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Dell dimensions e520 rapid beeping

Posted on 2009-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
My Dell dimensions e520 beeps rapidly only when i am opening programs like Firefox or Control Panel or my soft phone and also my outlook 2007. i have tried everything possible to get it to stop. also the processor is always running at 50% or more for the svc host.

I have found out what problems it is not having:
- it is not over heating
- the RAM is fine
- The processor is also fine

here are the specs:
dimensions e520
3.0Ghz x2
3 gb Ram 3x1 gb DDR2 667Mhz
Windows XP home
BTX Case

P.S. This is now happening on 2 identical computers. and they are out of warranty
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Question by:ustelcom
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by:Mark
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Sounds like an update issue when more than one PC is effected in the same manner.
What happens to the SVC HOST when windows update is turned off?

Check this out in reference to the SVC HOST and update issue.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927891
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by:ustelcom
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when i turn off auto updates, nothing changes. this problem appeared on my computer around jan 2009. it appeared on another employees computer today. but on the other employee's computer the processor activity is normal. it idles at 2%.
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It sounds as if the CPU is maxing out at 100% for a moment and the system beeps to indicate this.
With the SVCHOST running at 50% that leaves less for the system to use when the program opens which is when it would spike the CPU Usage %
You may want to try this program to see what is running inside that SVCHOST
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Other issues may be related to the Hard drive. Is there space on the drive, does the HD LED on the computer coincide with any of these beeps. Some issues can be when accessing data on the drive causing high HD usage.
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by:ustelcom
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ok, you solved one problem. my processor is now running fine. it was the auto update, i have turned it off now and it works fine. but the computer still beeps. this computer does not have a HDD light, just power.
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by:ustelcom
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if i can record it, will that help?
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by:Mark
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Not necessarily as the only beeps that would be of importance are startup beep codes.
As long as it isn't a hi/low form of beeping like a European police car. That would indicate a high CPU temp alarm from the BIOS.
Is this a constant beeping until the program is shut down. Some of my kids computers will do the random beep thing when they're running a certain game, mostly I attribute it to HD access waits and such.
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by:Mark
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Check in the BIOS for any alarm settings that may be giving an alarm beep.
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by:ustelcom
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the beeping is [on,off,on,off] at a rate of about 1/16 of a second from on to off, and is the same tone. it only lasts until the program loads completely. it does not affect the performance, but it is driving all the employees in my building NUTS!
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by:ustelcom
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i picked up a digital audio recorder today because i think if you hear it you may have a better understanding. when i recorded this i was opening my soft phone.

here it is[WMA]:
http://riotcommunity.org/VN520012.WMA
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by:Mark
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This may sound weird but that sounds like a stuck key on the keyboard to me.
Check this link out concerning turning of the filter keys setting.
http://www.ofzenandcomputing.com/zanswers/463
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by:ustelcom
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it is not the keyboard, i even disconnected the keyboard and it did the same thing. i tried a new keyboard, same thing. if you cant solve the problem, let me know and i will just reload the OS and award you the points anyway because you solved my high processor usage problem,
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by:Mark
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Can you turn on task manager and while watching the CPU usage %, see what the usage is when you run one of those programs that create the beep.
Does the CPU usage go to 100% and coincide with the beeping?
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by:ustelcom
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the cpu never went higher than 41% for outlook, and 62% for Firefox.
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by:Mark
Mark earned 500 total points
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Then it doesn't seem to be software based. If you do a reinstall of the OS and it still beeps, you're most likely looking at a hardware issue.

From what I experienced, a beeping of this sort occurs during the POST  start up and usually can indicate a problem with hardware. This is a bit strange that it happens while starting a program, but certain things happen when a program is beginning that might be the cause.
The accessing of the hard drive during program start can create a draw on the PSU which can cause a slight out of spec variation in the Voltage supplied to the motherboard causing an out of spec voltage. I have seen  anomalous voltages on PSU's do some strange things that cannot be accounted for.
Having two PC's do this is even stranger as it implies some connection, the update issue is now cleared so I would suspect an inherent flaw in the PC's hardware.
Are both PC's the same model and were they purchased at the same time?
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by:ustelcom
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before i reload the OS i am going to purchase a P.O.S.T. PCI card in a few days and see if it will give me an error while it beeps. both of the computers are Dimensions E520 and were ordered on the same date.
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by:ustelcom
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i could just take off the speaker, lol
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by:Mark
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Yes that would do, but you would always wonder , right ;-)
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by:ustelcom
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so true.
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by:ustelcom
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ok, i am going to go ahead and accept your solution, and award you points. i will pick up a post card to see if it is a hardware issue.
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by:ustelcom
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thank you very much
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I can wait on points and would rather se the conclusion for others who may read this later.
Not sure if a post card will detect this unless its happening on startup. A running PC may not give you any indication on the post card.
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by:MrMintanet
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I wonder if it is the perephrial hardware causing it.  Perhaps a mouse is freaking out and causing some sort of insane input to the computer causing this.  Are you using the same keyboard/mouse on the two computers?  Like most would if setting up a diagnostic workbench.
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by:ustelcom
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i have changed out all add on hardware. so if it is hardware it would be on board. i already awarded you points sparkmaker, because you solved my first problem and helped me narrow down my second one to hardware. i will post what happens when i check it with a post card.
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by:Mark
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Affirmative, good luck. Post back any results.
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by:ustelcom
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ok the problem was a windows update. as soon as i find out which one it was i will post it to help others with the same problem.
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