Missing sock?

Last night, my work computer starting making a funny noise — not a good funny noise, but a bad funny noise, like a bearing going out. I couldn’t tell whether it was my hard disk or just the fan, but I didn’t want to take chances. I called computer support, got a ticket number after probably half an hour on hold, and then walked to the support area with my computer.

Because I thought the noise might be thermally related, I restarted the computer when I got there. Unfortunately, by the time I was first in line, the noise had decreased to the point the it could barely be heard.

The support guy got a can of compressed air and blew it into the side of my computer. I swear, enough lint flew out to explain the unmatched sock in my sock bin. Could that be it? (How did that lint get in there? I’ve only had this computer for a few months!)

Update: Now that my computer has been plugged in for a while, the noise is back, and clearly audible over the running dishwasher — not good.

2 responses to “Missing sock?”

  1. Art King Avatar
    Art King

    You are experiencing the dreaded squealing bearing on a fan somewhere. I would open the side of the computer and then reach in and unplug the power cable to the fan on the CPU. Power up and if the noise goes away, then it’s off to Fry’s for a replacement CPU fan. If not, then you have narrowed it down to the power supply or a spinning hard disk.

    Turn off the computer, unplug the power cable from the hard disk. Turn the power back on. If it comes up quiet, then you have a hard disk about to go south. Do a good backup, and off to Fry’s for a new hard disk. If the noise persists, the its off to Fry’s for a new power supply.

    (brought to you by the advertising department at Fry’s. .

  2. blogan Avatar

    Art, thanks for the kind assistance. I would follow your advice if my work computer was a desktop. Unfortunately (or should I say, fortunately?) my work computer is a laptop. I’m afraid to try to crack the case open.

    Also, it’s not a squeal, it’s more of a rumbly rattle. I’m thinking maybe another sock is still stuck in there somewhere, rubbing against the fan blade.

    Thanks to IT, my computer backs up multiple times per day. Should my computer get hit by a meteorite, I won’t lose anything other than the time it takes to reinstall the apps I use beyond Office (not an insubstantial time…).