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Elusive Vibration


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#1 Bit_Byte_Bit

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 06:52 PM

Hello BC, unsurprisingly I am here to ask your advice.
I have a rather new gaming PC, I built it last Christmas. For a majority of its existence it has not had any problems, however one day something happened. I had played Skyrim and other things on it before, and had been for some time, and while it had been spinning up its fans and all the other things a machine does when a load of activity is placed on it, nothing unexpected had happened. Then, during a somewhat graphically intense fight, this sound occurs that I had never before heard. It is a rapidly repeating monotonic buzz that occurs not when a game, for example FEZ, starts but after some time in game.
 
I think it is caused by a fan because they are, besides my hard drive, the only moving parts and they spin faster and faster as length of game-play and intensity of game-play generate more and more heat in the components.
 
I opened by computer and found that a caseing for the GPU was lose, I tightened it up and and checked the other fans (CPU, case, couldn't get at the Power supply fan) and they seemed firmly anchored.
 
Reassembling the machine I tried to play FEZ and things were going ok, then the sound came again.
 
I got OpenHardwareMonitor and tried to set each fan in turn to its highest level to see what the result was so as to isolate the thing that caused the sound. It isn’t the GPU fan I think as I set that to 100% and could hear it going but there was no buzz. However I do not know that I was able to actually change the speeds of the other fans for while I did raise other fan “controls” to 100% I did not detect, in either the read outs or by sound, a rise in their activity.
 
So, any ideas? Do you think I am right about it being a fan? The computer runs and has run normally at non game levels so it seems to be triggered by some such load. It did not always happen, so what changed? Is there another piece of software you recommend that might give me definite control over the other fans so as to test them (Note: speedFan makes my computer freeze necessitating restart)? I didn't even see the power supply on the hardware list in OpenHardwareMonitor, maybe I didn't look long enough. While the inside is not very dusty I am going to give it a through air blasting. I do not think any cables are being pulled into the fans though this kind of bicycle spoke sound is not far from what I hear.
 
If I have unknowingly committed some breach of forum protocol please let me know or if I missed this being covered in another post despite my searches please direct me to it, thank you in advance for any assistance rendered.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 21 October 2014 - 07:16 PM.
moved from Computer Gaming to the appropriate forum


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#2 dicke

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:48 PM

Hi,

When you were checking on the fan housings did you also check on the blades? Dirty, a bit of shaft looseness, or anything that might indicate that high speed spinning might be a problem?

Keep us posted

 

Dick


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#3 Bit_Byte_Bit

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 01:16 PM

I looked at the blades, there was a bit of dust on them, a thin layer, not a gray visible layer but a film. I cleaned it as best I could, haven't gotten to the store yet for the compressed air. I will go back and see if there is any apparent shaft looseness. I did open it this morning and there was flex in all of the fans, but is that bad, it seemed normal, the plastic bends a bit, and all of the fans I could get too (4/5, the 5th is in the power supply, 2 of the 5 run in tandem on the GPU) had it to some degree. I still think its a fan, since they change physically when the computer is under a heavy load, but I still am not able to test all the fans as the software I have only seems able to control one.



#4 mmd123

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 04:44 PM

try using speedfan and cranking each fan up to 100% and see if you notice the sound from any of the fans, now granted, not all the fans will spin up when you do that, especially if there is not a fan plugged into the port that you are adjusting, but speedfan allows you to crank up each pwm enabled fan that is plugged into a specific port, so try that and see if you notice which device is causing that noise.  speedfan might be what you need, also try the gpu's fan with speedfan, I believe personally that it might be either the cpu fan, or the gpu fan, because under gaming, those are the two most taxed common pieces of equipment that get hotter under gaming loads.

 

my thoughts personally are that its going to be either the cpu of the gpu that are the culpret here.  I may be wrong, but thus is my two cents on the matter.



#5 Bit_Byte_Bit

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 08:12 PM

Thank you mmd, I concur with your suspicions. Unfortunately my computer (at least with the last download, perhaps a newer or older version might not cause this) will enter a freeze when I use SpeedFan from which I cannot escape without resorting to a button pressing reboot. I will try again with the tools I have and any things similar to SpeedFan that you can mention will be most appreciated. I have briefly set the GPU fans to 100% and while I could hear them working, I could not hear the rattling; perchance I need to leave them up there longer. I think my suspicions now fall most heavily on the CPU fan. Though it would be nice to have a tool to test all thoroughly.



#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 10:41 AM

Well, I have this problem all the time with units that are brought in. A "quick & dirty" method that I use with regular case fans is to lightly press on the center of the rotating fan (not the blades of course) and slow it down. If the noise stops or changes you have found your culprit. Note that this is done only for a second, not for any length of time. If the housing allows, this will also work for the CPU fan. Sometimes I must remove the protective outer wiremesh (if it has one) and they normally have 4 screws holding it on. No harm will be done to the fan because you are only doing it for a very brief time. This has save me hours of hunting.

Another fan that is easy to forget is the power supply fan; I just this week had a unit come in and the client was convinced that he needed a new computer. It was just the power supply fan bearings were dry and squeeling, so I removed the PS fan, put a few drops of 3 in 1 oil on it and packed the axle space with Lithium grease, and it is now totally quiet.

Just a thought...

[EDIT]: I forgot... I often use an old auto mechanic's trick to find a "sound" on a car engine; take a metal rod (even a screwdriver if you have nothing else), place one end on the component you are checking and the other end against your ear. After a few times you will know generally what sound is normal and what sound is abnormal. I do this to check for fan vibration in the power supply.


Edited by ranchhand_, 24 October 2014 - 11:08 AM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#7 dicke

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 12:41 PM

Recommendation; clean the grease off the screwdriver handle BEFORE placing it against your ear


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 02:10 PM

:lol:


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#9 Bit_Byte_Bit

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 09:09 AM

Thank you, I will try these and report the results.



#10 Bit_Byte_Bit

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:15 AM

I have taken to playing my games at the same settings they were when the sound occurred and have only heard its precursor rather than itself. I have also tried looking for some more fan controlling software but since SpeedFan causes freezes and HWiNFO and OpenHardwareMonitor do not allow me to control the CPU fan I cannot continue testing. I have entered the humorously mixed situation of not having the problem to diagnose. I know it appeared without warning and I know it happened recently and now I only had it happen a little bit yesterday and not at all today. I am glad it is gone for now but given its intermittent nature I would rather have it and defiantly fix it than have it vanish without understanding. Any advice on controlling the fan speeds? I can control the GPU's fans but the others are not so manipulable.



#11 mjd420nova

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 06:06 PM

The elusive noise, commonly a buzz, is most often found to be a loose screw somewhere.  maybe a mounting screw on the harddrive tray, I've experienced that a couple times. Another would be a case screw on the plastic face bazel.


Edited by mjd420nova, 30 October 2014 - 06:07 PM.


#12 Bit_Byte_Bit

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 10:27 PM

Well thank you all, I have examined the fan and placed it back in at a 90 degree clockwise rotation, and the buzzing is gone, for now.



#13 dicke

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 02:19 PM

Glad to hear that all is well

We'll be here when you need us. Til then

Stay well and surf safe

 

Dick


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E





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