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Thread: Help Needed From Computer Geeks

  1. #1
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    Question Help Needed From Computer Geeks

    I have a Dell PC which is making funny revving noises. Like when you hear a car engine rev when you press the gas pedal a bit. Except nobody is pressing the gas pedal. It is otherwise functional but it seems abnormal. Any ideas or theories?

  2. #2
    proud infidel
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    Maybe a problem with the fan inside your computer?
    fml

  3. #3
    Your comp could be over heating which is pushing the fan into over-drive...if it is rather louder than usual...bring it back to the store and have them check it out, the fan may have gotten loose, this happened on my new G5.

    Better that than to over heat the circuits and hard drive.

  4. #4
    First thing...take the cover off and see if you can identify where the sound is coming from. There aren't many moving parts in your system. It is either your cpu fan or a case fan if there is one, your cd/dvd drive or the worst case, your hard drive. Check if you have a disc in your cd drive, they have a habit of spinning up from time to time. If you want to get into a more detailed service discussion just pm me, I'm a computer technician and I would be glad to help if I can.

  5. #5
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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the advice. I shut the computer off and let it rest for a while, turned it back on and it sounds okay now. If I hear that revving noise again I will follow your advice.

  6. #6
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    Indeed, your problem seems to be with the fan inside your computer. Regularly removing your cover and dusting what's inside of it, especially the fan, will do wonders for your computer.

  7. #7
    Sometimes the bearings in the fans wear out. They make a grinding noise for a while then quiet down. Until they fail completely. Then they are very quiet and there is that familiar burning smell.

    Best to get it looked at. The fans cost $10. The CPU several hundred.

  8. #8
    proud infidel
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaJohn
    Indeed, your problem seems to be with the fan inside your computer. Regularly removing your cover and dusting what's inside of it, especially the fan, will do wonders for your computer.
    I've been told that you have to watch out for not only dust but also static electricity, especially if you have carpets or if the air inside your room is dry. Apparently, you can cut down on static electricity by using a piece of plastic on which you place your computer. Personally, this is what i did (plastic garbage bag) , and i haven't noticed any problem with my fan ever since. The only thing is that i was a bit shocked recently to note that there was quite a fair amount of dust at the back of my computer around what seems to be a type of vent.

    fml
    fml

  9. #9
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    JAJ
    I do not recommend "dusting" or vacuming the inside of a computer. Dusting manually can result in wires getting disconnected. The "old Hoover"'s nozzle is metal or plastic (if you use an attachment). The plastic will conduct/accumulate static and could fry the chips if there's a zap (did this at work and blew-up a $50,000 industrial computer ;( )
    For the metal tip, well, obvious... Plus there's the risk of "aspiring" some wiring.
    If you have any reason to think the inside need dusting, get a can of compressed air, get your vaccum cleaner close by, unplug the PC from the AC outlet. (P2 and up still have power to the motherboard even with power switch off) Remove the cover, do not touch anything inside! Blow compressed air on parts that need dusting and catch what's flying with the vaccum. Do not allow the vaccum to touch anything.

    By experience, unless your PC is on the floor, in a carpeted area with lots of traffic around (commercial/business office use) or unless the air quality is extremely poor where you are, there's no need to dust the inside of a PC. Keep the air intake clear and unclogged (back/side/front) and your PC should be happy. I have a cat who loves to sleep on my PC and the inside is still clean after 2 years of this.

    EB: BIG chance you have a dying fan. If it's now quiet, it might be already dead!

    (I fix PC/servers for a living since 15 years)

  10. #10
    EB,

    don't worry about it.. keep using it until it does not work anymore. then just buy a new one from Dell.CA

    If you computer is still covered by the warranty, you may not want to open up the cover - usually there is a little sticker and if that is broken Dell may not honor the warranty anymore.
    In this case you have to call the store and have them open and clean inside.
    If your computer warranty is over, then go ahead, open up and use those air can thingy to dust off (or if you have those small vacuume thingy they sell at canadian tires use that). and since it is open look around and add some more RAM and upgrade CPU as well. lol

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by metoo4
    JAJ
    I do not recommend "dusting" or vacuming the inside of a computer. Dusting manually can result in wires getting disconnected. The "old Hoover"'s nozzle is metal or plastic (if you use an attachment). The plastic will conduct/accumulate static and could fry the chips if there's a zap (did this at work and blew-up a $50,000 industrial computer ;( )
    For the metal tip, well, obvious... Plus there's the risk of "aspiring" some wiring.
    I agree with you. I meant 'blowing air'. I usually use my own lungs to do this, or by one of those bottles which holds compressed air. More often than not, i take it to the shop (i live close to a service station) and use their air hose to do this.

  12. #12
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    The problem has persisted. I spoke to my office computer guy who advised me that it is probably a bad cooling fan. From what he tells me, apparently the newer Dells (I purchased mine a little over 6 months ago) are all having problems with the cooling fans breaking down. I am still under warranty so I am going to take up the matter with Dell.

  13. #13
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    JaJ
    The problem with using your lungs is, after you blow the dust off, you need to inhale, deeply to fill your lungs back... Where's the dust going then? :

    The compressed air can is good. The gas station's compressor? Could be 100psi out of that hose! Carefull not to blow the RAM out, you might loose some "bits"! (try blowing on the fan itself! It will sound like a turbine! Cool! )

    SA
    I like your idea! You'd be amazed how many peoples would follow your advice... Funny but true!

    My company purchased about 100 computers a few years ago. On all of them, the fan lasted no more than 6 month. On the other hand, we have industrial PC with fans running since 10 years and no problems. Fans are not all created equal I guess.

  14. #14
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    Regnad
    What's the link between a bad fan and implying that Windows-based PC are crap? A Mac will never suffer from hardware failure?

    Why is Windows attacked more by virus, trojans, security flaws and others?? Because it's the most popular OS.
    Firefox browser wasn't attacked for ages because it wasn't widly spread. In the last few weeks, there was reported security flaws in Firefox also. Why? Peoples started to use it as an alternative to Explorer.
    My company uses Lotus as an email program. We spent years without problems. Other saw Lotus being more "resistant" to attacks and started to use it. Guess what? We got attacked twice last month! Why? Lotus is gaining visibility so hacker and all are noticing it also.

    There's no perfect OS or application. Of course, you ear more about Windows problems because there's 1000 times more Windows machines out there than there's Macs. The more users, the more likely any vulnerability/flaw/bugs will be found and the more you'll have peoples taking advantages of these holes. Also, the more there's users, the more programmers will write software for the platform. The more you have programmers, the more likely you'll get some lousy programming in the mix.

    In front of me, I have a PC running XP as a building security server withy card access and video recording. This server is only rebooted when a software modification is done. It never crashed since it was installed 3 years ago.

    We have servers running Win2000, Win2003 and even NT. Most of the time, they'll crash when there's a hardware problem or when an "illuminated" IT person from the customer's site decide to mess with it.

    Most of my customers are running XP Pro or 2000 Pro on their workstations and never experience crashes that are not hardware-related of finger-related. (somebody doing something he should't do). We're talking 1000s of users here!

    We are far from the Win95-98 era. 2000, 2003 and XP are stable platform. I'm certain if there would be as many Macs as there's XP machines, we'd hear about Mac's bugs also.

    Macs are built around Mac's architecture. It's all about 1 standard, one hardware company who make the mainboards and certify anything that can connect to it or it just plain won't work. That make it easy to keep it simple and stable
    Windows PC are more of an open product, both software and hardware. A Mac software will run only on a Mac hardware. A Windows software will run on any Windows compatible hardware, no matter who built it, no matter what's the CPU. On a Windows PC, if the programmer forgot or didn't know about the effect of instruction "X" on hardware component "y", you get a crash when you mix the 2. On a Mac, the hardware component "y" never change for the entire model vintage so, the programmer doesn't have to think of any "what if" condition. More stable but you're stuck with hardware component "y", no matter if you like it or not. With Windows-based PC, you don't have that constraint.

    Ok, we're FAR from the original... Let's stop or take it to a new thread!

  15. #15
    uninformed informant
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    Actualy some people have started modifying mac hardware, but it involves a whole slew of powertools

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