Whats that noise?

When ever you turn on your computer it makes a noise. Some of these are good and some are bad but they all tell you something about the way your computer is running.

When you first turn on your PC you should hear “One Beep”. This is the BIOS system on the mother board doing a quick check and then giving the “One Beep” all clear signal.

However if your computer is making more than one beep this indicates a problem.  The problem could be hardware related and may be a memory or mother board fault.  The fault depends on the exact number of type of beep ( long or short). Each mother board manufacturer has its own “beep code table” which will allow a quick indication of the type of problem. In some cases it may be a quick fix in another it might indicated impending system board failure.

Once past the beep code the next thing to listen for is the noise of the cooling fans. This should be a continuous soft humming sound while the PC is on.  The fan is essential for the removal of heat generated while the PC is working. Failure of the fan can lead to heat build up which can cause premature failure of the components inside the case.  Most PCs have at least three fans.  A fan on the power supply unit, one on the central processor unit and at least one case fan. Some Video cards also have there own fan. Each of these fan should be running freely.

PC Fan

A sudden increase in fan noisy can indicate that the PC is over heating. The power should be taken off the PC , case removed and fans inspected for build up of dust which can be removed by canned air.

In the same way if a fan noise is suddenly absent from your PC suspect a failed fan. This should also be checked as prolonged over heating can result in damage to the system board which is much more expensive that changing a small fan.

When your PC is working you may see a small red flashing light on the case. This indicates that the hard drive is reading or writing data and should be accompanied by a low whirring noise as the disk platters within the hard drive are spinning.

If this sound changes to a “ticking” it can indicate that the read / write arm on the hard drive is beginning to fail.  In this case it is important to make sure that all your important data has been backed up and the hard drive is about to fail.

The best option is to contact Anglesey Computer Solutions so that we can back up your data and install a new hard drive.  This recently happened to one of our clients and the time from first hearing the “click of death” to having a PC which would not boot was less than 48 hours.

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