As a general rule computers are quiet machines, emitting sounds occasionally as indicators or reminders. If your computer is relatively quiet then it’s probably healthy and running with no problems. A beep or two is pretty standard, as are some pops, clicks, and whirs. But, if your computer is making a lot of noise it may be trying to tell you that something is wrong. Here are few common noises that come from computers which indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. Many of these sounds can be diagnosed and repaired before any real damage occurs.
A Loud Whirring Fan
Fans are an essential part of your computer that keep everything inside cool and stable. You probably hear your fan kick on quite often, and depending on how you use your computer it may run fairly constantly. Some fans are louder than others and most of the time they do not indicate a problem, but if you can barely hear yourself think over the gale force winds blowing inside your computer, it’s time to check things out. If your fan sounds like a bicycle with a baseball card in the spokes, there is probably something loose in your machine, like a wire, catching the fan blade. If the fan never shuts off, it may be a switch problem. You might also be experiencing some heating issues. Taking the cover off is the only way to find out, and if you aren’t tech savvy it might be best to leave it to professionals.
Clicking or Grinding Hard Drive
A bit of muffled clicking when you access files on your computer is normal, but if there is a loud clicking or grinding sound coming from your hard drive, it is definitely a cause for concern. This is a sound that might occur after you drop a laptop, or if your drive has simply aged and gone bad. The hard drive is where all of your digital information is stored, and a problem here could mean the loss of all the data you keep on your computer. The best way to guard against such a disaster is to create regular backups of your files about once a month and keep them somewhere safe, like in cloud storage or on a disc. After you have made a backup, it’s time to buy a new hard drive.
Spinning Disc Drive
When you put a disc into a computer, it needs to spin quickly in order to be read. This can sometimes be quite audible, but is usually not a problem. It could get annoying however, if you have to listen to it all the time. The first thing to check is whether a disc has been left in the tray. This will cause the spinning noise to run, sometimes constantly, and it’s bad for the disc and drive. If you are still hearing the sound when the drive is empty, it’s time to get that baby checked out. It could be the optical drive, or some other broken component inside the machine.
If a Sound Worries You, Ask a Professional
Computers do make sounds normally, but if you hear anything that has you worried it doesn’t hurt to look it up or consult a professional computer repair specialist. We would be happy to consult with you and let you know what is normal and what could indicate problems.