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Sudden buzzing sound?


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#1 Toony

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

Today I turned on my computer to be greeted with a loud "BZZZZZZ" choppy sort of buzzing sound. The computer ran and booted fine but from the case was this very loud abnormal sound. I opened the case to look at the side panel and CPU fans and make sure nothing was caught in them but it didn't seem to be coming from them. Theres another fan in the front but I couldn't easily check it out. I shut down and restarted and the sound stopped, mostly. As the computer runs now I hear a sound that sounds much like the noise before, but just much much quieter (down to a hum) that sounds normal to the computer running and hasn't started happening again.

The sound to me did sound like something to do with a fan but I'm not an expert. I know it's really not possible to diagnose a problem by just the description of a sound, but does anyone have any idea what the issue is or if I should be worried?

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#2 dc3

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

The principal of sound transmitted through a solid object has been used by mechanics for a long time. They use a modified stethoscope (it has a metal rod rather than the diaphragm) to locate noises in a engine. I explain this because I'm going to suggest something similar to find out where the noise is coming from.

The next time you hear this noise open the case and take a long handled wooden or plastic spoon and place the handle end against different location and press your ear to the spoon end. When you place it against the offending component it will be much louder than other locations.

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#3 Toony

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:34 AM

Update: I THINK the sound is coming from the CPUFan, possibly the GPU fan. Atleast that's my best guess from the spoon method. It's hard to tell though since they're inches from each other. It's much louder at start up though and then gradually becomes lower afterwards. At start up it's VERY loud and grindy, though.

Should I just replace the fan? It doesn't seem like any wires are hitting it, by the way.

Edited by Toony, 27 November 2012 - 11:41 AM.


#4 dc3

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:55 AM

A lot of these fans us a sleeve type bearing which can fail sooner than other types.

If this noise is coming from the CPU fan you can try one thing which may prolong its failure. On the surface there usually is a paper or foil disc which covers the bearing. If you pry it up and can see a small hole under it apply a very small drop of machine oil, like 3 In One. The best method I've tried is to use the fine point of a toothpick to apply the oil. It should be obvious that you need to place the case on its side to do this, and that the computer should be unplugged while you do this.

If you replace the fan and have to remove the heat sink from the CPU you will need to reapply the thermal compound which will include cleaning both surfaces first.


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