Sounds of a poorly computer – what to listen out for

Poorly PCs and loud laptops… The sounds of a dying machine is dreadful, we’ve made a list of common computer noises and what they can mean.

Whirring / Grinding

The fans inside your computer will always spin faster when the machine is hot. Keeping your computer well ventilated is important to protect components and ensure maximum performance. If your machine is cold or has just been turned on and it’s still making a loud noise then your fan may be broken or obstructed by an object. If your computer is making a whirring or grinding noise it it likely to be the fan. The fans inside your computer can sometimes be obstructed by cables if it is a desktop PC and normally dirt if it’s a laptop. The best advise we can give is for you to take a look at where the noise is coming from and use compressed air to unblock. If the fan appears to be moving freely and isn’t obstructed it is probably the bearings inside the fan. Fan bearings are located inside the centre of the fan and isn’t something that would be user serviceable. If this is the case it’s time to replace the fan and book it in for repair.


Clicking is almost certainly a problem with your hard drive. Your hard drive contains a spinning plate that can reach speeds of 7200 RPM on top of this there is an arm which sends electronic pulses to read and write data. Generally, we see most issues being with the arm which results in a clicking noise as the arm struggles to move across the disc. If you hear any clicks the first thing you should do it backup all of your data as it could mean your hard drive is due to fail soon.


Different beeps mean different things for different types of computers. Beeping sounds coming from your computer? This is your BIOS “basic in out system” telling you that it found a problem during POST “power on self test.” The most common are continuous beeps which indicates faulty RAM / no RAM detected. Every manufacturer has its own beep codes so if your computer is beeping you can find out what it is telling you in the support section of the manufactures website (or if you’re local drop off your computer to us for a diagnosis).

A quiet computer is a happy computer

Noisy computers can be a nightmare. If you’re computer is on the blink or you’ve started beeping at it too hopefully the above steps will point you in the right direction to a quiet home or office.

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