Alarm!!! Please Help!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasC, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    About 30 minutes ago, a loud alarm-like sound started coming from the computer, and it scared the living daylights out of me, because I had never heard anything like it coming from a computer. At first, I thought it was coming from something inside the wall, so I called University Maintenance. A guy came here and the first thing he did was put his ear up to the computer. I had done that before I called, but it didn't sound like it was coming from there. Well, I turned the computer off, and the alarm-like sound went away. I recorded a bit of the sound, but it's in the background (still pretty audible, though) since I was recording more against the wall than the computer.

    http://www.users.muohio.edu/choongty/alarm.wav

    If you could please help and tell me what might've emitted this alarm, I would be most grateful. I started the computer back up again and the sound didn't go back on, but I'll be turning my computer off when I go to sleep. Again, any help would be most appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    It's hard to tell from that clip, but it almost sounds like a really loud vibration. Like a power supply fan going out or something.
     
  3. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I agree. It sounds like a mechanical device that is failing. I've heard the noise of hard drives before they're about to croak, but that does not sound like it. I second the notion that the cause is the power supply or a fan that you might have inside the unit.
     
  4. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Don't some motherboards have a temperature alarm feature in them, that sounds an alarm if the CPU gets too hot? I doubt that's it though, since that would be more of a beep than a mechanical buzz. The WAV file sounds like something got caught in a fan. If the noise didn't come back when you turned the computer back on, perhaps the object dislodged itself when the fan stopped spinning, or the fan didn't spin back up when you turned the PC back on. I'd check all your fans for proper operation.
     
  5. Ammon

    Ammon Stunt Coordinator

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    It's not an alarm, and does sound like a fan going out. Just for kicks, open the case and look at the all the fans and make sure there are no wires touching any fans. If it sounds like it is coming from a fan, look to see if the fan appears to be moving slow, and try unplugging the fans to see if the noise goes away. I've even see a loose screw in a case also cause vibration that can get pretty loud.
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  7. Ammon

    Ammon Stunt Coordinator

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  8. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Wow, I wasn't expecting this many responses. I love the HTF! [​IMG] Thanks for all of your advice, guys! I don't have time to examine the insides right now, but I'll try to look at the fans later tonight and give you all an update.
     
  9. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  10. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    How many fans should a computer have? I just looked at the two in the back, CPU and power source fan, right? They're spinning and no wires seem to be in the way. I opened up the case, but didn't see any other fans in sight. Am I good for now?
     
  11. Ammon

    Ammon Stunt Coordinator

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    Just depends on what was installed. But usually there is a fan in the front of the case, one in the power supply. Some CPU's just put a big heatsink and no fan, but tehre could be a fan there too. Do any of the fans seem real dirty or are moving at a slow pace? It could have been 3 things that caused the sound. 1) Vibration 2) Bad fan 3) Wire on fan. Perhaps there could also be a bad piece of equipment, but if it was a HD, once they start going bad, any sound from it wouldnt go away. I would just check the fans to make sure they are running at full speed, and if not, replace any of them that are bad.
     
  12. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I had my CPU fan start making noise for a while, I was busy with school and work, didn't open the case, it went away, I thought all was OK. Kept getting blue screens in the coming weeks. Reinstalled Windows. Blue screen during windows install. Twice. Opened case, turned on PC. CPU fan clogged with dust, rotated maybe twice a minute. Surprised my Athlon 750 wasn't toast. Got new fan. Fixed.



    The moral of the story: sometimes the sound going away is as bad as the sound. Check immediately. =)
     
  13. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Both fans seems to be operating fine; they're spinning at the speed to where the blades become a blur. Nothing seems to be in the way. One fan seems to be very very very very (emphasis on very [​IMG]) slightly louder than usual with the case off, but a slap will make it quiet again. Everything seems fine right now, there are wires close by, but they're bunched up and they're at a reasonable distance from it, nothing else seems to look like it could've gotten in the way. A fan having an "episode," perhaps going to fail soon? Again, everything looks fine right now. But...[​IMG]

    "Everything is not what it seems."
     
  14. Ammon

    Ammon Stunt Coordinator

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    If the fan is making noise and goes away when you slap it, that means the fan is going out. Probably dirty, or the motor is giving up the ghost! I would replace the fan. They are pretty cheap!
     
  15. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Alright, the sound came back, and I've determined that it came from the CPU fan. It only lasted a minute this time around. I've talked to a couple of my friends who are computer gurus, and they say that the sound is coming from the fan bearings, because the blades were still spinning when the sound was going off. So if it's the fan bearings that are the problem, should I get the fan replaced immediately, or can I just wait until it dies? My friends gave me mixed answers. I am tempted to get it replaced because I don't want that sound going off every week, because it scares the heck out of me.
     
  16. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Your CPU fan? Are you kidding? Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Get a replacement now!

    Glenn
     
  17. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Replace it immediately. It's better to replace a $10 fan now than a $10 fan plus a melted $300 processor later.
     
  18. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely. That's an extremely cheap part, and the next time it starts acting up, it may not make any noise, it may just die. If that happens, you're going to have much bigger problems.
     
  19. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    No need to buy one, as my computer is still covered under the warranty. Just got off the phone with Dell tech support, and I should have the new fan in 2 to 3 business days. Although from my experience with them (had two monitors go bad), I might get it in one. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the advice, guys!
     
  20. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Got the replacement fan in the mail today, installed it, problem gone!
     

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