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Squeaking Power Supply


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#1 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 04:29 PM

Over the past few months I've has a problem with my 550 watt Antec TRUEPOWER 2.0 power supply. Every now and then, the thing squeaks. Some times it's just for a few seconds every hour or so and at other times it lasts for a half-hour or more before stopping. The squeaking isn't loud, just irritating. It sounds like it might be the fan but I'm not sure. I haven't had any power issues, the computer runs normally especially during a several hour long Oblivion gaming session.

Edited by DJBPace07, 07 June 2007 - 05:46 PM.

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#2 Ryan 3000

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 04:33 PM

PCGuide.com :

Diagnosis: Usually, the cause of this problem is the fan on the back of the power supply. It will tend to accumulate dirt over time, and cheaper ones will fail readily. If the fan is making noise now, it will probably fail soon. This usually takes years, but with cheaper power supplies that can be a surprisingly small number of years. Rarely, the problem can be with the internals of the power supply itself.

Recommendation:

Look and listen closely at the back of the PC to see if the fan is what is causing the problem. If it appears that the fan is making the noise, troubleshoot it here.
If you hear a high-pitched whistling sound, this could be coming from components within the power supply. This will require you to either replace the power supply or take the system in for service.
No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land.

#3 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:46 PM

If it's the fan, it's been squeaking for a while now. The power supply is Antec and is just over one year old so I doubt the noise is from normal wear and tear. I would think it would have failed already if this is the case, but the diagnosis did point to something that is possible: dust or dirt. The fan is operating and there is a very slight breeze of warm air coming from it. I will try cleaning it and see if it goes away.

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#4 stevealmighty

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:50 PM

If the noise doesn't go away, then I'd recommend replacing the fan so that you don't overheat your PSU and cause problems with it (possibly kill it). Worst case scenario, if you can't replace the fan then I'd get a new PSU. Probably not what you want to hear, but it's always better to be safe than sorry! Also cheaper to replace a PSU then it is to replace a PSU and the mobo/cpu/ram/vid card that it fried when it died (ok, chances are that won't happen...but you get the idea!).
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#5 Herk

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 06:50 PM

Take a piece of plastic, such as the nozzle from a can of air, and stop the fan. If the noise stops, then it's the fan.

#6 Ryan 3000

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 06:52 PM

But don't take too long, you may overheat the components if the fan is left blocked for more time than it takes to solve the problem.
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#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 06:54 PM

Shoving something into the fan while the computer is running seems dangerous. It seems relatively easy to replace the PSU but I would like to avoid that if possible. I haven't heard anything from it for several hours. I'm not sure, but there may be two fans in the PSU. I can see one when I look at it from behind and I see another one that's inside the case on the PSU. The noise comes and goes depending on if I move the tower. If I don't, the sound is all but gone and only happens for a few minutes after start-up, if I open the case or move it around, it makes the noise for a while before settling down.

Edited by DJBPace07, 07 June 2007 - 06:55 PM.

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#8 Ryan 3000

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 06:57 PM

Hmm This may have nothing to do with YOUR problem, but I had a PCI fan months ago that would make a grinding noise similar to the sound your bike would make when you put a playing card in the spokes, but much faster, a little quieter, it died down after awhile.
No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land.

#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 08:38 PM

Sounds like the fan was caught in something, I have heard of some graphics cards having this problem. Apparently, the heatsink wasn't installed correctly on them. I've lived with the squeaking for months and it hasn't bothered me because I usually wear headphones while I'm on the computer. That was until I started I started streaming media from the computer to the PS3 while they are in the same room. It's difficult to concentrate on a movie when you're listening to it.

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#10 Ryan 3000

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 08:57 PM

So WHEN exactly does the sound start and stop? Do any of your actions affect when it starts or stops? Can you conveniently not do these things?
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#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 11:58 PM

That's the strange thing....the sounds occur more often during the first couple of hours after start-up but they can happen after that too. They just seem more frequent during that process. The volume of the squeaking can be barely audible to noticeable but never has it been loud. I can leave the computer idle and it may squeak, I can also game for hours on end and it may also squeak. There is no one thing that triggers it. However, i did notice the sound being louder and more frequent in the winter, I did have the computer right in front of a window where it was about 40 degrees all winter long. I don't think the temperatures would have anything to do with it though.

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#12 Ryan 3000

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 02:30 PM

Perhaps the grease or bearing is stiff at startup but then starts up and warms?
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#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 04:27 PM

Maybe, if that's the case I won't worry about it. It hasn't squeaked today at all. I did take a can of compressed air and cleaned it, that may have done the trick.

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