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Windows 7: Hard Drive whining noise

08 Mar 2017   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Hard Drive whining noise

Starting about 2-3 weeks ago, I have been getting an unusual noise from my computer. I think it is the hard drive. It seems to start when the computer is not obviously doing anything, and often stops if I do something that is cpu intensive (e.g. playing a video game). For that reason, I believe it might be some background program that is thrashing the drive -- but I have not been able to find the culprit.

I can feel a vibration on the lower front of the computer as well as hearing the noise. The noise is a high pitched whine, and seems to vary in pitch -- surging and then going quiet for a while.

I don't know if this is a symptom of the drive beginning to go bad, or something else. I have run hard drive checks and virus scans -- all of which come up clean.

I would like to know whether or not I would be able to replace the drive and reload the current system and software on it -- or if I would have to start from scratch. I do have back ups of the data on a separate external hard drive.

System is Win 7 pro, DELL 8500 about five years old.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2017   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

While it could be a hard drive, it is probably more likely to be cooling fan with dry bearings. The CPU cooling fan frequently changes speed & if it's noisy then the noise will rise & fall as the speed changes. It is usually impossible to lubricate these bearing successfully, so the best solution is to replace the fan.

Keep in mind that PSU's & some GPU's also use a cooling fan & these are often under the GPU board & can be hard to see. The PSU fan is usually inside the PSU case, so diagnosing it for noise can be difficult.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2017   #3

Win7 pro x64

"It seems to start when the computer is not obviously doing anything, and often stops if I do something that is cpu intensive"

Since it happens when you are idle it may be coil whine, which can happen with motherboards that support Intel c1E and EIST. See if you can disable c1e and/or eist in your bios in the cpu or advanced section.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Hard Drive whining noise

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