My %$*@! noisy computer!

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by ErnieM, May 10, 2013.

  1. ErnieM

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    I have a decently good but very old computer I've kept going now for almost a decade. Besides dropping frames on web video it does everything I need it to do, including zippy compiles of my C code.

    Anyway, the fan made an awful racket, always zooming up speed for a few then down then up... and LOUD too.

    So night before last about 10 minutes after I turned it on it goes not blue but black screen: power just shuts off. I attempt a reboot but it black screens even faster. Suspecting power I swap in another PS but same results. Then I consider the CPU cooler... pop it off to discover the thermal stuff is all caked and no good.

    Pick up a tube of Radio Shack's cheap stuff and apply per instructions. Been running 12 hours now no black, blue, purple or even red screens, just computing joy.

    And it's QUIET too. Thought I forgot to plug the fan back in but see it turning, just slowly and quietly.
    JohnInTX likes this.
  2. circuitfella11


    May 10, 2013
    there's a chance of MOBO or memory damage. you can test out the memory by the booting beep.. you can google booting beep codes.. if there's no problem with beep codes then your MOBO would likely have the damage.

  3. LDC3

    Active Member

    Apr 27, 2013
    The most likely culprit is the fan on the CPU. The bearing are worn after years of service and the noise is from the shaft vibrating in the loose bearings. This slows the fan down. The computer turned off when the CPU overheated. Since you tried to restart the computer before the CPU cooled, it again shut down. Since you removed the fan, the shaft was shifted in the bearings so it no longer vibrates. My advise, replace the fan with a new one. They are only a few dollars, but will save you grief when the fan fails again.
  4. JohnInTX


    Jun 26, 2012
    Sounds like the CPU was running hot due to the bad thermal goo and pushing the fan to higher speed. Dusty heatsinks esp. on laptops can have the same result.

    If you are running an Intel processor you can get (for most of them) the Intel Active Monitor which runs in the background and will issue alerts for out of tolerance power, high temps and fan speed on a little dashboard. I've headed off several problems using it.

    Thanks for posting. I've added check the goo / dust heatsinks on the mobos to my honeydoos.
  5. ErnieM

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    And one single beep means... Alles klar, Herr Kommissar.

    Apparently the AMD Athlon 64 actually left over a few transistors to measure it's temperature and shut the system down before anything bad happens.
  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012

    Good thinking to check for the heat sink - I never would have suspected a chemical/mechanical problem. My 2003 HP P4 single core desktop is still kicking. I am just keeping a list of what could go wrong until something does go wrong with it.
    Thanks for sharing Super Sleuth!
  7. electronis whiz

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    it beeps once that means it should have passed post successfully. this is standard, but some systems have just left out because probably thought was annoying for user. doubt there would be a 1 beep error code. this means all necessary functions E.G ram, CPU, keyboard, BIOS are all working properly.
    my suspect is that your system uses thermistor based fan control. i'v worked on systems that have been caked with pet hair, dust and sound like a helicopter. fan may run really hard and/or may speed up and down. somewhere in the system in the fan, on the motherboard or in the CPU itself or it's heat sink.
    the reason for this is that get over certain temp fan will go to full power once cooler it would slow down until temp raise again and repeating this cycle. now that you have fixed the heat sink fan probably don't need to work as hard so you can't hear it.
    you would be amazed at what cleaning a system can do. my first system was a k6III 500mhz win 98 took like 3 min to boot to desktop cleaned out heat sink, case, etc. booted in about 30 sec to a min. this is especially true with many Intel CPU that use thermal throttling reach set temp and slow down to prevent them from frying themselves.
  8. electronis whiz

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    temperature control system most likely. don't have problem removing heat so fan won't run so fast. 1 beep is generally good means your system passed post and everything should be working properly. their could be error codes with one beep, but have never heard of it, and be surprised if there was since many systems is for indicating passing of post.