Noisy PC?

May 28, 2009

It’s a fact. Computers make noise. Your average computer has at least 3 fans inside it, often 4 or 5. Some computers have even more. I have personally seen a computer that had 9 fans. The most common fans are on the power supply, processor, back of the case, video card, motherboard chipset, and hard drive fans.

Other mechanical devices inside your computer that make noise are the hard drive and the DVD/CD drive. The DVD/CD drive, of course, will only make noise if a DVD or CD is in it. You should only have a DVD or CD in that drive if you need it. Otherwise, it will not only be noisy, it can slow down your computer when it first boots up. The hard drive will make noise when the hard drive is accessed, which is generally pretty frequent.

The reason I mention all of this is because I wanted to talk about what you should do if your PC starts making a louder noise than normal. If you aren’t using a DVD or CD, then the noise is either a fan or the hard drive. The first thing you need to do is figure out if it’s a fan or the hard drive. Most computers have a light on the front that lights up any time the hard drive is accessed. If the noise you are hearing coincides with that light coming on, it’s probably the hard drive. It still could be the hard drive if it doesn’t coincide with the light though.

Another way to tell is to open up the computer while it’s running. Get your ear down near the computer and figure out where the noise is coming from. If you do this, be careful not to touch anything inside the computer. In fact, it would be best if you let a computer technician do this.

If your hard drive is making noise, shut down your computer and call us immediately. Your hard drive is dying. You could lose your data. The sooner you act, the less likely you are to lose anything and the less expensive the repair will be.

If the noise is a fan, the danger is not as urgent as a hard drive problem, but it’s still dangerous. Fans are put in certain areas of the computer to keep those areas cool. If a fan is making noise, it could still last for years, or it could die tomorrow. There’s no way to know. If a fan does die, the component it was keeping cool will get hot. And there’s a reason the fan was put there to keep it cool. If it gets hot, it could fail, or at the very least, it could be damaged. It just depends on which component we are talking about. If it’s the fan that keeps the processor cool, the processor gets VERY hot and won’t last long without a fan keeping it cool. Most computers will shut off it the processor gets too hot. This is done to protect the processor. But not all computers have this feature. And even if the computer does shut off because the processor got to hot, it cou ld still damage the processor.

In a nutshell, if your computer starts making more noise than usual, it’s best to have us check it out for you. If you let it go, your hard drive could crash and you could lose your data, or a component inside the computer could overheat and fail. Waiting to have it checked out just makes the price of repair go up. Fixing it early on might be $80-$100. Fixing it after the hard drive crashes could be $200-$250. If the processor is damaged, that would be even more and it might be better just to get a new computer.

In fact, that’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to computers. When a small problem arises, check with us to see what should be done. Most of the time, people just let a problem on the computer go without doing anything about it. Then they call us when the computer fails. Had they called us when the problem first arrived, it might have been a simple and inexpensive repair with no data loss. Waiting until it fails means it’s going to cost more to fix and you might lose your data. Something else we see alot is when someone tries to fix it themselves. They usually end up making the problem worse. That makes the repair more expensive. At the very least, call us or send us an e-mail at the first sign of trouble and we can tell you what we recommend. It doesn’t cost you anything, so why not?

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