Weird squeaking/sratching/swooshing noise

I have a Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H, 2GB Corsair 667 DDR2, Athlon X2 4400+, Sapphire Radeon X1650 PRO, Dual Seagate 250GB HDD, FSP PSU, and a ASUS DVD+-R/W w/ Lightscribe. Running Vista.

For a while, I've been getting a weird noise that I could never reproduce until just recently. I used to only get it while browsing on firefox. Its a squeaking, almost like metal rubbing on metal, but merged with a HDD access sound, almost like an old Iomega Zip drive, when it was accessing the disk. When I'd scroll the page, it would make a slight "click" noise. All this was coming from inside the case, not out the speakers - I didn't have any plugged in then.

I first thought it was the graphics card, since I could almost hear the pixels moving on the screen in a way. Removed the card and used the integrated graphics, and still the same thing.

Hard drive? Removed the second one, pulled the first one out of the case, but it was still coming from the general area of the motherboard. PSU? Read that some faulty capacitators or something could cause the noise. Removed it, put it on the other side of the case, but it still came from the motherboard.

Stopped all the fans, still heard it.

How I can reproduce it:
I can open up MS Publisher 2007, and on this one specific project, I can hold the mouse (PS2 mouse) down on the page, and the noise starts. When I let go, the noise goes to an idling sound, then stops after a few seconds (2 - 10 seconds). Watching the resource monitor, one of my cores on the CPU will peg to 100% when I am holding the mouse down, while the other core stays normal, so my CPU is pegged to 50%.

A blank Publisher project will only sometimes cause the noise.

If firefox causes the noise, I can make it stop by focusing on the desktop.

Doesnt happen when playing BF2, or heavy graphics intensive apps.

I have tried:
-Stopping fans
-Removing all USB hardware, leaving only the PS2 mouse in, also tried using USB mouse in both front and back port with nothing else in (no keyboard).
-Removing USB bus and 1394 plugs going to front of computer
-Unplugged the AC97 plug for front audio
-Pulled all fans for a brief moment, still could produce the noise
-Pulled the heatsink, reseated it on the CPU

I only have 3 fans - front intake, rear exhaust, and CPU blower (and PSU, obviously)

Tried pushing lightly on all components on the motherboard with a pencil eraser, but to no avail, so I don't know if it is a loose coil or not.

Also, I can run the CPU over 50% (over 100% on one core) and I don't get the noise. Encoding video never makes the noise.

Memory is usually at 35 - 40 % out of 2GB. CPU is at 100% frequency, but only uses 15% or so on most applications.

My guess is either the north bridge or the south bridge. Both are fanless, and have heatsinks. I don't have the guts to take off the heatsinks and remount them on the NB and SB, unless somebody tells me to and reassures me it'll be ok.


I can record the noise and upload it to my server, if anybody wants to hear it. I'd rather not have to RMA this board - I got it in September, but I use the computer basically 24/7, so, an RMA would leave me without a computer for a while. I guess if I have to, I could order a new one off of newegg, and just eat the cost... its a fairly cheap board, anyways.

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  1. Note: When MS Publisher is causing the squeaking noise, it is listed as taking 50% of the CPU in task manager / resource monitor, so I know that is what is causing the issue - CPU load. But, it is NOT the fan, because the noise is still there, even with the fan unplugged from the port (only for a brief second).
  2. did you get that fixed?
    i have the same problem.

    email me if you did.
    thanks 3rmac
  3. 3rmac said:
    did you get that fixed?
    i have the same problem.

    email me if you did.
    thanks 3rmac

    I never did - ended up replacing the CPU and motherboard, and it stopped. Obviously it was one or the other (and not the fan), and I'm leaning towards the CPU, but who knows.

    I'm actually wondering if it was some odd thing where the thermal paste between the CPU and the heatsink had air pockets, thus causing the noise. You might try cleaning all the grease off and re-applying it, and see what happens?

    Let me know if that works. Also if you have a different CPU you could try, that could narrow it down to either the CPU or the motherboard?
  4. Jeez, you win troubleshooter of the year award. I enjoyed reading all of the stuff you tried but dang, sounds like it was a pain in the arse. Sounds like your CPU load did have a lot to do with it. Did you get a new CPU that was compatible with your motherboard that was making noise? I have never heard of a CPU making noise but if you can plug in a new CPU to your old mobo and peg the noise to the old CPU that would be interesting. I guess the other possibility would be a noisy capacitor that was linked to your CPU.
  5. haha well, I ended up selling the board and CPU and went with a C2D E8500. I told the person who bought the board and CPU of the problems, and he was fine with it... haven't heard from him about anything (ebay buyer).

    I really have no idea what it was. The only thing I can think of is some sort of weird electronic resonance or who knows what in the CPU, or maybe the moboard. weird.
  6. boul

    try removing the north bridge radiator remove the old heatsink gum and clean it thruly add new heat sink paste the chip getting to hot and transistor tipping that wat make that squaking noise (beware do it asap
    cause eventualy it will burnout and Bye Bye mobo)

    try it it work for me
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