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Dennis PillowFlag for United States of America

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iMac mid 2010 27" is screaming at me

I have an iMac 27" mid 2010. When it is being used to watch You Tube videos it will make a supersonic screaming sound and must be physically turned off with the power button. The computer just stops working. Could I be looking at a failing hard drive or fan? Any ideas will be appreciated.
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Paul Sauvé
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does this occur event with the speakers off?

if the sound is coming through the speakers, then it is possible a problem the sound card

supersonic - when an object goes faster that the speed of sound...    ;-)
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I have seen it do this with just normal use, not using the sound. The sound does not seem to come from the speakers and when this happens there is no control for anything.

Note: Maybe I should have used the analogy of a sound like a 600 cycle generator on the flight line in the winter in Alaska....That is loud :-)
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Aaron Tomosky
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Thank you for the heads up. I will try the solution.
Easy test:
Get a can of compressed air, remove the memory cover  (the vent at the bottom center) then when it makes the noise blow some bursts of air at the noise, probably straight up. If the noise changes with the air, it's absolutely the fan.
Will Do!
Resetting the SMC is often suggested as a first step.

Google "imac fans loud"