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Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:02 AM

LOUD-ass computer

I have a LOUD computer. The fan sounds like an airplane. We've been investigating the possible cause of this for months - it's not hidden programs running, the inside has been vacuumed, nothing works. This computer happens to have a brand new hard drive installed.

What I've been told is that the layout of that housing isn't ideal. It's not a matter of getting a new fan, it's that the layout is such that cooling (not liquid) isn't possible.

SO, my question is can I use an older CPU housing and replace it with this new hard drive? It is old though, so I don't know about compatibility. (Actually I wouldn't be doing anything as I am not an IT person.)

I have these two computers. One hella old, the other loud AF.

I hate the idea of wasting a new hard drive by having to get a new computer altogether. If it were possible to replace an older computer, in which the hard drive is indeed failing, with the new hard drive -- and maybe even replace the fan or anything else that seems to be wearing down due to age and use -- that may be the most expedient, least wasteful approach, it seems.

Alternately, is it possible to buy just the housing -- newer housing -- in which to install a new hard drive? I don't even know if housing is the right word...lol.

Thanks in advance for suggestions!

24 replies, 905 views

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply LOUD-ass computer (Original post)
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 OP
marble falls Feb 2021 #1
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #5
marble falls Feb 2021 #7
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #11
N_E_1 for Tennis Feb 2021 #2
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #21
Timewas Feb 2021 #3
marble falls Feb 2021 #9
Timewas Feb 2021 #19
BootinUp Feb 2021 #4
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #13
BootinUp Feb 2021 #18
getagrip_already Feb 2021 #6
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #14
Timewas Feb 2021 #20
bullimiami Feb 2021 #8
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #17
BootinUp Feb 2021 #10
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #15
Miguelito Loveless Feb 2021 #12
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #16
eppur_se_muova Feb 2021 #22
OneGrassRoot Feb 2021 #23
hunter Feb 2021 #24

Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:09 AM

1. It could be relaid out. Find a tech who's been in the same location for at least a couple of year ..

This will probably not be cheap, It may be better to case the drive and run it with a newer computer. from a port. 2 computers in one, sort of.

I'd call geek squad for a consult.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:31 AM

5. Is that harder on the cased computer/CPU?

To be running an internal and external hard drive a lot, simultaneously?

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:37 AM

7. No. I'll do it if I'm traveling and I don't want to carry my lap top. I just bring a hard-drive ...

... and plug in. Some do it with a thumb drive, I like using a spare hardeive.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:06 AM

11. Ok, thank you! n/t

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:15 AM

2. Yes you can get a hard drive case with usb connection...

To use as a external drive. I havenít had a computer for about 10 years. I use an iPad.
When I did graphics for my company I need more HD room and used 3 to 4 at a time.
Bet they are a lot cheaper nowadays.

All I got.

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Response to N_E_1 for Tennis (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:51 AM

21. Okay, thank you! n/t

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:16 AM

3. Maybe

You might try an SD hard drive,no moving parts ..but without knowing more it is hard to diagnose this way...Maybe try blowing it clean rather than vacuum, that would do it better.

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Response to Timewas (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:40 AM

9. SD's are a grat HD solution - low energy, no moving parts, fast, totally silent themselves ...

If I ever need a new laptop, I want SD.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:40 AM

19. Pretty much

I think that almost if not all newer laptops are SD, I went to them in my desktop a while back and use portables for backup...The price is good now so no reason not to switch.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:30 AM

4. I would want to know a little more

About the loud computer like make and model so I could advise better. Is this loud computer one that you have used awhile? I guess it was always loud then even when new? If that answer is yes then we could take the model info and try to find a better aftermarket fan/cooler assembly for it.

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Response to BootinUp (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:08 AM

13. It's a Dell Optiplex 790 - refurbished

I got it a few years ago. It has been loud from the very start. I was desperate at the time and just had to deal with it, as I had no alternate computer. The hard drive failed fairly recently and got a new one, hoping that would also fix the noise issue. IT neighbor took a peek -- at both software running and hardware -- and advised about layout.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:32 AM

18. Dell doesn't make airplane simulators. So

Something just ainít right. It could even be driver related. Itís not hard to tell usually if a fan needs to be replaced and if the cost to replace is in your budget do it. Then run any dell diagnostics update stuff or just go to their website and download tools drivers for it. If itís the cpu fan making the noise, then definitely get it replaced after reading how to.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:32 AM

6. you are mixing up a bunch of stuff here.....

First, I assume you are talking about a desktop or desk side computer, and not a laptop, correct?

Second, which fan is loud? There are probably at least two or three depending on the size of your computer. There is one on the cpu, one in the back of the case, and one on the power supply.

The cpu fan is typically variable in speed, driven by the load on the cpu and is usually very quiet. The other two fans are probably fixed speed unless the computer is newer or higher end old. It's possible the new hard drive is making the cpu fan work harder,, but I doubt it.

And yes, fans do go bad and get very noisy as the bearings wear out.

Changing the hard drive should have no bearing on fan speed unless it draws a lot more power than it's predecessor for some reason (higher rpm, higher capacity, etc). It's possible the power supply fan is working harder because of increased current draw, but that again is unlikely unless you really amped up the drive.

It's more likely that either a fan is going bad or there is more heat and the fans are just working harder.

So my money is on the fans themselves. Open the case and listen to see if you can find one making noise. If it gets quiet with the cover off, just leave it off.

Does it make less noise if you turn it off overnight and star it up cold?

You can buy an external enclosure for a hard drive and hook it up with a usb cable. I'm thinking $25-$50 but I haven't looked recently.

But that won't cur down on noise unless it is a very hot drive, and then you will have the fan in the enclosure to deal with.

Short ending. I doubt it is an air flow layout issue. The fans make the noise, not the air flow. They are either working harder or they are failing.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:10 AM

14. It's a desktop...

and thank you for all of that info. Much appreciated!

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:46 AM

20. Another way to tell

Open it up, with it turned off then disconnect the case fan and start the computer back up if noise quits that is the answer...easy to replace. The CPU fan is a totally different thing and not as easy to replace but is doable.. Another possibility is something that is loose and vibrating

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:39 AM

8. Is it fans?

Are they running fast because there is high activity on some process which is heating it up?
Or loud fans all the time?

There could be a setting to slow the fan speed. In power maybe.
Gaming PCs or the like can have fans run high always.
Usually an average desktop will only run the fans up when it gets hot.

You should be able to check the temp sensors and see if they are hot.
Sometimes a poorly attached heat sink or dried out paste can run the processor hot.

Just somethings to consider.

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Response to bullimiami (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:12 AM

17. Thanks very much for those suggestions! n/t

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:51 AM

10. One more comment. Replacing hard drives

On old computers requires a good bit of knowledge. So if you were thinking of doing that on the old computer it would take some research. It might add some speed to the old computer depends on specs old vs new drive.

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Response to BootinUp (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:10 AM

15. Gotcha...

Yeah, I'm getting that that may create more problems than it alleviates. Not a great way to go.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:08 AM

12. Consider replacing the fan

The bearings on the fan may be going bad. If the bearings or the fan shaft develop surface faults, it can cause the fan to "oscillate", making noise due to increased vibration.

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Response to Miguelito Loveless (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:11 AM

16. Okay. Thanks very much! n/t

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 01:53 PM

22. Boot into the BIOS and see if there is a fan control setting.

I know many computers allow you to override the default fan setting (which is usually a compromise setting) -- often you can choose a quiet setting or a run-full-speed-all-the-time setting in addition to the default setting.

You didn't say you're using Windows or not -- Google "control fan speed in yourOS" When yourOS = Windows, the first two hits in this search look informative --
https://www.howtogeek.com/275339/how-to-auto-control-your-pcs-fans-for-cool-quiet-operation/
https://techguided.com/best-fan-control-software/

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 05:23 PM

23. Thank you very much. n/t

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 12:28 PM

24. I had a loud computer and thought it was the fans...

... but it turned out most of the noise, which I found intolerable, was coming from the hard drive.

Noise is not taken into account in hard drives designed for the server market.

I replaced the hard drive with a silent solid state drive and the fan noise decreased as well since there was less demand on the power supply and less heat being dumped inside the case, allowing the fans to slow down. I cut the noise even further by replacing the noisiest fan with a quieter model.

These days I avoid computers with fans. I'm not a gamer and I do very little work that's computationally intensive.

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