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Fine rattle

Jekyll
Grafter
Posts: 117
Registered: 19-03-2008

Fine rattle

For awhile now I have had this fine rattle type noise coming from the back of the case, the guy that built my PC said it sounded like a bearing but did not do anything, it seemed then to back off and was ok for awhile but just the last few days its been back and now a bit stronger in noise, but the same rattle, hard to describe this but I did do 2 recordings of it, both about a minute in length, one was done when the PC had been on for awhile and the other was done from boot up this morning.
I hope it is not my power supply, in a way a fan would be better, although nothing at all would be perfect
I have a filefront account and can upload the files there, if it would help someone to help me to convince this computer chappy of mine to take it in and fix it......the sound is very fine and at times quite subtle, to hear it you have to look past the motor sound of the PC.
I have named the two recordings: bearing noise and Sunday boot, the boot one has what might sound like Thunder in the background, but I think it must be the air thats being blown out the back of the case......as the Sun was out all day here  Grin
If anyone would be willing to have a listen to these two files I would appreciate it.
If anyone would'nt mind listening to them and giving me their verdict then please PM me as its probably best not to put the link here, afterall who wants to listen to someone elses Computer making weird noises  Grin
This niggle has been driving me nuts and I hear this all the time the PC is on and when the guy came he said he could hardly hear it at first and suggested it was the HD and then changed his mind and said its nothing to worry about, probably just a bearing, but its convincing my bloke to have it in and repair it because he seems reluctant to do it (he is a really nice guy though, and has helped me alot, I just don't want to rub him up the wrong way. I just can't bear to listen to this anymore.

33 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Fine rattle

Can you not trace it by removing the HD cable ans see if its still there. Then can you remove any fans except the CPU one and see if that stops it. If its still there then it must be PSU fan or CPU fan. Try a good clean to get rid of any muck. The only other thing is CD/DVD but that should only be when they are running.
A loose plate at the back could do it make sure all the blanking plates are tight. If you have an external microphone then putting it near each fan and see if the noise level goes up on one
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,645
Thanks: 204
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Fine rattle

If you have to track it down - possibly with the case open, then use a length of flexible tubing as a kind of stethoscope.
It's dangerous to put your ear next to the guts of a live PC.  Grin
Having said that, I have an ancient (about 7 years old) PC that I use as a print server which sometimes sounds like a washing machine (and sometimes not).
It's possible that you have a rough bearing - or just that the mounting screws are a bit loose on a fan or hard disk and things are resonating a bit. Try tightening a few mounting screws internally, if the tubing trick doesn't work.

Jekyll
Grafter
Posts: 117
Registered: 19-03-2008

Re: Fine rattle

Thanks for both replies, but I don't trust myself to go doing things inside the case, I did have the panel off but was none the wiser to what it is, I am more inclined to think it is a fan at the rear of the case, but the guy that built it has emailed to say he better have it in, I got the impression he would rather not have it in, but there is no way I can put up with the rattle........I have a small room and sit very close to the case, and after prolonged periods of time it does get at you.
I tried once to connect a new HD to my PC and nearly wiped 40 gigs off it........and that was after being told what to do......so I dare not go near it again for any reason  Embarrassed
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Fine rattle

Apart from noisy fans I often find that one of the main causes of noise is an internal cable that has moved and is catching on a fan.....
That can be disastrous if not fixed as some things can very easily overheat and die.  Sad
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,645
Thanks: 204
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Fine rattle

One thing you could do (a bit chancy this) is to very briefly stop the fan by poking a non-conducting object in between the blades of the big fan at the back.
Have you tried putting your ear close to the suspect fan (with the case closed)?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Fine rattle

My brother in law had a similar issue, traced it eventually to a graphics card fan. If its coming from the back of the case, you could try tracing the power supply to this fan, when PC off, and disconnect it ( they are usually connected ny 4pin Molex connectors, not usually to the mother board). Repower the system, and see if it sures it. Sounds like it will be a case of trial and error.
Jekyll
Grafter
Posts: 117
Registered: 19-03-2008

Re: Fine rattle

Well I did try to stick a rolled up bit of paper, rolled it up very tightly so that it resembled a pencil, and inserted it into that fan when this started and the noise I think kept going, so (yeah I remember now) so no it can't be that fan, but could be another of course  Sad to me when I listen to it, it seems to be near the power supply (but I can't be sure, I do also have a large copper coloured fan on the motherboard, its huge, so maybe that? I really would'nt know........I can only hope that my bloke sorts it with investigating as he has over 20 years of building PC's under his belt........whereas I would'nt know where to start, most I can do is put a stick of ram in, and that was tricky too, was frightened of snapping it in half  Roll eyes Grin
It seems to be a noise that when you listen from all angles it sounds like its there, if you know what I mean........noise problems are the worst for me, as most people think I am making it up, I have a tiny room I am in and so the noise is much louder than say it would be in this guys shop! I just want it fixed, otherwise I am going to get quite angry with this guy, July last year this was built and already a problem, ok so fans don't last forever, but is 9 months a fans lifespan?
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,645
Thanks: 204
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Fine rattle

You can adjust the speed of some fans manually.
Some fans have their speed controlled by software - possibly linked to temperature sensors.
So you might need to adjust speeds whilst monitoring temperatures...
It's very risky to attempt any lubrication and pausing the fan on top of the CPU is a big gamble!
Actually, large fans are probably not the primary suspects (they rotate more slowly than small fans).

Jekyll
Grafter
Posts: 117
Registered: 19-03-2008

Re: Fine rattle

All I have for fan adjustment is a speed thingy which I turn for full on or right down to almost nothing, but thats all I have.
I do have something called ABit Guru, but my bloke told me not to install it as for someone like me it would be of no use too.
Last time I checked that Uguru utility, it said all fans were ok, and that was with the noise, so...........?
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,645
Thanks: 204
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Fine rattle

Does it make any difference if you (briefly) turn the fan to minimum?
Unless you have a super high speed/games PC I'd suggest that you try it on about 1/4 - 1/3 speed.
If you have any software that gives temperature readings I would run it, although the figures are notoriously untrustworthy.
Compare  temperature readings between "just switched on" and after running an intensive CPU program (such as a CPU test program).
Absolute readings are not to be trusted - but relative ones may be.
All this may allow you to control your fan setting a little more precisely.
That Abit Guru probably gives your temperature readings + a lot more.
Read the instructions and if they are understandable (and safe) then you might decide to go ahead.

Jekyll
Grafter
Posts: 117
Registered: 19-03-2008

Re: Fine rattle

I have a reasonably high speed PC as I am  primarily a gamer (the brief times I get to play)  Roll eyes
Specs:
Intel Core 2 Duo @2.40Ghz
GeForce 8800GTX 768MB
4 Gig DDR2
250 Gig Barracuda HD (XP 32-Bit)
500 Gig Barracuda HD (Vista 64-Bit)
AW9D MotherBoard Socket 775
OnBoard Sound
I have the fan while I surf down to the lowest the gadget allows, and the noise is the same, so no matter how fast they go the noise is the same  Sad

Jekyll
Grafter
Posts: 117
Registered: 19-03-2008

Re: Fine rattle

My Computer is making a fool out of me, it seems to enjoy playing silly buggers as now the rattle is only noticeable at boot up and is brief, then it has almost disappeared, so what this computer bloke is going to make of me I don't know.......I mean what I am supposed to say to him? it was really bad for a few days, bad enough for me to have to step away from it from it for awhile.........now I can't hear a damn thing!! I swear its making me out to be a liar  Sad
The only thing that might save my bacon is the two sound files I have, and I'll send them to him tonight if its still quiet, but I fear that he won't be able to do anything and then (I'd put all my money on it) it starts up again when I get it back.
Don't you just hate hese kinds of problems with PC's? so frustrating  Angry
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Fine rattle

If the rattle is no longer there then the sound files are not going to be any use in tracing the problem - especially if it is a fan with dry bearings.
Try leaving the PC off for a while and see if the problem returns.
Jekyll
Grafter
Posts: 117
Registered: 19-03-2008

Re: Fine rattle

Well he's having it in tomorrow, so not long to leave it off, just the night, and its been quiet since yesterday, it has this brief noise when booting but it then virtually goes and is a struggle to hear.........listening to it now you'd never have known that there is a problem.
Is it at all possible that the noise may well have stopped for good? or is it best to let him look at it regardless of the noise not being there now? is there anyway he could detect a fan being at fault without hearing it? or is that just not possible  Sad