There's a "default beep" (as defined in System Sounds) that emanates from my computer every so often.

It kind of goes like this (where each number is a "default beep" sound): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

So there's a distinct pattern to it.

I thought I had this figured out a way to figure out what was happening by going to

Control Panel->Ease of Access->Ease of Access Center->Replace sounds with visual cues

But that just isn't the case. Whichever window I click on, that one displays the visual queue when this happens.

It's driving me crazy, and I can't figure out which program is causing this.

Update: it appears to only happen on one user profile on the computer...does that help?

Update 2: Discovered that this sound was coming from a utility on my laptop called ASUS NB Probe; I'm certain that it is emanating from this program because the error message displayed by it changes in sync with the sound playing. Apparently the S.M.A.R.T. feature of my hard drive was reporting an issue. It displays the issue for a brief second and then makes it disappear, I'll have to keep watching it to see what it says, but I believe is says something about a read.

I have an external hdd connected with eSATA to a container of sorts (BlacX) that you can plug two hdds into. I have one hdd attached and it's a Western Digital WD1001FALS - 00E8B0

Thanks again! Now I'm off to go around the Internet and report on this...since I posted it so many places!


Download Microsoft/Sysinternals Process Monitor.

Start up Process Monitor and disable all of the logging except for File System Activity(all but one of the buttons on the far right part of the toolbar should be deselected). Now, clear the capture window (Edit -> Clear Display) and if you can force the noise to happen. If not, sit and wait until it does happen(you may want to clear every 30 seconds or so if it gets too noisy).

After you hear the noise, stop capturing(File -> Capture Events), and search(Edit -> Find) for .wav. Locate any reference to the default beep sound file. That should lead you the process that accessed the file and caused the sound.

  • It appears to be taskhost.exe – leeand00 Mar 3 '10 at 16:55
  • ...so it's probably a dll file causing this...but which one?!??!? – leeand00 Mar 3 '10 at 16:56
  • hmm well there is a stack here...and a list of dlls within, additionally there is a process which has modules... – leeand00 Mar 3 '10 at 17:03
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    By right clicking on the column headers in Process Monitor you can choose additional headers. Thread ID should give you the thread its coming from. Then using Process Explorer you can see the call stack for that thread. – heavyd Mar 3 '10 at 17:13
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    It appears to be eliminating from the file pctsTray.exe I imagine this has something to do with the fact that they just released a new version of Spyware Doctor. Thanks a million chief. Here's your Bounty. – leeand00 Mar 3 '10 at 23:55

Have you tried to look at the mixer? It displays each program that is outputting sound and a volume control with a bar showing sound level output. Click the speaker by the clock then click mixer. Watch for the bar to spike when the sound happens.

  • That sounds like a good idea. I'll have to try that. – leeand00 Feb 22 '10 at 2:58
  • I looked at the mixer and which ever window I have selected appears to be the one that the sound is coming from. – leeand00 Feb 24 '10 at 1:03
  • jesus, thank you for this. discord making random beep sounds in my ears for days. nearly lost it. – khaverim Apr 28 '18 at 19:06

Are you sure Windows is generating it? It may be generated in hardware for an exceptional circumstance (eg overheating). I would read the troubleshooting chapter in your motherboard manual and check the beep codes (POST and otherwise) and see if you can match something up.

  • No it's the same sound as the "default beep" (as defined in System Sounds in Windows 7). I run a chill pad under my laptop so it shouldn't really be overheating. – leeand00 Feb 22 '10 at 2:57

Found that the beeping on my system was my phone connection to charge my phone via the usb port on my laptop.... it kept trying to find out what device was connected. (like it kept pinging the device). I unplugged my phone and reconnected it, then the beeping stopped as soon as the device was identified.

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    Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question, which is "How to find out which program a default beep is coming from?" – DavidPostill Apr 18 '16 at 10:12

Why don't you just disable the beep noise?

Go in Windows drivers / hardware manager

Show all devices

You should see under motherboard/chipset BEEP Disable

Unless you really want to know whats causing it

  • One of the first things I always do with a new PC! 8-) – Richard Lucas Mar 3 '10 at 11:12
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    Sure, and if my car is malfunctioning, I'll just put it in the garage and walk every where - sheesh! – Lawrence Dol Jun 17 '11 at 20:50

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