Fix Noisy Computer Issues

Below is a listing of components within the computer that may cause unusual noises to be generated. To determine what components are causing your issue, verify that lights on your hardware devices, such as the CD-ROM drive, are not on when the noise is being made. If you are only encountering excessive noise when a device is accessed, it is likely that the device is causing your issue.

If the noise you are experiencing is occurring the entire time the computer is on, it could be any of the below devices. Distinguish what device is causing the noise by reading through each of the below sections.

CD-ROM, DVD, or other disc drives

CD-ROM and other disc drives may generate noises when the drive is accessed. This noise should be a soft whirling noise when the CD-ROM drive is accessed. This noise should only be generated when the CD-ROM is accessed.

It is abnormal for a CD-ROM to experience any of the below symptoms.

  • No noise
  • Clicking during accessing the CD-ROM.
  • Noises when the CD-ROM is not being accessed or no disc in the drive

If you are exhibiting any of the above issues it is likely that the CD-ROM drive is defective and it is recommended that it be replaced.

PC Fan

There are several fans in computers that help provide ventilation to the computer’s components. Below is a listing of the fans that may be causing noises in your computer.

Case Fans

Case fans are fans commonly attached to the front or back of a computer. It is normal for most additional case fans to generate additional noise (usually a low hum). However, you should not expect to hear any clicking noise or high pitched noise from any of the case fans. When this occurs it is a good indication that the fan is failing or has already failed.

CPU fan (heat sink)

Although not installed on all computers, some computer heat sinks may also contain a fan to help with keeping the processor cool. It is also not uncommon for a fan to go from quiet to loud while you’re working on the laptop. Most computers and laptops will adjust the fan speeds when the processor is working more or computer is getting to hot.

You should only expect to hear a slight hum from the CPU fan; below are some issues that may cause additional noise from your CPU fan.

– Cable is hitting the fan causing a vibration.

– CPU fan is loose causing vibration

– CPU fan is bad causing additional noise.

Hard Drive

The computer hard drive is a common issue for additional noise. It is normal for a hard drive to produce noise. Normal noises you should expect to hear include a low humming or quiet whistling sound.

Noises you should not expect to hear are repetitive clicking, very noticeable humming, or any hard thump. If any of these noises are experienced it is recommend that the hard drive be looked at or replaced as it may be going bad.

Note: You will notice an increased volume in sound from a SCSI hard drive when it is compared to a standard IDE/EIDE hard drive.


When connecting to the Internet or another computer you may hear a loud screechy or high pitched noise. This noise is the onboard modem speaker and is the two computers connecting to each other. This noise should only be heard when the computer is establishing a connection with the other computer. Click the icon to the right to hear what this may sound like.

Power Supply

The power supply can cause an excessive amount of noise. This component provides your computer power as well as ventilation to the computer. If the fan within the power supply becomes bad or dirty it can cause an excessive amount of noise.

If an excessive amount of noise is coming from the fan next to where you plug your computer power cable into, it is likely that the power supply fan is failing or bad. We recommend that you first clean the fan by using compressed air to blow out any dust, dirt, or hair. If this does not resolve your issue the power supply needs to be replaced.

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