Noisy computers are annoying, but most hums and vibrations can be tracked down and stopped — no special skills or tools required.
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Hunting down the sources of troublesome PC noise
Reader Donald MacNaughton’s PC has developed an acoustic problem.
- “My PC has begun to hum. It’s a drone that’s somewhat distracting and worrisome — excessive vibration is probably not good for components. I’m guessing the noise might be caused by a vibrating disk drive or fan.
“How can I identify the source of the hum and stop it? What else might be useful to know about humming computers?”
Donald, there are typically two types of hums in PCs. The most common are purely mechanical vibrations emanating from fans, drives, and similar rotating devices. Less common (but equally annoying) are hums produced by the PC’s electrical system.
Let’s start with mechanical sources:
- Optical drives: Optical (CD, DVD, Blu-ray) discs accidentally left in a high-speed drive can produce an amazing amount of noise. Keep optical discs in your drive only as needed.