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Loud groaning noise + amber light on

By brodie ยท 6 replies
Aug 11, 2009
  1. Hi there,

    Sorry if these kind of questions have been explained somewhere, if I'm posting wrongly, I apologise!

    Yesterday morning when I turned on the computer it made this loud groaning/humming/whirring noise (something like that!) which terrified me. So I took the case off and there was an amber light lit up on the motherboard. I turn the comp back on to try and hear where the sound was coming from and it sounds like it's coming from the power supply. After about five or ten minutes of the computer being on, the noise disappears and it's quiet (though the amber light is still on). The same thing happened this morning - noise, then quiet, light still on. I'm worried that something is failing and want to fix it before I suddenly have no computer.

    Can anyone tell me if it is the power supply? I have no idea about how to replace it... I was looking at THIS one this morning (sorry if I'm not supposed to link) because I "think" it matches some of the numbers on my own PSU, but I don't want to stick he wrong one in and poof, bye bye computer. I'm looking on ebay since my pockets aren't deep enough to go elsewhere. I don't know what details you need about my computer, so ask away and I'll try to provide what I know/can find. Any advice is mucho appreciated!

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Power supplies are easily replaced... by a variety of brands an models.

    We would need the brand and model of the motherboard to tell you more, but...

    The noise could be anything... but is usually sound card, DVD Rom, or CPU fan...

    What performance changes?
  3. clickit

    clickit TS Rookie

    Is the noise you are hearing constant? Do you hear doing certain times? The fan may be going out in the Power Supply. They are fairly easy to replace. You have to be careful about what kind you get. It has to fit in the case just right.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Need descripton, brand, model and age of this device in order to help you.
    Fans are not replaced in power supplies, but are replaced if CPU fans.
    Very often these noises are caused by a major build-up of dirt, dust, and lint. Be sure to clean it with a can of dust off or other canned air, Qtips, and denatured alcohol... also clean all cooling fans at same time.
  5. brodie

    brodie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Thank you both for your replies. I just ran this "SIW" program to give me the information and it says my motherboard's manufacturer is "NEC COMPUTERS INTERNATIONAL", the model number is "GA-8SIMLNF". I hope that's what you need. I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure we got this computer in 2004... roughly. The only things I've had to replace since then are the RAM and I inserted a DVD burner last year sometime.

    The noise isn't constant... it only started yesterday when I turned on the computer. Lasted between 5-10 minutes, then all was normal again. Then it did the same thing when I powered on again today. Nothing has gone wrong on the computer, everything is working fine, it's just the noise and the light that have happened. I took the case off yesterday while it was making the noise and listened around closely and it does sound like it's coming from the big box that's the power supply... but I didn't think it wise for me to unscrew that part lol. I don't have any canned air stuff, but I will have a look for some and give that a try, thanks.
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Late 2002 motherboard.
    You likely need a new case fan, and certainly need a new CPU cooler after that many years or operational hours.
    The noise goes away as the fan gets up to full speed, but wear on the shaft and the non-ball-bearing drive has resulted in wear that causes the system to be a little off-balance.
    This becomes a greater problem as grime and dust accumulates on the fan blades.

    You can get excellent replacements online for $12 to $24 depending on quality.
    Consider an Antec or Modware... we like Directron.com for their variety of quality units.
    Also get a small tude of thermal paste.
    Yes you can do it yourself, but if you have never done one before, as an experienced tech friend's assistance.
  7. brodie

    brodie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Do I need to buy a specific type/model for my computer or can any CPU cooler or case fan be put in it? I have another computer that died ages ago, it just stopped powering up one day, but if those parts still work in it... could I try and use them in this computer? I will have a look at that site you recommended, I live in Australia though *crosses fingers they post worldwide*

    Thanks so much for your help, I wouldn't have been able to figure that out for myself. I've only ever replaced RAM and an internal modem on a computer before, but I'll have a look at a 'how to' guide or something and see if it sounds do-able for me, if not... experienced technician, here I come lol.
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