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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The sound: buzz.amr (recorded with my mobile. Quicktime can play it)

Whenever I unplug the computer's plug from the wall socket, plug back in and turn it on, i get this strange "buzz" sound coming out of my case. I tried stopping the case and motherboard fans to see if they're causing the sound, but they aren't.

The sound usually gradually goes away within 10 minutes every time though (except for now, it's been there for almost an hour). I blew out the dust and even smacked the case a few times, but it didn't go away. What could this be?
 

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Open the case while it's on and listen. Press a screwdriver against different parts and listen through its handle. You'll be able to find it, and that will answer your question. It's impossible for us to say what it is without being able to see it in person :)
 

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Well, you might consider posting the file in MP3 or WAV. ;)

I'd get something like a plastic straw or rod and put one end right in front of your ear and touch various components (disk drives come to mind) with the other end until you find the source of the sound. This is how mechanics locate sounds in engines, and it's very effective. Are there any disks in any CD or DVD drives? If so, remove them.
 

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erick295 said:
Open the case while it's on and listen. Press a screwdriver against different parts and listen through its handle. You'll be able to find it, and that will answer your question. It's impossible for us to say what it is without being able to see it in person :)
that is dam scary advise, sticking a metal object into a running pc sounds problematic, sticking a screw driver into a PSU while its live sounds painful if not lethal
 

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brite750 said:
that is dam scary advise, sticking a metal object into a running pc sounds problematic, sticking a screw driver into a PSU while its live sounds painful if not lethal
Well, obviously, you don't want to touch any electrical contacts with it or start sticking it into things you can't see... you don't have to stick it into the PSU, just press it against side of it. I kinda figured that went without saying :)
 

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Yea the screw driver thing is used by mechanics working on vehicles usually not PCs and you put your thumb over the end and then put it to your ear.

I would forget that advice for PCs anyway.
 

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Well, okay, but if you're not intelligent or coordinated enough to avoid jamming a screwdriver somewhere it doesn't belong, you probably shouldn't be working on computers anyway ;)
 

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I don't think intelligence comes into it.....telling someone you don't know to stick a metal object into a PC while running and receiving power is a bad idea.....
 

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*shrug*

I'm just saying what will work... if they're going to be stupid and hurt themselves (and you would have to be pretty stupid to hurt yourself in this case), that's not my problem :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I found the source of the problem: it was a small fan that I couldn't see behind my huge graphics card. I don't know what it does though. Even the motherboard's manual doesn't say anything about it:


What is it? and why does it produce this buzz occasionally (the sound is gone now btw)? there are no dust and no cables interfering with the fan's movement. :confused:

Also, can I safely unplug it next time it annoys me with its buzz?
 

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as bearings on fans wear they become sloppy. the fans become unbalanced
and make noise. they frequently will seat themsleves after a bit of time
which is what you are noticing when it gets quiet(er).
a slight tap will also help seat it.

it is a signal of immpending fan failure. you have time to shop for
a new one, failure or entreme annoyance from the noise is only
days or weeks away.

suggestion of using plastic straw as a sound locator is good, plastic
rod also works. both could melt if get too hot by touching a surface.

straw or tube has the advantage of transmitting the sound without having
to touch what you are listening to. it redirects the sound but
doesn't enhance it.

i wouldn't use metal where there would be a chance of coming
into contact with electricity. if the voltage is high enough there
is a shock hazard to you. with electronics like this there
is great risk at shorting something and destroying something.

if you can touch a nonmoving part then you can use a rod
to both redirect and maybe enhance the sound. metal
plastic or wood will all conduct sound. wood will resonate
and enhance sound. if the rod is small you might also
see it vibrate.

best is a wood rod, unsharpened wood pencil or fondue spear
or chopstick, wood resonates and will enhance the sound.
wood doesn't combust as easily as plastic will melt. a wood rod
if gently softly without much force is pressed against something
it will pick up the sound it makes (without distorting the sound).

be carefull not to jam anything metal, palstic or wood into
moving fan blades, aim for the edge of the fan housing
or the support arms.

any fan will make noise and you will hear this with listening
probe you have to distinguish the sound of bad bearings
from a normal fan.
 

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KeyStroke said:
I found the source of the problem: it was a small fan that I couldn't see behind my huge graphics card. I don't know what it does though. Even the motherboard's manual doesn't say anything about it:

What is it? and why does it produce this buzz occasionally (the sound is gone now btw)? there are no dust and no cables interfering with the fan's movement. :confused:

Also, can I safely unplug it next time it annoys me with its buzz?
if you want your machine to work don't try to run it without required
cooling. at best the machine while shutdown when that part overheats,
worse is it will destroy the part.

put up with the noise and buy a replacement fan, they are common
and cost very little.

the fans bearings are probably wearing out it will run fine for
cooling for a while, until you replace it give the rotating part
a slight tap with the tip of a wood pencil when it makes the noise
(aim just off center of the rotating hub).

you could also aid in its cooling by leaving the cover off the
machine.

buzz could be a wire or cable rubbing but most likely bearings.

listen to tunes on headphones and you won't notice the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I have an aluminum case with one large fan in the front on in hale air, and one large one in the back to exhale. My graphics card has its own cooling system. Do I still need this tiny fan? or does it keep something below it cool?

Here's a picture of the whole motherboard in view.
 

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If you didn't need it ,it wouldn't be there........if it isn't loose and the fan blades are not in contact with any cables etc. then the bearings are most likely going.
 

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KeyStroke said:
Well I have an aluminum case with one large fan in the front on in hale air, and one large one in the back to exhale. My graphics card has its own cooling system. Do I still need this tiny fan? or does it keep something below it cool?
Looking at that photo, that's definitely your northbridge, and yes, you do need that fan. The case fans only move fresh air through the case from front to back -- you still need the fans on those chips (GPU, CPU, northbridge) to draw the heat away from them so it can be moved out of the case. Air is a very inefficient conductor of heat, so you need a lot of it moving to keep the equipment cool.
 

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KeyStroke said:
Well I have an aluminum case with one large fan in the front on in hale air, and one large one in the back to exhale. My graphics card has its own cooling system. Do I still need this tiny fan? or does it keep something below it cool?

Here's a picture of the whole motherboard in view.
you betcha

it's there to cool just the one chip it's next to.

if a case fan or maybe even fan for memory or video failed then
maybe you could get enough cooling by openning the case totally
and putting a desk fan right in front of it. but that chip is so
obstructed small and hot hot hot that (without some fancy
setup) you couldn't cool it enough and it would die.
 
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