Computer gurus...

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Sep 15, 2002
Scottsdale, AZ
My computer started making a quiet high-pitched noise a couple weeks ago. I believe it is one of the pieces of hardware that is spinning. I does stop when I go back and forth between web pages, when I move the slide bar on the right of the Window, and also when I move the cursor over different things on web pages. It doesn't being when the comp is turned on, but does after a few minutes.

This has me baffled. Hard drive going bad? Fan on the video card?

First go buy a can of compressed air and open the case and blow out any dust especially in the computer chip heatsink and fan.
It night be plugged or overheating a little or fan might be going bad.

Might be fan in the power supply also.

**Any other symptoms like shutting off, errors etc.....?
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Sometimes if the hard drive has to churn alot it can make noise. Have you defragged lately? Got enough RAM memory so it doesn't have to go to the hard drive alot for virtual memory?
Sometimes computer speakers will put up interference from inside the computer..and this may be what you are hearing. If so it should go away if you turn the speakers off or unplug them.
Back and forth between pages sounds to me like an aging temperature controlled CPU fan, or a hard drive.

If you don't do backups, now would be a good time to start.
I used to have an old Seagate hard drive that would make a whistling sound when it got warm and was under light load. It was the weirdest thing. Then it died about 6 months later.

Backup is a good idea!
I blew it out w/ compressed air about a month ago, but will try that again. No other symptoms.

Defrag regularly and have 1 gig of RAM.

I'll try the speakers.

I'll take a listen when its open before I blow it out again.

CPU fan sounds like a good possibility as it doesn't make the sound right off, but after a few minutes of use.
I've been thinking about an external drive to keep everything on as backup. Sooner than later, now.
Just a guess here but if you are using a crt monitor it might be what is makeing the noise. I have a crt on an old desktop system that whistles when under similar conditions.
Originally Posted By: Toy4x4
I blew it out w/ compressed air about a month ago, but will try that again. No other symptoms.

Defrag regularly and have 1 gig of RAM.


If XP then 1 Gb memory is fine. If Vista, you need 2 Gb minimum however.
I had the same problem with aged monitors running too high of a refresh rate (i.e. 1280x1024 at 100Hz). I think to narrow it down you need to open up the case and start listening. Hard drive whine should be constant since they are servo controlled at a particular rpm, and the actuator arm would only click instead of whine (or else you have bigger problem than just annoying you).

Fan is easy to test, because you can temporarily disconnect it for a few seconds.

I'd say if it is not from the monitor, it is capacitor/switching voltage regulator hisses that are common with aged components. You have to either live with it or replace the board. It is probably about time.
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