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Mechanical noise when watching videos

Last response: in Systems
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March 23, 2011 2:28:43 PM

Hi guys, I've built a system for someone and everything has been running fine. However, he says that sometimes when watching videos, the computer will freeze and start making a very loud mechanical noise inside and it won't stop until he shuts off the computer. He says it happens when he watches a bunch of flash videos, but it doesn't happen when playing games, or not yet.

The problem is that this only happens sometimes out of the blue. I've been trying to pinpoint where the noise is but no luck yet. I can't predict the next time it will happen. The best I can do is leave the side door open so I can have quick access for the next time it happens.

The specs are as follows

MSI P67A-G45
G. Skill @ 1333, 4GB
i5 2500k @ 3.3Ghz
XFX HD 5770
1 HDD, WD Caviar Black 500GB

For the PSU, he uses a Coolermaster Extreme Power Plus 500W that's 1 year old, however during that time he never experienced any problem with it whatsoever, he will get a new one soon though.
March 23, 2011 2:34:33 PM

Do you have him monitoring system temps for you? A spike in CPU or GPU temps might help pinpoint the culprit.

MSI P67A-G45
G. Skill @ 1333, 4GB
You can pretty much leave them off the list of suspects. And it doesn't sound like a case fan is at fault.
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March 23, 2011 2:46:49 PM

It happens when he watches flash videos from his hard drive? Or from sites like youtube?
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March 23, 2011 2:56:05 PM

I'm downloading the sensor programs and I'll see how that goes.

Yeah, sorry I forgot to mention that, he watches flash videos from the internet which from what I understand, is GPU accelerated.
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March 23, 2011 4:53:20 PM

Alright, well after stressing the CPU, the max temp it reaches is 60C at 100% load, nothing happened. I played an hour gaming session of BFBC2, gpu max temp is 68C, nothing happened. Watched flash videos for about half an hour, nothing happened yet. I don't get what's going on.

Should I use furmark?
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March 23, 2011 5:55:13 PM

I think it's safe to try Furmark.
I don't expect anything to show up after a gaming session and max 68C on the GPU.

This looks like it's going to be tricky.
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March 23, 2011 6:32:48 PM

Well, since I can't be there all the time, I've suggested to take a video camera and record the computer while its side door is open during the night. Is it possible to send an audio or video file on this site or do I have to use a website to upload my things?
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March 23, 2011 6:37:50 PM

You'll need to upload the video (a short, edited video) to one of the usual upload sites.
YouTube is fast and easy to use.
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March 24, 2011 1:33:14 AM

WR2 said:
You'll need to upload the video (a short, edited video) to one of the usual upload sites.
YouTube is fast and easy to use.


Alright, WR2, I'm getting closer to finding the problem I think. Since nothing happened, I decided to try something else and ended up searching youtube. Lo' and behold, I showed him one of the videos and he says it was exactly this sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3c0I0c4X3A

Now the thing is, he said the sound occurs at the same time the computer freezes. I'm thinking this is the CPU fan, which would cause the CPU to overheat, then crash. What would happen if it was the PSU fan, would the computer shut down? Remember, this was just watching videos, so I don't think the PSU would heat up that much.
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March 24, 2011 1:45:17 AM

That sure looks and sounds like a bad CPU fan to me.
Did any spike in temps show up?

I agree the PSU is less likely to be under stress from flash videos than from full on gaming.
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March 24, 2011 2:23:49 AM

Unfortunately not, I used prime95 for about half an hour, CPU at 100% load, maximum temp held at 60C. It could be that one of the fans is in use and over time it just all of a sudden gets loose and starts making noise.

Why does it have to be a mystery? :( 
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Best solution

March 24, 2011 2:36:51 AM

It's also easy to 'see' something that might not be there.
The camera isn't as sensitive as the ears at locating where the sound is coming from.

HWiNFO32 can capture sensor data (including temps and voltages) over time and log them for review. Might help to spot the troublemaker.

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March 24, 2011 3:13:14 AM

Oh wow, never heard of this program. I'm sure there are others that do this as well, but thanks for that. Anyway I'm off to bed now, what I'll do tomorrow is make a session of several hours of prime95, see what happens. I suppose when the computer crashes, that program will record any information then.

I feel like I'm getting closer to solving this now, I'll get back to you when this occurs again. I appreciate you taking your time to help out.
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March 31, 2011 3:17:03 AM

Best answer selected by Dude420.
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