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Windows 7: Power supply making strange noises ; is it on its last legs ?

08 Oct 2017   #1
Clairvaux

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
 
 
Power supply making strange noises ; is it on its last legs ?

Hi,

The fan of my Corsair VX 450 W power supply has always made a very specific noise at switch-on. It goes like this : whoof, whoof (not a very good rendition, I admit).

When switching off, it makes another noise, like a motor revving down. (Fortunately, it's silent in-between.)

Now, I'm concerned because it has begun whoof-whoofing in the middle of nowhere, for no particular reason, whith nothing special happening on the PC. There are two whoofs, then it seems satisfied and shuts up again. Sometimes, it barks twice in a row : whoof-whoof, whoof-whoof.

Does that mean the poor beast is living its last hours, and my whole rig could go belly up in the next few weeks ?

I should also mention that since my last reinstall (I think), my power supply does not go to sleep as peacefully as before. Instead of the usual zzzzz... of a plane shutting down after landing, it's as if it had missed the landing strip at the last moment, needed to rev up the engines once again, and restart the whole procedure. This happens at the end of Windows shutting down. Very strange.

I assumed it was software-induced somewhat, but now I'm not so sure.

Is this the sign of impending hardware failure ? Is there a way to check power supply health by software, the way you do with hard disks ?

[Edit, Nov. 6th, 2017 : it now seems that it might have been the disks making the abnormal noise, and not the power supply. See my last post.]


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Oct 2017   #2
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Most power supply's have a variable speed fan control.
When you turn it on it spins at maximum, then goes to a minimal and remain at this minimal till the temperature increase. Then it increase the fan speed.
It seems that the PS you have only has 2 speeds. Max or minimal.
If it works well and it is silent most of the time, don't worry, seems to be normal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2017   #3
TechnoMage2016

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86
 
 

Ahhhhh, all that's true of the CPU cooling fan, but not the fan in the PSU (main AC to DC power supply)
Every PSU fan that I've ever seen, and I've seen and worked on Hundreds, runs at a constant speed.

There are two ways to quiet down the PSU fan....One is to change (replace) it. And another is to take it out, clean it and inject some oil into the bearing through the stick-on label. I've done both, or if you're not into opening up your PSU, just replace it. They are not really all that expensive.

Even the CPU fan, which can get noisy too, can be cleaned and re-oiled to quiet them down. I've done that, on site, for many of my customers. But usually, if you let the CPU fan go till it seizes up, replacement is about the only repair possible.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Oct 2017   #4
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2017   #5
Clairvaux

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
 
 

I want to stress that I don't find this PSU noisy at all. And I built up my rig after careful study of Silent PC Review, and similar sites. I'm picky about quietness. It's just the potential for failure I'm worried about.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TechnoMage2016 View Post
Every PSU fan that I've ever seen, and I've seen and worked on Hundreds, runs at a constant speed.
How do you explain the noise at startup, then ? Is it just noisy while reaching top speed ? But if so, supposing the fan runs constantly, why would it make this noise again in the middle of the day ?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TechnoMage2016 View Post
Take it out, clean it and inject some oil into the bearing through the stick-on label
Could you elaborate on "through" ? This cannot mean you just spray oil onto the label, and expect it to percolate to the other side, into the bearings, can it ? Do you need to tear the label off ? What sort of oil would you advise ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2017   #6
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Your power supply is working as it should. Don't do anything.
If you read the link I've posted (VX 450 W fan swap- fan voltage vs PSU temperature - The Corsair User Forums), you'll find out that the fan increases it's speed as the load increases (startup, shutdown, and high CPU and / or GPU cycle).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2017   #7
Clairvaux

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
 
 

Thanks for pointing out the Corsair forum to me, Megahertz07. I'm not sure that noise can be linked to the fan increasing its speed. Going from zero to normal, or the other way round, maybe. I see that a Corsair rep lurks in that forum, so I'll mark this thread as solved and put my question there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2017   #8
Clairvaux

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
 
 

A quick follow-up, in case anyone has a similar problem.

1. It seems I may have been mistaken, and it was the disks, or one of the disks, emitting the unexpected noise, and not the power supply.

2. The noise has now disappeared. The only action that I can think might be linked to that is that a short while before the spontaneous "repair", I did an extended test of my internal disks with the manufacturer's dedicated software (Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic). It did not flag any problems and I did not instruct it to repair anything, though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Power supply making strange noises ; is it on its last legs ?




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