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With my hearing I'm not totally sure but seemed to be coming from PSU/CPU area. Anyone know what would normally cause this temporary squealing? Gradually built up pitch and noise for about a minute then another minute or so of continuous noise then winded down again. PC's about 18 months old.

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-1? Go on then explain the downvote. –  user1561108 Mar 23 '13 at 18:50
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The internal processor or case fan is on its way out - definitely replace both or it could be expensive.

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processor fan you mean or actual processor itself?? –  user1561108 Mar 23 '13 at 18:49
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@user1561108 He means the processor fan. When a fan bearing goes it typically makes that kind of noise –  Tog Mar 23 '13 at 19:52
    
In that case things are starting to make sense - for a few months I've had an annoying 'rickety' sound coming from a similar area in my machine when I start to do intensive tasks on the desktop. This rickety sound (like a fan hitting something on each rotation) was present prior to the high pitched noise described above but hasn't appeared in the few hours since even though I've been working with the same apps on desktop. Related? –  user1561108 Mar 23 '13 at 20:24
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I had similar issue with "Rickity" sound and within a few weeks, the PSU was dead. –  Carl B Mar 24 '13 at 2:43
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