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Whenever I let my PC do heavy disk accesses for a long time, the speaker on the motherboard starts making a continuous chirping sound. Thankfully it doesn't happen often, but it drives me nuts when it does. Anybody know where this sound might be coming from, or have any hints as to how to track it down?

Edit: The problem appears to be with the processor, the correlation with disk access was coincidental. Thanks for all the answers.

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migrated from serverfault.com Jun 9 '10 at 10:51

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4 Answers 4

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Have you checked your thermal sensors?

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I finally checked the Bios - found I had a CPU temperature warning enabled for 80 degrees, and the current temperature was 78. Almost positive this is the problem. –  Mark Ransom Aug 5 '09 at 15:47
    
Bought a can of compressed air and blew out the CPU cooler - WOW! Temps went from 78 to 53, no more beeps. –  Mark Ransom Aug 6 '09 at 14:53
    
Amazing what a little compressed air will do! Glad it helped! –  Matt Simmons Aug 6 '09 at 19:20

Two possibilities come to mind:

  1. The drive may be putting out enough heat to cause the computer to overheat. - Check your air flow and dust/vacuum your machine.
  2. The drive may be failing a S.M.A.R.T. test which the BIOS can sense. - Check the S.M.A.R.T. test results via a HDD monitoring tool. If the drive fails ANY smart test it should be considered completely unreliable. Copy your data off the drive immediately.
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I run the PC with the cover off - the case is much older than the other components, and the fan gave up long ago. Doubtful that the HD is affecting the motherboard temps at all, and the HD is relatively cool to the touch. Ironically, backing up the HD is one sure way to make it start beeping. Any recommendations for a SMART monitor? I'm sure I can find one via Google, but still... –  Mark Ransom Jun 19 '09 at 4:58
1  
Running with the case open is not generally recommended these days. As well as directly cooling the components that are in/over (i.e. the CPU, PSU, GPU and so on) fans produce airflow in the confined space that indirectly helps cool other components. Unconfining the space by having the case open reduces this benefit. Reliably reproducing the situation by kicking off a backup process definitely implies the issue is exacerbated under load which is evidence in favour of it being a thermal problem. –  David Spillett Jun 19 '09 at 10:01
    
I agree. Try pointing a desk fan at the open PC. If the problem goes away it's a heat issue. Replace the fans, clean dust and put the cover back on. –  Chris Nava Jun 19 '09 at 16:29
    
Also... Make sure the fans are pointing the correct direction. Air should flow IN the front and OUT the back of the case. If you reverse the flow the case and motherboard heat management design is defeated. –  Chris Nava Jun 19 '09 at 16:54

Even i was facing the same problem, i found there was some problem with my hdd, i replaced with new one, as it was in warranty.There was problem in hdd board. check with your service enginner.

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It could actually be the disk thats beeping. I've got some Seagate Barracuda ES.2 drives that have a speaker on the drives PCB that beeps when it's too hot. Try to increase the airflow around your disk and see if the situation improves.

If the disk is running hot, you will want to do something about it. I kind of think anything over 40 degrees is getting bad. Anything under 40 is ok.

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I also had this issue, but my friend swore black and blue that it's impossible for the disk itself to beep! I'm glad someone else has seen this behaviour! –  Mark Henderson Jun 19 '09 at 9:22
    
In my case, I found the speaker on the motherboard and I could make it almost silent by covering it with my finger. I suppose it's not impossible to put a speaker inside a drive, but it would be pretty rare. Moreso now that SMART is available. –  Mark Ransom Aug 5 '09 at 15:53

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