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How do I stop a Dell E6400 laptop from beeping

Posted on 2011-02-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a Dell E6400 laptop that makes an annoying beeping noise.

Below are two links as examples for what it is doing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzNesO-4tkk&NR=1 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9fLCRWlw4s 

I've tried:

http://laptops.promo.web.id/how-can-i-stop-this-annoying-beeping-sound-on-my-dell-laptop

and

 http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3517/t/19285804.aspx

Neither worked.  It is driving me crazy.  Dell has had me go thru the Diagnostics and they found nothing.  I'm stuck, and going crazy (is especially embarassing when I am in front of a client).  The only thing that seems to work is to close the laptop and shake it like an etch-a-sketch for about 10-15 seconds (almost releasing a stuck key it seems, even though there is no stuck key).

Please help.
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Question by:mmathews34
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32 Comments
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 34884893
The first thing to figure out is whether it's something Windows is doing, or something hardware related.  Does it do it before Windows has booted up, or if you boot off a Linux (or other bootable) disk?
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Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34885317
It has not done it before Windows has booted up or off another bootable disk.  But I scarely shut it all the way down (when I travel, to and from work I put it in sleep mode) and can't recall if I have booted off another disk before).

It definitely seems to have something to do with a stuck key as the beeping will sometimes stop after what sounds like a key fluttering and will not come back again until I close the lid again.  I should also disclose that after Dell did their diagnositics check, they did send me a new keyboard.  That was replaced and didn't help.  When I called Dell back to report this, the rep was rude and wanted me to run thru the full diagnostics again, so I brought it to EE.
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:akahan
akahan earned 668 total points
ID: 34885593
The first step is to figure out whether it's something Windows (or some program you have installed) is doing, or whether it's strictly hardware based.  It would be helpful if you could boot up from something other than Windows (for example, a Linux CD) and see if it still beeps.

It sure sounds like either Windows, or something that you have installed, though.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 34885629
If the beeping starts before windows loads it could be a bad controller where the keyboard has already been replaced.
0
 
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34886058
did you disable windows sounds?  that way you could test if it is actually a windows sound.
then you can start looking
0
 

Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34887625
Yes; I have disabled windows sounds and it still does it.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34888557
does it do it all the time, or only when using certain programs?
if all the time, it can be  a hard problem; you can test if it does it also when running from a live Knoppix cd  :

ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.4.4CD-2011-01-30-EN.iso
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 34889548
You should be able to disable the speakers completely by plugging a pair of headphones or earbuds into the headphone jack.  If you do this, do you still get the beeping?
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Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34889579
yes.....still beeps (out loud) when speakers are muted and headphones are in.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 34889721
This is definitely not a Windows issue.  Are you absolutely sure that the beeping is coming from the speakers, and that it isn't, for example, the hard drive chirping?
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Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34889749
No - I never said it was coming from the speakers.  Seems to be the lower, left-hand side of the keyboard, so may be the hard drive?  See the videos below (is exactly what it is doing).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzNesO-4tkk&NR=1 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9fLCRWlw4s 

0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 34889781
OH, and you don't have a cel phone sitting near the laptop do you?
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Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34889849
There is a cell phone in a holster on my hip (so, about 2 feet away).  Though I can't say for certain, I am almost certain it beeps randomly even when there is not a cell phone in the proximity.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34890018
you could test with another disk..
0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 34890025
The front left, where the noise is coming from, is where your hard drive is on that model, I think.  You could try removing it, and replacing with another hard drive, to see if another drive would also chirp.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34890105
is that not what i posted?
0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 34890205
Yep; you type faster than I do.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 34895043
It sounds like what you are hearing is the laptop's system bell.

To test, try disabling it.  To do that, you must stop the beep service:

http://support.microsoft.com/?id=838671

Follow method 2.

Good luck!
0
 

Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34928555
Thank you phototropic - I have tried this solution and have not heard the beeping yet.  Since it is random, I would like to hold off on confirming this is the fix for a little while longer.  Will follow up in the next day, or if the beeping starts up again sooner.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 34935039
OK. Give it a while and see what happens.

Many people report this problem, and turning off the beep service will usually sort it.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34937729
Beeping started up again this morning.....seems to always happen within 5 minutes of restart, and then ramdomly after that.

One of the solutions suggested was to put in a new hard drive and see if that does the trick.  Because of my limited time and expertise, I'm not sure I have the skills to do this (and a spare HD to use).

Any other suggestions?
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 34938270
Check to see if the beep service is re-enabling on restart.

Did you stop the beep service ( net stop beep) or did you turn off the beep service ( sc config beep start= disabled ) ?
If you stop it, it will turn back on with the next reboot.  If you turn it off, it should stay turned off until you turn it back on again.

 
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:phototropic
phototropic earned 664 total points
ID: 34938322
A full overview of how to gain control of the beep service is given here:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/turn-off-the-annoying-windows-xp-system-beeps/

Note once again that "disabling" the beep service is not the same as "turning off" the beep service.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34944373
I turned off the beep service  previously (sc config beep start= disabled).  This morning, after reading your posts, I went into the directions above to check this again and when I right click on the Beep in the Non-Plug and Play Drivers, it it only gave me the option to "Uninstall" and not "disable".  I also went into the driver and in the "startup" field, it was listed as "disabled" already and the status was "stopped".

Does this mean I had it configured correctly and it shouldn't beep?
0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 34945174
"Does this mean I had it configured correctly and it shouldn't beep?"

It sure does. If it's still beeping, then the beep service was not the issue here.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 34947577
So, is it still beeping?
0
 

Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34948291
Yes - not sure if you went to the links I posted early on exactly what it is doing.  It is still randomly beeping like that.
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 34949552
If it still beeps with the beep service turned off, it must be a sound emanating from the hdd itself.

If that is the case, the only way to stop it would be to replace the drive.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 34982537
Does anyone have a "best practices" paper that can give me steps to perform to do this and install a new hard drive myself (to back up my data and then restore?  I am on Vista, using Office 2007 and am a BIG user of Outlook for mail, calendar and tasking)?

0
 
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 668 total points
ID: 34986208
use a cloning prgram like paragon : http://www.paragon-software.com/free/
and clone your disk to the new disk - connected via usb
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:mmathews34
ID: 35062164
Thank you for your help.  I do not have the time or expertise to try this final solution (and am frustrated there seens to be no other way to turn off this chirping), but I understand this is not the experts problem and feel I should award points.  Therefore, I'm awarding points to the 3 that were engaged throughout the process.  Thank you again for your support.
0
 
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35066942
sorry we could not help better..
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