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Need Help - Power Supply Noise Driving Me Crazy!!

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November 4, 2002 11:06:30 AM

I run my AMD TBird 800 24/7 and just this past week or two I've had a LOUD grinding noise coming from my PC. It's gotten progressively more consistent since it started so I opened the case to try and pinpoint it.

It was a bit hard to pinpoint in such a tight area with a noise like that, but I'm almost positive it's the power supply.

Has anyone had this happen to them before? If so, what's the damn noise coming from?? I assume it's the 2 fans in the thing, but what's grinding?

And most importantly, how long do I have before the power supply just dies?

I going to look over Tom's PSU article to pick up a good new one anyway, but was just wondering if anyone else has ever had this problem with a PSU.
November 4, 2002 2:06:40 PM

My enermax PSU is very quiet.
November 4, 2002 2:35:48 PM

Wow it's very quiet huh? And how does that help me?

I get an email reply that someone responds to my post, stop what I'm doing to come here, only to find some stupid comment.

If you READ my post you'd have seen I was getting a new one anyway based on the recommendation in Tom's recent article.
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November 4, 2002 2:51:25 PM

Then why did you choose Power Supply Noise Driving Me Crazy as the subject. Must be an idiot who is not clear what his/her problem was.
November 4, 2002 2:56:49 PM

It took you half an hour to come here and reply to a stupid comment must be an idiot.
November 4, 2002 3:03:15 PM

Are you THAT stupid? The subject is just that, the SUBJECT. Does the title of a book tell you all the details of the content? Jesus Christ you simpleton, you are supposed to READ and reply to the POST, NOT the subject.

And to respond to your other post, no it didn't take me a half hour to respond to your post you fool. Have you ever heard of someone being busy?? [-peep-] twit.

Reply to this to and have fun if you like, this is the last time I respond your comments.
November 4, 2002 3:18:17 PM

So you do not like people make offensive comment too so please do not start them next time.
November 4, 2002 3:23:50 PM

Who said I don't like people making offensive comments to me? If I'm acting like a jackass I'm more than happy to take the heat for it.

What I don't like, as you've seen, is when jackasses try to defend their stupidity by coming down on me.

I mean in all honesty, think before you post.

Or maybe I'll act like you next time I help someone here:

Here's an example of a future post...

Subject: Can't decide on a 19" or 21" monitor
Post: I can't decide on a 19" Sony XXX or a 21" Sony XXX. Do any of you have these models or maybe know where I can find reviews?

Duke's response (modeled after upec): I have a shiny red NEC monitor! (look how helpful I will be!!!)
November 4, 2002 3:32:13 PM

Sorry I thought most people here are civilized and perfer not to make offensive comment.
November 4, 2002 4:06:09 PM

I am coming down on you only because you are rude. Did you know that it is not nice to make offensive comments and not of this would happen if you just make a more polite comment?
November 4, 2002 4:08:51 PM

Quote:
Wow it's very quiet huh? And how does that help me?

It doesn't help you but as the old saying goes beggars can't be choosers. We post here in hopes of good free advice and sometimes we get neither. If a guy wants to make a comment that is not helpful to you, just let him, no skin off your back unless your skin is just too thin. Personally I thought his post had a certain non-sequitur humor to it, and you've got to remember that others will also post who will try to help you, as I will. But at other times I might be flippant just for fun. Sue me. TANSTAAFL. (there are no such things as a free lunch)

If you are sure the noise is coming from your psu you really should replace it immediately. I have never heard of a grinding psu that healed itself or that anyone else could heal either. Psu's have been known to catch fire, fry mobo's, lots of bad things. Sounds like you are spec'd up on psu's from the review so if I were you I would get a new one right away.


John A
November 4, 2002 4:53:09 PM

Just buy an 80mm case fan, open your power supply, remove old fan, install new fan, close power supply, done.

Not sure what other answer you expect, but logic would say change the fan if it's not good anymore (grinding sound is a clue that it's going).

<font color=red>Got a silent setup, now I can hear myself thinking.... great silence</font color=red>
November 4, 2002 6:05:45 PM

John A,

What he did was waste my time, which I mentioned. I don't take kindly to that. If humor was his intent, doing it to complete strangers is stupid as well. I post to get advice, not inane comments that waste my time. I freely give advice at times just browsing through posts that I have no interest in...just to help out...so I give back for what I take so to speak.

But onto your response. Yeah I just picked up a 330 watt Antec TruePower PSU based on how the 380P did in Tom's review. My store doesn't carry the 380P, just the 330 400-ish, & 500-ish. I have an AMD 800, 2 HD, CD-RW, CD-ROM and that's it. So I think this will help when compared to my 300 stock PSU I got when I bought the case years ago.

Your comments on frying mobos and catching fire are what I was looking for. I've never experienced (nor has any friends) a blown PSU, so i was unsure if they just "shut down" or if they [-peep-] up a lot of other parts.
November 4, 2002 6:08:44 PM

<<Just buy an 80mm case fan, open your power supply, remove old fan, install new fan, close power supply, done.>>

I appreciate the recommendation, but I'm uncomfortable opening up my PSU. I did buy a new one today (see above) so i should hopefully have this problem solved tonight.

As for what I was expecting....I wasn't expecting anything really, but I was hoping for someone who went through the same thing. Same type of noise, etc. Hoping to see how they dealt with it and the outcome, etc.
November 4, 2002 6:12:29 PM

Good to see you stay after it Duke. After reading through the posts Andrew might be onto something. If your local store permits it maybe the best strategy is to buy the $xx psu and also the $x fan, then try the fan first. My Dad almost replaced a $150 hard drive last year but found it was only a fan first and is cost him $4 instead. So if you can buy both and take back one that would be the cheapest way out of this. Loud cranky fans are common as their bearings dry out.

John A
November 4, 2002 6:19:48 PM

Yeah that does sound like the most economical solution, but I realllly don't relish the thought of popping open my power supply. But really that's the smallest of reasons why I am going the New PSU Route...

1) My store sucks as far as other computer parts. ie: fans. We carry none.

2) I don't want to wait for the fans to come in the mail, cause the noise is starting to make me nervous. Banging it out tonight is the best way for me and my sanity :) 

But definitely for others who have problems like this....a fan change early on is probably the smartest & most economical way to go. To bad I waited 2 weeks to do something about it :) 
November 5, 2002 1:08:51 AM

Juat make double sure the noise is the psu or the psu fan. If its a fan near the psu you will regret replacing the psu.

John A
November 5, 2002 3:47:38 AM

Hell yeah. I just finished replacing the old PSU with the new PSU and I had my ear to the case & my finger poised on the kill switch (just in case I heard some popping :)  )

Anyway, the noise is completely gone. Replaced with a steady thrum of a normal PSU.

And you know how in most PSU reviews...well most (if not all) that I've read....say that the heavier the PSU, the better the components? And the better the PSU?

Well I think that theory is pretty accurate. The PSU I removed was literally 1/3 of the weight.
November 5, 2002 4:13:16 PM

Opening the power supply isn't a big deal, unless you like touching everything inside, it can be a shocking experience :) 

I replaced my dad's power supply fan a while ago, it was pretty simple. but did have to use a solder gun, unless yours got a plug, then it just installing the old plug on the new fan and pop it in.

Anyway, when you want to play with it you can try, it can be a backup power supply, or just sell it. :)  While you're in it, can use can air and clean it out if dusty.

<font color=red>Got a silent setup, now I can hear myself thinking.... great silence</font color=red>
November 6, 2002 3:58:20 AM

Yes. My old P2-300 PSU fan got extreemly noisy. You just need a new fan in there.

If the fan stops there its quite possible that the internal components will overheat and let out its magical "blue smoke".

Given the difficulties of replacing the fan its probably easier getting a better (and specially designed) quiet one. Opening up the psu can be bad if you inadventently do something wrong. Besides it voids any warantee you may have had.

Whisper enermax are really good. Hell, ive got an enermax and its not whisper and its STILL whisper quiet *laughs*

<b>Tits a nice day today!
Breast i've ever seen!</b>
Officially Certified <font color=green>Hooter Inspector.</font color=green>
November 6, 2002 3:11:58 PM

Well here I go again. This morning after the computer being on for a day or so straight, the noise came back. And in a more constant, annoying way.

But being that it was more constant it was easier to track down the source. That, and I'm now sure I can rule out the power supply.

I now am 99% sure it's my video card. It's a GeForce 2 Prophet II GTS 64MB card.

Because of an adjacent card I could see the fan, but I touched it with my fingernail and confirmed it was running at full speed. And it was really hot. Every other card (obviously) was cool to the touch.

But to be doubley certain, I shut down & swapped the PSU units again, putting the older one back. When I turned the computer on again, the video card actually was cool to the touch and there was NO noise what-so-ever.

As it started warming up though it seemed there was a very faint noise. Unfortunately I was late for work cause of this and couldn't test further. But now I'm nervous about leaving the PC on for extended periods of time, especially when I'm not home.

My educated guess now is that the fan is dying on the card, and for some reason the increase in heat seems to make it worse.

Now I get to return the new PSU and do some research on how easy it is to swap the fan on a GeForce II...that or buy a video card cooler for it.

Because I don't want to buy a new board at all. I want to save my cash for the GeForce5 :) 
November 6, 2002 4:25:39 PM

Well this should be it. After my last post I realized that my favorite CPU cooling company, ThermalTake, also makes video chipset coolers! Duh.

So I went to 2CoolTek and Next Day'd a Crystal Orb. I'm hoping to be noise free, stress free, & a bit cooler by tomorrow evening :) 
November 7, 2002 4:25:56 PM

that orb is known to give a whining sound, but beats dead fan and smoked video card. :) 

<font color=red>Got a silent setup, now I can hear myself thinking.... great silence</font color=red>
November 7, 2002 4:28:34 PM

Interesting. I could've sworn the reviews I read said it was pretty quiet...or at least not all that noisy. Oh well, I'll deal with it. :) 
November 7, 2002 8:47:32 PM

btw duke except for drives, the only moving parts (that I can recall) are fans. Fans use ball bearings which can become noisy when not clean or or out of alignment. Most computers have a fan on the CPU, video card, and power suppy/case. As you are learning, most of the time its quite easy to replace any of those fan units.
Drives can become noisy too. They have ball bearings as well that can cause noise. Normally though if your drive is starting to make alot of noise you got a serious problem on your hands. Most of the time fans have a low pitch noise while drive problems have a high pitch noise. Both should be addressed asap but the high pitch noise should be addressed immediately with a data backup then troubleshooting.

btw duke except for drives, the only moving parts (that I can recall) are fans. Fans use ball bearings which can become noisy when not clean or or out of alignment. Most computers have a fan on the CPU, video card, and power suppy/case. As you are learning, most of the time its quite easy to replace any of those fan units.
Drives can become noisy too. They have ball bearings as well that can cause noise. Normally though if your drive is starting to make alot of noise you got a serious problem on your hands. Most of the time fans have a low pitch noise while drive problems have a high pitch noise. Both should be addressed asap but the high pitch noise should be addressed immediately with a data backup then troubleshooting.

btw a fingernail on the fan is not exactly the best approach to testing the fan :p  The sound may stop if you stop the fan though. Its not exactly the smartest thing to do but as long as you are static safe you shouldn't have a problem stopping it for a second and seeing if the bad sound goes away. If so then its obviously that fan. I used to do this all the time to test fan sounds.

Try DLing a motherboard tester with fan info.
November 7, 2002 9:22:00 PM

I appreciate the post, but I was pretty sure the noise was the power supply - only to find out it was the video card!

Hopefully someone not that familiar with computers will pick up some tips from you text cause you're spot-on with your recommendations.

hehe, the fingernail thing wasn't to test the noise. The PCI card next to it was blocking my view of it, so I used the fingernail test to make sure the thing was at least still running at all, or at least at top speed (which it was). I didn't stop the fan, just barely touched it to do the test. I'm pretty familiar with PCs, but thanks for the heads up :) 
December 8, 2002 2:52:56 PM

Maybe i'm commming way to late to this conversation but, zalman makes noiseless coolers for gpu's, aside from quiter theextra price might be nice cause you know they'll never break as there is NO fan.
December 11, 2002 9:39:16 PM

im posting way to late, but i gotta say, that was an entertaining convo!.. anyway... Before you make a SUBJECT directing the problem to your PS.. why don't you do put something called your EAR next to the case when your PC is running.. and you will be able to identify your problem... then obviously, Change the FAN... i wasn't even here and i just solved your problem

This Community is like a Second Family!!
December 12, 2002 2:05:53 AM

Well guy I must say the dialogue has been interesting to say the least. Several of the replies I think were accurate. Since the noise sounds loud, first question is it a high pitched squeal? If yes then most likely the bearings in one of the fans are getting dry and will probably seize sometime in the near future. Excessive heat is probably the leading cause of bearing failure, i.e. lack of lubricant, excessive dust in the immediate environment, inferior or cheap components, etc. You could also be hearing a faulty fan on the CPU chip. The video card as you stated is very hot, so maybe the fan has bad bearings. As for the PSU, I personally use PC Power & Cooling PSU's. Top quality components, quiet, very stable in voltges regulation, and reliable. I always buy the heavy duty components if I can, usually the brand names, made in USA/Canada and think of Murphy's Law to justify the more expensive purchases. And as one guy mentioined it could be the HDD. I have Maxtor 60 Gb and it's starting to emit a constant high pitch whining noise. So take your pick and hope you find the cause.
December 12, 2002 3:48:46 AM

Quote:
Before you make a SUBJECT directing the problem to your PS.. why don't you do put something called your EAR next to the case when your PC is running.. and you will be able to identify your problem... then obviously, Change the FAN... i wasn't even here and i just solved your problem


Yeah it's been a while. Actually I'm a bit smarter than a rock, so yeah I did open my case and put my ear to it to try and pinpoint the problem. ;) 

From my first post, I mentioned it was really hard to pinpoint the origin of the noise because of the tight area and the volume of the noise. The PSU and the video card and the CPU fan are very close to each other, and the volume was so loud that it was hard to pinpoint the device.

And even if it was my PSU, I explained my reservations on changing the fan like you suggested.

Just to update this old thread while I'm here, it wasn't even my video card's fan. What I explained earlier as proof positive evidence turned out to be just a conincedental fluke.

What the REAL problem was, was the little fan on the co-processor of the ABit KT7A. I stumbled on the possibility while doing some Google searching and then found A LOT of people with similar problems. Just popped the fan off and I fixed it (didn't even need the fan I came to find out).

Go figure. :) 
December 12, 2002 9:09:07 PM

well atleast its fixed now

This Community is like a Second Family!!
December 12, 2002 9:48:56 PM

For future reference to pin point noise, try using a paper towel cardboard tube or something similar. Then put your ear to it and move it around the case to pinpoint the noise.

the Prisoner

I'm not a number, I'm a free man! :mad: 
!