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I'm making a new thread because I've gone through several diagnostic steps and still have not made any progress. The CPU is custom built by me, and several years old.

At startup and shutdown the computer emits a high-pitched whine/squeal. The only times it definitely makes the sound is during boot-up or startup.

Things I've tested so far:

  • Removed GPU, still makes sound
  • Replaced PSU with new one
  • Disconnected HDD's after computer started (so HDD's not on, but computer still squealing; If I don't have them connected the computer won't get past first boot screen and doesn't make a noise.
  • Stopped every fan (CPU, GPU, 3 case fans)

It’s at the BIOS screen that it made the noise.

It seems like it's coming from the CPU unit, but it is a high-pitched sound so it's hard to localize it. I'm thinking about remounting the CPU, but I need to go get some thermal paste. Could that be the problem? Any other diagnostic steps I should take? I'm baffled.

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2 Answers

It's probably the power regulators on the motherboard; inductors are known for being noisy at specific frequencies, and the regulators have several inductors.

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+1 for regulators. most probably the cause –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Jan 12 '13 at 21:57
    
I've read this many places, but my concern is about stopping it. The noise is unbearable to the point where I have to just shut it off. Should noise from that be that loud? –  Chris Jan 12 '13 at 22:13
    
The only thing I can suggest is to use a hot glue gun to fuse the inductor components together. Naturally this will invalidate any warranty you may have (but if it was still under warranty you probably should have RMA'd it already...). –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 12 '13 at 22:16
    
I have the same issue due to the power regulators but it is on my video card. the weird thing is the pitch of the squeal is tied to the Z depth of what I am looking at. –  Scott Chamberlain Jan 12 '13 at 22:31
    
Those are the things with copper wire wrapped around it right? So I just cover it in hot glue? And do I just do it to each one? I believe there's several, don't know which one(s) are squealing. –  Chris Jan 12 '13 at 22:48
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Can only agree with @Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams answer (i was typing answer but he was faster than me), however if you want to test the PSU alone proceed like this :

Disconnect the PSU from everything (motherboard, hdd, ...). then bend green and black wires like on this picture :

enter image description here

It will start the PSU alone and then can check if noise come from there.

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Good trick, but I jumped the gun already and put in a new psu. Same noise, but it seems less frequent. –  Chris Jan 12 '13 at 22:16
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