Computer makes different sound when beeping when starting up PC

By Roygbiv
Jan 29, 2012
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  1. Hi everyone, new to the forum here.

    A friend of mine built me a PC about 8 months ago. As the tower was getting a little 'warm', I decided to open up the tower and clean the fan using compressed air and also (what I think is the CPU, as it was just behind the fan) a little brush as it was covered in dust (the brush is kind of like the thing old ladies use when dying their hair on the roots, it's like a long black brush and isn't very hard at all, I've read that people have cleaned them using a toothbrush, I'd never do that).

    Anyway, since then, my PC is alot louder than usual, it tends to make a noise which is like some kind of scraping sound and the 'beep' sound on startup sounds a bit different (hard to explain, but not as clear or healthy sounding, if that makes sense).

    It seems to be running fine though, no problems at all but I am concerned about the loud noise (like a gentle scraping like sound) and how the beeping sound is different from before. It could just be a noisy fan and now that it's clean it's even noisier (especially when starting up).

    As I know nothing about computers, I'm somewhat afraid that I've done something drastically wrong when cleaning the inside of my PC fan and the front of my CPU. Or it could have always been that way but I never really noticed it before (I'm very OCD about computers).

    I should also mention that I didn't touch the hard drive when I cleaned out the components.

    Should I have reason to be concerned? I'd hate to think that one day my PC would pack up on me as it cost me quite a bit and I do all my work and just about everything on there. Needless to say, it's very precious to me. It may just be a 'cosmetic' thing as everything seems to work just fine, it's just the noise and the weird beep when it starts up.

    Thanks in advance-

  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    I would check the CPU cooler to make sure you haven't moved a lead into the fans path. When you say you cleaned it with compressed air, did you stop the fan from spinning as you did it, or did you allow it to speed up as the air blasted it?

    If you've allowed it to spin up whilst being blasted with air its possible you've let it go too fast and caused wear to the bearings of the fan, hence the louder noise.

    When cleaning moving components (fans for example) using blasts of compressed air, it is essential to provide a means of stopping them from moving. For example, using the end of something like a screwdriver against the side of the blade will stop it from spinning. Spinning up fans faster than their designed specifications can cause premature wear to them.

    With the side panel off, fire up the computer (do not touch any of the hardware with it running), and see if you can locate where the noise is coming from inside the case. It could be one of the fans, or it could be the CPU cooler fan. Also, have a good look around all of the moving parts and make sure that all wiring is away from fans -- including the GPU (graphics card) if one is fitted.
  3. Roygbiv

    Roygbiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok thanks for the tip. I'll try it out later in the day.

    Is this a serious issue though? I think the compressed air did actually make the fan move if I rememberer.

    I just hope it won't cause any damage in the long run. I emailed a friend whose an expert in computers and he said that perhaps the screws weren't screwed in properly and really wasn't that serious, or else the computer wouldn't be able to boot up at all.

    Here is his reply:

    The first thing I'd do is make sure all the internal cards and any fans are secure inside. Just push them firmly into place (it sometimes takes quite a bit of pressure), the odd beeping is usually a sign that a card is in crooked and can't be accessed properly.

    This is certainly not anything too serious mate, else the computer wouldn't be able to boot at all.

    Failing that maybe a screw is in loose or rooked or not in at all, a fan may cause it to vibrate if thats true.
  4. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    Some "expert" your friend is. If you have a damaged CPU fan connected, your motherboard will not know if it is broken or not until your temps get high and your PC shuts down to prevent further damage to your CPU. It's a $5 fix that will save you a lot of trouble down the road. Get your "expert" to clean the old thermal paste off the CPU....clean top of CPU....clean again.....and again....and replace thermal paste while he's swapping out your fans ;)
  5. Roygbiv

    Roygbiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, I just rechecked it and reinserted the fan and the boot up sound is perfectly fine now.

    However it does make an odd noise but then again it's pretty much always done this (perhaps it's a noisy computer, and by cleaning the fan the dust that was on it maybe helped to hide the noise).

    The fan is working fine and I checked the sound and it's coming from the CPU.

    It doesn't seem quite so bad now (and yes he is an expert, he's been building and moderating computers for over 10 years).
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    The worst case is you've caused premature wear to the fans by allowing them to spin faster than they designed parameters. That said, it isn't going to go nuclear on you and cut up the inside of your case or anything. The bearings will just get noisy and that is an indication that it will need replacement.

    In reality using compressed air inside a case, while great for cleaning, can cause all manner of problems due to the force of the air blast.

    I rarely use compressed air on my own equipment as I clean it weekly to prevent any major dust build up, but when I do use it I always follow that treatment by reseating all major components, and thoroughly checking all wiring to avoid problems when it's powered back up.
  7. Roygbiv

    Roygbiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So do you suggest buying a new fan will be a good idea? I am somewhat concerned that I used a little too much compressed air on the fan. I didn't use it on the CPU though (I used a small brush to clean that).
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Nah, if it starts whinning, just change it up -- but if it gives you peace of mind by all means replace it, they're not much money.

    I'd personally leave it, unless its a loud fan, in which case I'd have a silent one in there pronto! :haha:
  9. Roygbiv

    Roygbiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    :haha: loud fans don't really bother me, as long as they do the job properly!

    Also, it seems that cleaning it hasn't made THAT much of a difference- the top of the tower still feels warm, but not extremely hot to the touch.

    But it is working, I can hear it and feel it doing it's thing (ahem, lol), so maybe the fan itself isn't that good?

    Either case, I dunno! (Shrugs).
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    OEM supplied fans aren't always the best. You'd likely be able to get a much better fan, that's quieter for not a lot of outlay.

    What case are you using? It might be that you can add further fans, but it's hard to suggest what you can do until we know what we're dealing with.

    P.S. It would be worth you filling out your system details in your user control panel, as this will aid assistance from forum members by detailing your hardware. You can add it by going to the "My Profile" link near the top left of this page. Click on the "about me" tab, and then fill in the information under the "PC Name #1 option."

    What you'll end up with is information like mine has:

    This is appended to the right hand box of all replies you post on the forum -- under the heading system specs. It is handy for providing answers sometimes when those reading your posts need further information pertaining to your hardware.

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