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5 Weird Computer Noises: What They Mean and How to Fix It

Silent Home Hub Computer Noises

Only three things are certain in life: DEATH, TAXES, and those annoying COMPUTER NOISES!

If you hear any of the sounds we’re about to share on your PC, you might be in for a huge problem.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the common noises every computer user should watch out for.

Table of Contents

Why Does My Computer Make Noises?

Picture this! You’re in the middle of work, and suddenly, you start hearing unpleasant computer sound effects.

Where could these be coming from?

Believe it or not, two main culprits contribute to unnecessary desktop PC noises.

  • Computer Fans: These can create noises if they’re too small, not powerful, or attached loosely.
  • Hard Disk: Platters tend to spin all over the place.

Multiple factors result in more noise production from your computer.

  • Old age
  • Accumulation of dust, lint, and pet hair
  • Inconsistent weather (32-95 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature range)
  • Air vent blockage
  • Overworked computer hardware

Why Does My Computer Keep Making Fan Noises?

However, these THREE REASONS will show you why desktop or laptop fans can be easily heard. 

  • Laptop position/location: Uneven surfaces might collide with your laptop fan, thus resulting in buzzing laptop fan noises.
  • Fan damage: This occurs if you drop your laptop. You NEED to get it to the repair shop or order replacement fans ASAP!
  • Overheating: The computer graphics card tends to overheat the MOST. CPU fans have no choice but to produce buzzing fan noises to prevent overheating.

These prevent fans and computers from running effectively, thus producing louder vibrations, beeps, and fan noise.

Sources of Computer Sounds

1. Clicking, Scratching, Rattling, Buzzing, or Grinding Noises

Fans

Case fans, power supply fans, and computer fans are prone to these loud noises if they come in contact with rough objects, wires, or other computer components.

It pays to double-check your setup before inserting the fans.

Hard Drive

Hard drives/hard disks are MORE prone to those unbearable sound effects because of their mechanical nature.

The needle skirts through a sensitive magnetic plate, which results in a scratching sound. Other components like dust and dirt can most likely damage your hard disk.

These are dangerous because your files might get corrupted or completely deleted.

BONUS: Server Noise

If your workspace is near your office server racks, you probably know how annoying it can be to hear all those servers and hard drives buzzing.

The solution for this is simple: Soundproofing your server racks.

The best part: You can do this on your own as long as you remember the following:

  • Ample space for your computer cables
  • Enough air ventilation for balanced temperature
  • Soundproofing materials [mass loaded vinyl (MLV), rubberized undercoating, etc.]

2. Loud Whirring or Humming Noises

Fans

You might call us crazy, but whirring or humming noises are NOT all that bad.

That means all your computer fans from the front and back of your computer (case fan, power supply fan, computer fan, etc.) are preventing overheating.

The only time it can be a problem is if the noise becomes loud and unbearable.

Hard Drive

Even the quietest hard disk drives are not spared from that dreadful humming noise. In fact, they get even LOUDER as time goes by.

It will probably be a great idea to copy your files to a backup storage device if you need to delete some documents and programs on your hardware.

CD/DVD Drive

A CD/DVD drive is also susceptible to a humming sound, especially if the disk tray has excessive dust accumulation.

Solutions

  • Search for quiet case fans in any PC repair shop
  • Install video editing software that’s not heavy for the CPU
  • Use a computer fan software that’s compatible with your fans and reduce the speed yourself

3. Pops, Hissing, and Crackling Noises

Speakers

Computer speakers produce hissing noise whenever they can’t play music or audio from videos properly.

Here are some possible reasons why these noises emerge.

  • The speaker’s amplifier has an electronic circuit.
  • The audio or speaker cables are unbalanced
  • The power supply cord has grounding problems.

Solutions

  • Unplug your speakers when it’s NOT in use.
  • Replace RCA audio cables and TS audio cables with more balanced cables.
  • Inspect the ground loop.
  • Incorporate a Direct Image (DI box)
  • Double-check the compatibility of the power supply with your power outlets

4. Beeping

Motherboard

If you start to hear a beeping noise out of nowhere, there’s an issue with your motherboard (and no, this doesn’t mean it has feelings).

Most of the time, you will hear beep codes if your PC can’t flash the problem on the screen.

Solutions for Beeping Sounds

  • Restart your desktop pc/laptop.
  • Determine the BIOS chip manufacturer.
  • Choose any version of these troubleshooting guides (AMIBIOS – AMI Beep Code Troubleshooting, AwardBIOS – Award Beep Code Troubleshooting, PhoenixBIOS – Phoenix Beep Code Troubleshooting)

5. Coil Whine

A coil whine is a high-pitched squeal produced by electronic components. How so?

Vibrations occur when power passes through the coil, and voila, the whining sound is born.

Solutions for Coil Whine

  • Check the software (Reduce the framerate, Turn on V-sync, utilize a frame limiter, etc.).
  • Ask for a warranty from the manufacturer.
  • Change the fan speed (MSI Afterburner, RivaTuner, etc.)

Other Noises That Might Be Bothering You

Besides the computer fan, CPU, graphics card, and hard drive products, here are other computer peripherals that can bother you while working or doing other activities on your PC.

Loud Typing Sounds From Keyboards

You heard that right! Even your keyboards can produce unwanted noise. One component that contributes to the noise is the gaps on each key.

The best way to combat this issue is by checking out some of the best and quietest keyboards that gamers and even professionals use.

If you’re not willing to spend on a new keyboard, you can also consider making your keyboard quieter.

Annoying Mouse Clicks

Heavy and dragging mouse clicks can hold you back when trying to complete a report or article. These can also add discomfort to your fingertips.

We suggest checking out some quiet gaming mouse options for a more optimized and continuous computer experience.

Disturbing Projector Noises

Don’t you find it annoying when you can’t hear the movie properly because your projector starts producing annoying sound effects?

Worry no more because quiet projectors do exist, and they’re here to improve your viewing experience!

Video Game Console Noises

Sorry, gamers, but you’re not spared from computer-like noises either.

Besides laptops and desktop computers, other devices like the PS4 and Xbox One produce loud noises, which reverberate in different parts of your home or recording studio.

PS4

The PS4 is built like a computer — and that means loud PS4 fans and hard disk drives.

That also means it’s prone to overheating, especially if you have too many games installed or the console is kept on for hours.

Xbox One

The Xbox One possesses similar problems to the PS4. It also has cooling fans when the temperature levels are above normal, and that means loud Xbox One fans.

Basically, the higher the temperature, the faster this Microsoft console will run. Grinding noise happens to be a byproduct of this.

Solutions to Reduce Console Noise

  • Clean your console inside and out with a microfiber cloth to eliminate dust components
  • Apply proper ventilation to your room.
  • Replace the hard drive and replace the fans if you can

Conclusion

Others may disregard the computer noise and consider it normal, but you and your PC might be in a heap of trouble if you have this mentality.

“Prevention is better than cure,” so it pays to identify the source of the problem before it’s too late.

FINAL TIP: If you don’t have time to treat all these noise problems yourself, you can opt to get yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones instead.

And if you were wondering, noise-cancelling headphones DO WORK without any music on, so don’t sweat it!

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.