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My computer has been making a strange humming/vibrating noise on start up, lasts for about 30 seconds and then its fine all day, someone said it could be the fans, but they are working ok, and the hard drives are showing up as ok on the diagnostic software I have, anyone have any ideas what it might be? Thanks.


Re: Humming noise on start up.

Might be the fan is not okay then okay again. Sounds like the fan may be on it's way out.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Re: Humming noise on start up.

Most likely culprits:

1. the fan - it may just need cleaning - or it may be getting ready to fail

2. the power supply - which is the part with the biggest fan (see above)

It's probably worth doing a cleaning - open up your computer (with the power off! and unplugged) - clean all the dust out of all the vents - check the fan itself for dust and grime on the fan blades.

If that doesn't do it, you may need to get a technician to do a thorough cleaning - have him check out the power supply at the same time - if necessary, have the power supply replaced (it's not a very expensive part and it's a whole lot cheaper than a new motherboard or computer if it goes wacky).
Re: Humming noise on start up.

Thanks, someone said you have to wear special wrist bands when working inside of a computer, something to with static, is this right? Im not that confident inside computers anyway!!

Re: Humming noise on start up.

Static electricity is rarely a problem. However, to prevent static electricity from your body affecting the hardware, just touch the metal case of the computer with your hands before touching the hardware components.


Re: Humming noise on start up.

May I suggest backing up all your data and Windows settings ASAP in the event this may be a warning of a failure of a hard drive.

As I think back on my recent experience with a hard drive crash, in the weeks preceding the crash, there were a couple of instances of peculiar behaviour with that drive.

I did not think it was anythig to be concerned about and then one day found myself with a "deceased" hard drive.

As the others have said the only things that move in a computer are fans and drives. Open your computer on a table where there is no rug, so the liklihood of generating any static is reduced and as Daniel said, before opening up the case, either touch the case to discharge any stsic buildup you may have or touch something like a faucet or metal radiator or something metal in your home that is grounded.

If the sound occurs when the computer is cold, and goes away after it's been running, it could be a fan.

However, to err on the side of a backup.
Thanks Steve, backing up all done. I do back ups regulary but not as often as perhaps I should!! Some important stuff, pics and things are on my Zip100 for safety. Thanks again!
Ive done it this morning, it was caked in dust, there was feathers in there:eek: and a bit of seed:lol: Im not confident enough really clean it, so I blew till I went dizzy and alot of dust came free, alot of dust is on small bits or behind things which Im scared to touch incase I damage or dislodge something, I put my vacuum on blow setting and blew air around it, that shifted some more, then I use my little battery vacuum to vac round the case, being careful not to actually touch anything!!! theres still some dust in there but I think it needs a proper clean by a professional, i wiped the case too, put it back together and put it on and guess what??? NO NOISE:yahoo: Hopefully thats it, see how it goes the next few days. I notice the fan at the back by the power is inaccessible, just blew on that. Would it be ok to use to make up brush to clean or a paint brush, (clean of course)) so I could get at the stubborn stuff or are there special brushes?

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I would think a soft clean paint brush with a light touch would be fine. Make sure the openings/vents in the case are clean, too.

You can buy cans of compressed air which are less risky than the vacuum cleaner for blowing out the dust.
Thanks David, I put the computer on this morning and its did it again, i cant work this out, so Have cleaned it a alittle more, switched it back on and Its stopped again, its just odd.


Sounds like the fan to me, as well. Sometimes, they get a little sticky and hum on startup, then loosen up and cease to hum. Replacing the fan will probably solve your problem, and it's not an expensive fix! :)

Hee! I didn't read the rest of the responses. Still sounds like the fan to me, though.
been having problems, was watching dvd the whole system froze had to switch of via the mains, got it back on to find no sound getting error messages for soundcard, soundcare cannot start, cannot be found, tryed reinstalling it but didnt work, wonder if this is to do with the humming noise?? Looks like it failed.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
It may be the power supply that's failing, TTE. The worry there is that if true other parts may be damaged or may be unable to run.

Of course, the alternative is as you suggest - the soundcard was failing, creating the humming sound, and perhaps causing fluctuations in the power it was drawing.

Still a third possibility is that in blowing all the dust around you got some in the pin connections where the sound card is seated. You might try pulling out the sound card, blowing the dust out of the connector (by mouth, not the vacuum cleaner this time!), and reseating the sound card.

Do you have someone local who can check it out for you?
There is someone. Ive texted him hes not about at the moment,, theres no one else not without paying silly call out fees and stuff. Im just going to leave it till he gets back to me and can come out, the computers running fine except the sound card. I think will go and watch tv for a bit:D
New soundcard is fitted. The computer wouldnt work at all at one point but he sorted that out eventually, anyway fingers crossed its resolved!!



New soundcard is fitted

Do I understand correctly the problem was a hum comng through the speakers and was caused by your old sound card, and by replacing the sound card, the hum is now gone?
The hum was coming from in the computer, not the speakers, my friend said soundcards can make a noise if they faulty he restarted it 4 or 5 times after fitting new card, and no humming. he ran the computer with the side off and go no humming from any of the fans.
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