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computer help needed
Old 08-11-2007, 06:47 PM   #1
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computer help needed

My desktop started making new noises yesterday.

Sort of a low volume jet engine.

It got worse today.

I saved everything and turned it off (I'm on the laptop).

My SWAG is that the fan is loose?

Can I easily tighten a bolt or something back there?

Any other possibilities?
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:35 PM   #2
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It sounds like it's either the fan or your hard drive. It can be an indication that your hard drive is about to crash. Make sure you have everything you want saved off of it just in case.

Do a search for 'computer making noise' on google and there should be some articles there on how to check to see if it's the fan (pretty easy fix) or the hard drive (not easy.)
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:14 PM   #3
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Hard Drive
Fan
Power Supply

Open the box, start the computer. Hopefully, the noise will be there. Look at fan is it going? Look at fan on PS to make sure it is going. At that point get a straw (sounds silly but it works) and put it in (well at it) your ear an touch it to the hard drive -- if the fans are all working I suspect this is where you will hear the noise. Purchase a new hard dirve as they are pretty cheap lately and install it. If it is the fan they are even cheaper. A new PS will be in the middle as far as cost. Easy replacement of any of this stuff. Good luck. If you do now want to do the replacement yourself, do the diagnostics to isolate the problem BEFORE taking the thing in to someplace like Best Buy or Circuit City.
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:15 PM   #4
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Loose case fan, bad hard drive. Fan, power supply, cpu heatsink, or gpu heatsink could be packed with dust or for some reason thinks things are too warm and is running at high speed.

If you turn the machine on again, does it do it while its cold and booting up, or only after a while?

What kind of machine is it, how old is it, and have you ever had any maintenance done on it?

(Its not some funny noise coming out of the speakers now, is it?)
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Loose case fan, bad hard drive. Fan, power supply, cpu heatsink, or gpu heatsink could be packed with dust or for some reason thinks things are too warm and is running at high speed.

If you turn the machine on again, does it do it while its cold and booting up, or only after a while?

What kind of machine is it, how old is it, and have you ever had any maintenance done on it?

(Its not some funny noise coming out of the speakers now, is it?)
Dell Dimensions B110.

2? years old.

Done nothing but clean out the dust occasionally.

It doesn't do it when I start cold.

It has been rather hot here(85F indoors).

Something else: I usually operate with many things running at once. When I closed most of them, the noise stopped for a while.
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:03 PM   #6
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Based on that, i'm going to go with a loose cpu heatsink/fan or one with a broken post. Some of the dimension series used a large fan over an equally large cpu heat sink, ducted to the back of the machine, for system ventilation. Really quiet when it works well.

Honestly, the cost isnt in the machine. You could replace it with a new one for less than the cost of having someone open it up and look inside. 50/50 chance the repair cost on top of the diagnostic cost would be more than that. Most run of the mill repair places will charge you $100-150 to open the box and look inside. You can replace that machine for under $200 with similar specs.

The big cost is in moving your stuff from that old machine to a new one.

If you'd like some 1:1 help on this, PM me. I'll call you up and see if we can get to the bottom of it.
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Based on that, i'm going to go with a loose cpu heatsink/fan or one with a broken post. Some of the dimension series used a large fan over an equally large cpu heat sink, ducted to the back of the machine, for system ventilation. Really quiet when it works well.

Honestly, the cost isnt in the machine. You could replace it with a new one for less than the cost of having someone open it up and look inside. 50/50 chance the repair cost on top of the diagnostic cost would be more than that. Most run of the mill repair places will charge you $100-150 to open the box and look inside. You can replace that machine for under $200 with similar specs.

The big cost is in moving your stuff from that old machine to a new one.

If you'd like some 1:1 help on this, PM me. I'll call you up and see if we can get to the bottom of it.
Would this be something covered under service agreement/warranty?
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Old 08-11-2007, 10:08 PM   #8
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If its still in effect. Some dell machines are under 90 day, some under 1 year, a few under standard 2 year. Did you buy an extended warranty? If so, then most likely.

Be forewarned...unless you have dell onsite care, the mail order depot will probably wipe your hard drive and reinstall the 'standard' software, just to make sure its not a s/w problem. Take a backup before taking it to a repair specialist or sending it into dell.
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:45 AM   #9
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Dell fans are temperature controlled. I.e., they go faster as the CPU gets hotter.

"Low-volume jet engine" could be the normal fan sound as your machine heats up. Since you say you can reduce the noise by lowering the CPU load, run a CPU-intensive app while you listen to the fan.

Also, check task manager next time you hear the noise. It could be a buggy app stuck in a loop.
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