I know computers, I have been fixing them and building them for over a decade... but I don't know the exact electronics of them.

My personal desktop PC is making an irregular, but constant, extremely high pitched chirping noise. I know this could be my hard drive, but I've heard that noise before and I believe this is a capacitor or part of the electronics. This noise is right at the edge of my hearing and I can feel it more than I can hear it.

After a while, it starts to give me a headache and makes me physically sick.

How long will this last? Is there anything I can do to fix it (short of replacing the entire motherboard)?

My Motherboard: Gigabyte X-58 Extreme


2 Answers 2


Bad inductors?

Inductors vibrate during system operation due to magnetostriction, producing audible noise. On a motherboard, inductors typically look like donuts with wire wrapped around them, or small coils of wire encased in a plastic square. While there is usually glue on the inductors to suppress this vibration, poorly applied, damaged, or otherwise failing glue on one or more inductors can cause this noise.

Applying glue from a glue gun may help solve this problem.

Note that you may want to pinpoint the source of the noise before attempting to repair it. Capacitors are often (incorrectly) blamed for this behavior.

  • Thanks, I'll take a look at that. That sounds like it could be the issue, I didn't think to mention that it started around the time when I put the entire computer into a new case. I could have damaged it in the move.
    – mawburn
    Oct 14, 2012 at 21:49
  • I have tried to pinpoint it, but it's far too high pitched to really figure out a good location.
    – mawburn
    Oct 14, 2012 at 21:54
  • 1
    This hot glue / nail polish fix only applies for open chokes like these: img.techpowerup.org/120520/vrm.jpg Some companies also RMA components that make noise.
    – dset0x
    Oct 14, 2012 at 21:54
  • 1
    Most of the inductors are SMD inductors and are labeled with things like 1R2...
    – bwDraco
    Oct 14, 2012 at 22:13

Be sure it's not the Alarm set to go off when the CPU fan or some other fan is not running - else unplug HD to verify and boot up with a Live Linux CD

  • the fan alarm doesn't come from the speaker
    – user165286
    Oct 14, 2012 at 22:41

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