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Strange sound coming out of my computer.

Posted on 2008-10-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hello,

Lately, my computer have been making a sound that sounds like a "squish".

How can I diagnose this issue and find out the process responsible of invoking this sound?


Thank you.
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Question by:Wael23
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RLLSTech earned 300 total points
ID: 22615427
Is the computer acting strangely?  Slower than normal?  Crashing a lot?

The heads in a hard drive are driven by a voice coil - not unlike that in a speaker.  HDDs can conceivably make all sorts of strange noises.

Is there any rhyme or reason to the noise?  Only when there's disk access?  Maybe when the CD-ROM drive is active?  If it's something we can easily reproduce, we can probably diagnose it quickly.
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by:Jonvee
Jonvee earned 300 total points
ID: 22615877
It could be your Hard disk beginning to fail.  If in any doubt, i recommend that you backup any valuable data that you have, just to be safe.

Don't wish to alarm you, but you may wish to read this article>
"Hard Drive Makes a Clicking Sound":
http://askbobrankin.com/hard_drive_makes_a_clicking_sound.html
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 22615980
The problem could also be a cooling fan.  Have you recently checked inside for dust, or monitored the cabinet and/or CPU operating temperatures?

If it looks like a HD, once you've saved any important data you could run CHKDSK.  This will scan the disk for file structure errors and bad sectors and make appropriate repairs if required.
chkdsk /r

If no improvement, you could download the latest diagnostic software and utilities from the manufacturer of your hard drive>
"Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities":
http://tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 22616073
Concentrating again on possible HD failure, could the "squish" you hear be compared in any way with a "clicking sound"?
If so, here's another article>
http://www.tech-faq.com/hard-drive-recovery.shtml
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by:Danny Child
Danny Child earned 100 total points
ID: 22616146
Is the noise repetitive, or does it occur at specific times (ie on boot, loading a CD, on an error, etc)?  Is it possible that someone has changed one of the default windows sounds to something a little more, er, "interesting"?

Do you also get it in Safe Mode (press F8 during the startup of Windows, every second or two, to bring up the boot menu)

I'd also suggest opening the case if it does, and seeing if you can pinpoint the source of the sound.  It either has to be from a speaker in the case (sometimes there are small sounders on the motherboard itself), external speakers, or from one of the moving parts inside the pc (hard disk, cd, floppy, or a fan).
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by:flubbster
flubbster earned 300 total points
ID: 22616914
It's a fan... either the PSU fan, the CPU fan, or the video card fan (if there is one). Open the system and blow out the dust. I have even removed the fan on video cards and oiled them a bit, spun them quickly with a blower, and put them back. To verify if it is a fan, simply turn the volume all the way down or off using the sound controls... even mute them. If you still hear it... Fan. If not, then we can go from there.
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Author Comment

by:Wael23
ID: 22621524
Thanks for all the replies.

The sound is not hardware related, because when I turn the speakers off, the sound goes away.

Also, I can't reproduce the sound and it doesn't happen all the time.

I strongly believe it is produced by one of the running processes.  I was wondering if there is a way to monitor the sound card activities to know what process is utilizing the sound card at the time when I hear the sound.  

Does XP keep a log somewhere that facilitate such information about sound card activities?

Thank you.
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 22623735
Have you tried going into your control panel>sounds and audio devices?  I know of no monitor for audio cards. Anyway, if you go to the control panel sounds settings, click on the sounds tab. Look at each sound that is set up (it shows a speaker icon beside it). You can play the sounds there. See if one of them is the culprit.
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Author Comment

by:Wael23
ID: 22624817
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by:RLLSTech
ID: 22797771
That to me sounds like the hard drive resetting the heads.  Hard to tell.  Could you get a longer sample?

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Author Comment

by:Wael23
ID: 22834034
Hi RLLSTech

Thanks for the reply.  There is no longer sample, that is all the sound I hear.  Also, I strongly doubt it is coming from the hard drive, it comes from the speakers, because when I turn the speakers off I don't hear that sound any more.
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Expert Comment

by:RLLSTech
ID: 22834137
You know, I missed the part about the speakers and for that I apologize.  And now that I realize that, it changes everything.  That almost sounds like a navigation sound in Internet Explorer.  But I'm guessing you'd notice if that were the case.

So the sound is totally random?  If so, let's start with basics, like updating your sound card driver.  If you're not sure how to do this, let us know.  Otherwise, go to your computer's manufacturer's website.  In the support section, you'll find a downloads section.  There you should be able to select your model computer, and operating system.  Then you should get a list of available drivers.  Check the date on your driver in Device Manager compared to the date given (if any) on the website.  Even if it's the same date, download it and install it.

If you're not sure how to do any of this, feel free to ask.
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 22834227
If it is truly a sound being generated by windows for a defined function/action/request, then it will be listed in "sounds"

You could try a trial and error method of elimination by doing the following:

control panel>sounds and audio devices
select "sounds"
on the bottom, you will see all the windows sounds that are active.
double-click each one, write down the present setting (error.wav, etc.) so you can set it back. Set the sound to "None" (all the way at the top of the list)
set them all to none in this manner, recording the current setting for each.
test. If sounds stop, set them back, by doing 1/2 at a time. Go from there... if still good, reset more. If now bad, remove half, etc.
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Author Comment

by:Wael23
ID: 23333146
Although I appreciate the attempts of everyone trying to help me with this problem, none of these answers were helpful.

I would be happy to give some points for everyone tried to answer, but I don't know if the administrators would mind that?????

Maybe on of the admins can tell me.

Thank you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Wael23
ID: 31502013
Although, none of these answers was helpful, I really appreciate the help.  Thanks everyone.
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