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Loud Buzzing Noise

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I have a Dell Dimension 2400 and run Windows XP. I have began to experience occasional shut downs with a blue screen and a message referring to a technical problem. saying windows has shut down to avoid serious damage and to reboot the system. Also My Tower has been making a Constant Buzzing noise that I would compare to a Small electric razor. My System has run fine the last couple of months, it has just began making this buzzing sound all at once. I can surf the web an all, the sound is just driving me nuts,is this a virus?
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    Tech Staff

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Not a virus.

Probably a bearing on one of the fans inside the case.

If your computer is still under warranty it should go for repair.

If you are prepared to undertake investigation and repair, post back and you will receive help.
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    Mechanised Mod

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iammykyl may be right about the bearing, but I would recommend checking the psu + other possible causes.
Where is the buzzing coming from the speakers or the computer itself.
If it is the speakers have you recently placed anything electrical or wireless near to them, check the leads & connections, reinstall the sound card drivers, try disconnecting the speakers & see if the buzzing stops.
If it is the case I would recommend you have the psu tested/replaced.
See the canned text of Digerati below;
To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive ripple and other anomalies. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within specified ATX Form Factor Standard tolerances. Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. All these testers contain a "dummy load" to fool the PSU into thinking it is connected to a motherboard, and therefore allows the PSU to power on, if able, without being attached to a motherboard - great for testing fans, but again, it is not a true load or suitable for conclusive testing.

Swapping in a known good supply is a tried and trued method of troubleshooting, used for years even by pros. If you have access to a suitably sized, spare power supply, carefully remove the suspect supply and replace it with a known good one and see if the problem goes away.

I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

Note the required voltage tolerance ranges:

And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user serviceable parts inside a power supply.

For a BSOD report download & run this http://www.nirsoft.n...creen_view.html
For the possibility of Malware download & run this http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php if you do have a Malware issue you will need to start a new thread in the Malware forum, should you carry out the above tests first provide them with a link to here showing what tests have been carried out.

Thanks to Digerati for the psu testing procedure.
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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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iammykyl may be right about the bearing, but I would recommend checking the psu + other possible causes.

That was my thought. Transformers inside the PSU have layers of metal plates sandwiched together and they can become loose, start to vibrate, and buzz. That is a sign the PSU may fail completely soon. The key is determining exactly where the buzz is coming from. If from the speakers, then it is not the transformers. If you stick your ear to the back of the power supply at the back of the computer, you should be able to tell if the buzz is coming from inside.

Fan bearings, when worn, can make noises too though not sure I would call it a buzz, unless it is a high speed fan, such as on the PSU, or a tiny fan, as found on many chipsets. Case fans, when the bearings start to go, tend to rumble, and vibrate the whole case. If you open the side of the case and stick your head close, you may be able to pinpoint the source. Being VERY VERY CAREFUL, touch bare metal of the case interior to discharge any static in your body, then lightly touch, for just a split 1/2 second, the center hub of each fan. If that fan is the culprit, you will immediately hear a change in the "pitch" of the buzzing noise as the speed of the fan changes. For hard to reach fans, I have a wooden dowel with a rubber pencil erasure stuck on the end that I use. In a pinch, I have used the erasure end of a pencil, covering any exposed metal with tape (preferably black electrical) first.

Not sure my test for PSUs will show anything (except the part about swapping in a known good one). A buzzing transformer can still pump out the required voltages, until it doesn't. So you would have to catch it shutting down to see anything.

I agree with iammykyl that this is not caused by a virus, especially if the sound is not coming from the speakers - though it never hurts to scan for them to make sure.
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