - 06:20 PM.


#8 dc3

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 06:24 PM

Try clearing the CMOS, there will be a jumper on the motherboard for this purpose, usually close to the CMOS battery. The jumper will be covering two of three pins, move the jumper so that is covers the middle pin and the one that was not covered, then replace it to its original position. If you can't find this, you can remove the battery for about a minute and accomplish the same thing.

Is the clock on your computer keeping accurate time?

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#9 Kinote

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 06:32 PM

It used to keep fairly good time, but at the moment I have no idea since I can't get to anything.

#10 Kinote

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 11:40 AM

The reset appears to have had no effect, I'm still taunted by the diagnostic beep code and a blank screen. Although it should be noted that it takes a strangely long time for the code to come up, nearly as much time as the computer used to take to POST and boot entirely. Out on a limb, I'm thinking I'm going to be in the market for a new motherboard.




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