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I have a problem when talking via Skype with a friend: I hear a heavy noise! It gets less when she touches her computer. So probably some grounding problem.

Once she had her computer in another room on another floor of her house and the noise was gone completely.

How would you go about this problem?

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Is the computer a laptop or a desktop? e.g. does it have a battery? – Julian Knight Oct 24 '12 at 19:37
Its a normal desktop. With a monitor etc. She is using a headset. – Dude Oct 24 '12 at 20:28

If the computer is a laptop, try it on batteries. If you don't get the problem on batteries, it is a power supply issue.

Either way, try a different plug in the same room if you have one or a different plug on the same floor. Often the plugs for each floor of a house will be on a different circuit connected to it's own fuse in the distribution board. It may be that the mains circuit for that floor is damaged or faulty - your friend should get a competent electrician to look at it ASAP as it could damage things that are plugged in or even cause a fire.

If it is just the one plug, again get someone to have a look at it and get it fixed.

Grounding issues and other faults are dangerous in house wiring - get it looked at and fixed by an electrician as soon as possible. In the mean time, do not use that part of the wiring. In fact remove the fuse or otherwise disconnect that part of the wiring.

If the computer is a desktop rather than a laptop, I do strongly recommend using an extension that filters spikes from the power, it does help stop damage to the computer and other electronics. Get one that has a decent guarantee not a cheap one.

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Its a Desktop. There will probably be no electrician available anytime soon. Any other ideas what to try? – Dude Oct 24 '12 at 20:29
Well, try out the different plugs anyway - you may be lucky and find it is only one plug - in that case, she may be able to fix it pretty easily with nothing more than a screwdriver. Come back to us when that's been tried. – Julian Knight Oct 24 '12 at 20:42
Another thought - where you get the noise, there isn't a fan, air con or anything with a motor around? While not even noticeable to people in the room, these can cause major headaches when using microphones. – Julian Knight Oct 24 '12 at 20:45
She plugged the computer into some other plug. It didnt change the noise. No, there are no fans around. Only the fans in the computer ♩ – Dude Oct 24 '12 at 20:51
Well, in that case, there is certainly something nearby causing the interference - either a faulty device such as TV, or light (check for lights with dimmers, they are notoriously noisy) or faulty wiring. Get her to turn off as much as possible in the room and surrounding rooms then try it. But I'm still concerned about faulty wiring. – Julian Knight Oct 24 '12 at 20:56

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