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Rear case fan making slight vibration/buzzing noise?...

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August 13, 2012 1:07:34 AM

My gaming rig of a 1 1/2 years old is making a perplexing noise.

I have a HAF X gaming case. About a month and a half ago, after cleaning the fans and the interior of the case, my rear 120mm stock case fan began making a subtle, but persistent buzzing/vibrating noise sort of. It's totally quiet at startup and stays quiet for any where from the 1st or 2nd hour, then suddenly the noise starts.

Even stranger, is that I actually replaced the fan and put in a brand new one, and the noise still persisted, so it's not an issue with the fan motor itself. I am sure that the noise coming from the rear case fan, I isolated it to that spot.

I've also tried to slightly loosen the four mounting screws, and tried different levels of tightness. No good.

Does this sound like it might just be a noise being created by a vibration occuring between the mounting bracket and the inside of the case?

Possibly something like sound-deadening pads or foam between the bracket and the case might help? Any chance that the noise could be caused by a power issue or a bad connector cable? If that was the problem wouldn't the fan just stop running altogether?

Final importnat note: Both fans I had installed in the rear NEVER stopped spinning or and NEVER stopped functioning properly. Even with the noise, they power up at startup and have run perfectly fine the entire time, even with the noise happening for four or five hours at a time.

Thanks in advance.



August 13, 2012 1:51:18 AM

I am new to building so you can crap on what i think it could sound dumb LOL. I am not exactly sure exactly how the noise sounds but try looking in other ways like are the fan blades hitting anything like loose wires maybe you moved one after cleaning. There could be something else loose like a label on an item catching wind. You can even look to see if air being pushed from other fans is blowing harder now since they are clean because I know those fans will make buzzing sounds if wind is pushed through them rather than their own power. ( I used compressed air to clean of some the equipment at work that has similar sized fans.) Keep looking you will find it.
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August 14, 2012 2:23:18 PM

Madturtlecreek said:
I am new to building so you can crap on what i think it could sound dumb LOL. I am not exactly sure exactly how the noise sounds but try looking in other ways like are the fan blades hitting anything like loose wires maybe you moved one after cleaning. There could be something else loose like a label on an item catching wind. You can even look to see if air being pushed from other fans is blowing harder now since they are clean because I know those fans will make buzzing sounds if wind is pushed through them rather than their own power. ( I used compressed air to clean of some the equipment at work that has similar sized fans.) Keep looking you will find it.


Mad,

OH no, not at all, I welcome any and all advice and information! I appreciate you writing back.

I've been in the gaming PC realm for only a year and a half, so this is all very new to me as well. Troubleshooting is not my strongest suit, especially with hardware and components.

I checked all the stuff you mentioned, nothing at all. All labels are firmly attached, my cables are well managed and all bundled and tight. The blades aren't hitting anything, and there's nothing loose that could be catching wind.

I'm suspecting this is a plastic-to-metal vibration happening between the mounting bracket and the case itself. I just bought a set of these: http://www.svc.com/sfm-1000.html

I'm going to try these in the rear case fan, and the side one, and see if that eliminates the problem.

Thanks again.

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August 15, 2012 11:38:17 PM

You might have a loose bearing and need to get a replacement fan.
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August 16, 2012 12:22:20 AM

CM_USA said:
You might have a loose bearing and need to get a replacement fan.


No, it can't be that. I troubleshooted it already by buying a brand new case fan, which I installed a month ago. BOTH the old fan and the new make the identical noise. Has to be something happening with the mounting bracket, screws, or some other vibration taking place.

Believe me, I wish it was as simple as replacing the fan, that takes about five minutes and only costs about $8!

But no luck, as that has already been tried.

Thanks for the idea though.
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August 16, 2012 12:23:55 AM

Good luck on solving the noise problem.
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August 16, 2012 12:24:24 AM

jay_nar2012 said:
Or you can get anti vibration gaskets - http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-ali...

They would stop most vibrations from the fan.


I'm suspecting this is indeed a plastic-to-metal vibration happening between the mounting bracket and the case itself. I just bought a set of these: http://www.svc.com/sfm-1000.html......Soft silicone screw plugs to replace the metal ones.

I'm going to try these in the rear case fan, and the side one, and see if that eliminates the problem.

I'll also try those gaskets and see if they solve the problem. I have a feeling it will.

Thanks again.
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August 16, 2012 12:59:02 AM

jay_nar2012 said:
Good luck on solving the noise problem.


Thanks Jay and thanks for the gasket info, just ordered one off Amazon, :) 
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November 1, 2012 7:14:09 AM

I had a rattling noise coming from what I thought was the rear fan on my Haf X. But when I opened the case, I discovered the noise actually came from the heat sink, which has a Typhoon fan attached to push air. After minor adjustment of the sink, the noise disappeared.
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November 5, 2012 9:27:26 PM

lokn7ode said:
I had a rattling noise coming from what I thought was the rear fan on my Haf X. But when I opened the case, I discovered the noise actually came from the heat sink, which has a Typhoon fan attached to push air. After minor adjustment of the sink, the noise disappeared.


Lokn7ode,

Thanks for replying to my original thread and giving your input!

Your timing is really interesting, because three months later, I'm STILL dealing with this mystery noise in my HAF X!

When you say it came from the heat sink, what heat sink are you referring to? Do you mean a stock one on the motherboard or CPU/GPU, or one that you added?

Reason I ask, is that the only additional after-market cooling I have in my case are fans on my RAM sticks. Everything else is stock, I've got the 5 case fans running, and then the stock fans on the CPU and Motherboard. And of course the stock fans on my (2) HD 5870's.

Now, the strange this is. Up until last August, I had absolutely NO NOISE problems from that rear case fan area. Then, about three months ago, I took out that fan and the side case fans to clean them, as well as the power supply. The noise started as soon as I reinstalled the rear case fan back into its mounting. It was totally silent for a year and a half, then all of a sudden boom.

Thinking it might be a bad bearing in the fan itself, I removed it and put in a brand new fan. Noise still happened. So I eliminated that possibility. Then I thought it might be a vibration between the case and the fan mounting bracket. I installed a rubber gasket between the mounting bracket and the interior case wall. Noise still happened.

Thought it might be a power supply problem causing inconsistent power to the fans. Nope. All power readings are perfect, and all fan RPM's are normal.

Then I started to play around with just applying slight pressure with my hand to various parts of the grill and surrounding area to see if it was just a noise being made by the fan causing a vibration in the surrounding area that was just SLIGHTLY off.....

This technique worked with a noise I had with my top 200mm case fan, the fan nearest the front power button on top. That fan developed an occasional annoying ticking noise, but I discovered that it was being cause by a slight pressure thing in the surrounding grill. If I pressed on the outer edge of the grill, the noise would stop and stay quiet for a few weeks, then you'd have to do it again.

But with this rear case noise, the interesting thing is, that after applying pressure to various points, the pattern and consistency of the the newer noise changed. Strangest thing is that this noise would not happen for like ten hours of the computer being on, then suddenly it would kick in. Then it would go away again for a few days, then suddenly come back again. Also, when the noise first started in August, it would happen only after several hours of the system being on.

Now, within the past couple weeks, the noise is happening right at start up, then will stop after a time. Then, without warning, it will start for several seconds or minutes, then stop, then come back. And it when it stops, it stop abruptly, and it starts again abruptly.

It honestly doesn't seem like the kind of noise you would get with a case vibration. It SOUNDS more like the kind of noise you would get when a bearing is dry or starting to wear, like that extra "whine" or "higher pitch" when something is spinning? The final bizarre piece of this, is that for the entire three months this has been happening, NONE of my fans have ever stopped functioning normally. I've kept a hardware monitor up on screen, and I regularly check all the fans by looking into the case. No fan anywhere in the system has ever stopped or showed any abnormal behavior. The system is running PERFECTLY except for this mystery noise.

And it's driving me INSANE because I can't figure it out!!!!
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a b 4 Gaming
November 5, 2012 11:22:50 PM

I'll throw in my latest fan noise story...

Two weeks ago, I started hearing a weird grindy friction noise from my nearly silent PC that resembled the spin-up of an FDB HDD whose bearings have started seizing due to not spinning up in a long time.

Thinking I might have an impending bad drives, I checked SMART status on my drives and ran diag tools on 'em, everything looked fine so I decided to shut down my PC, disconnect drives and power up to make sure the noise was coming from somewhere else... but for the first few seconds of powering up, my PC was nearly silent again, which made it seem like one of my HDDs might have been the cause. Turned it off, plugged drives back in, turned on and somewhat to my surprise, no unusual noise anymore.

A few minutes later, the noise started again. Instead of shutting down my PC, this time I decided to enter BIOS and hot-unplug the drives to find out exactly which one was the problem... and it turned out my HDD-like noise was still there even with both HDDs unplugged so now I knew for sure that unusual 'scratchy' grind noise was caused by a fan.

So I then proceeded with a very scientific elimination method: jamming my finger in fans. GPU? No. CPU? No. Front 1 and 2? No. Rear? No. Only fan left is the ADDA in my Earthwatt PSU, which happens to be one of the newest parts/fans in my PC. Sure enough, the last fan I checked and expected to fail was my winner. The ADDA was starting to quit at only about 1 year old.

I could have RMA'd the PSU but after considering it for a minute, I ended up deciding to repair it myself instead of wasting $10 on shipping and being stuck without PC for possibly over a week. Pulled the PSU out, opened it, peeled the ADDA label off half-way, dropped 4-5 engine oil drops in, put the sticker back on, put everything back together and turned the PC on.

The fan was still sounding grindy at first but got quieter over time as oil worked its way into the bearings until it eventually sounded about good as new.
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February 8, 2013 6:50:05 PM

This could be solved by a cheap and efficient method like isolation bands for window and door edges. Any cheap one would work. Stick it to touching points of where the fan will be placed. Make sure that the edges of fan touches no more than %25 to be able to connect the screws.
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a c 377 4 Gaming
February 8, 2013 10:34:54 PM

This topic has been closed by SR-71 Blackbird
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