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Very strange this one!

Short version

  • Computer makes a high pitched noise whenever data is read from my SSD
  • The noise doesn't come from the SSD - it comes from the motherboard.
  • What is causing this and how do I fix it?

Long version

Tech support told me to reset my BIOS via the motherboard jumper. This was underneath the gfx card, so I took that out, reset the BIOS and put it back in. From then on, whenever data is read from my SSD (my windows drive), the motherboard emits a fairly high-pitched noise. It seems to come from something under a large heatsink or bank of capacitors. Whatever is under the heatsink isn't the north / south bridge or the SATA2 chip.

I'd like to know why this has started happening and how to stop it (it's very annoying). Also, if this is a sign my motherboard is about to die, I need to know!


  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
  • HDD: Crucial M225 128GB SSD

This is a pre-built system, just over a month old.

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My suspicion is that the noise comes from the PSU itself. Apologies if these are stupid questions, but... What moving parts are there in the system (HDDs, fans, liquid pump, or anything else)? Are you certain it is not the graphics card or PSU fan? Have you checked for dust, or a loose connection after taking the graphics card out and putting it back in? Are you able to update the BIOS back to the original firmware? – sblair Jan 13 '10 at 12:00
I'm sure it's not any fans etc by listening to where it's coming from, plus it only happens when there is disk IO (even a very small amount of IO). I've checked everything for dust / loose connections and it seems OK. It is coming from near the PSU but it's definitely not the fan. The BOIS firmware hasn't changed, just the settings (which I don't have a record of, unfortunately) – Greg Jan 13 '10 at 12:05
Not necessarily what's considered a classic "moving part". For example, transformers make noises like that because they vibrate. Certain loads can cause that vibration to fall within the human hearing range. Changing the power supply might make a difference. Changing system clock speeds might also. – Brian Knoblauch Jan 13 '10 at 13:53
Your question title and content mention an "HDD" and hard drive disk I/O. But you have an SSD. "In the parlance of our times," those are mutually exclusive things; a disk is one or the other, not both. When you write "hard drive disk I/O," that definitely conjures up the image of a spinning disk. (I'm referring to usage of the terminology, not technical definition.) – skypecakes Jan 13 '10 at 20:37
Oops, I mean a Drive is one or the other. SSD == solid state drive (not disk). – skypecakes Jan 13 '10 at 20:43

Sounds like inductor whine, a.k.a. capacitor whine. See this answer for some more info.

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