Reasons for a Computer Tower Sounding So Loud

by Joanne Reid

Sometimes your computer tower begins making little noises, such as a low-level whirring sound, and you are not sure if it's louder than usual. Slowly this noise increases until it sounds like a jet engine. Other times, the noise suddenly appears with a big clunking sound. Or, you might hear a squealing sound that is more irritating than scary.

Inside

Hard drives are major components inside the tower.

If you ever looked inside your computer's tower, you would see mostly empty space. The typical components include the motherboard, its chips and electronic circuits, as well as the central processing unit with its fan and the power supply. There is the hard drive, perhaps a DVD player and sometimes a floppy drive. There are cables connecting the the power supply to the motherboard and connecting the motherboard to the drives. There are also cards that plug into the motherboard.

Sources of Sounds

The motherboard and the cards that plug into it are very quiet. The cables are quiet, too. The hard drive can fail. This is a malfunction inside the hard drive as the disks become worn out. When a hard drive fails, it announces its impending demise with odd clicks, clunks and whirs. The sound comes and goes. It sounds as if something is falling apart. The other common cause of loud noises is the fans inside the computer tower.

CPU Fan

Computer motherboards are quiet.

There are at least two fans inside your computer tower. One is attached to the central processing unit (CPU), which is the brains of the computer. The CPU runs very hot and needs constant cooling. This is a small but crucial fan, and it can become clogged with dust. This fan can become sluggish and start to chug, making a loud grinding and whirring sound. If it fails, your computer can overheat and die.

Power Supply Fan

The computer's power supply fan has a large fan built into it that keeps the power supply cool. These fans suck in dust and debris from outside the computer. This can put stress on the fan, ultimately causing it to fail. This is a common cause of computer tower noise as the components of the fan struggle to keep it turning. The whirring and grinding sounds can become very loud with. The power supply is easy to replace, so replace it early before it quits entirely.

About the Author

Joanne Reid has been writing since 1972. Her work includes articles for publications such as "Pageant" and "Writer’s Digest" and websites such as esoaps.com. She was a computer consultant for private industry and various levels of government for 18 years. Reid has a Master of Arts in history from the University of New Brunswick.

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