View Full Version : Computer dead but whistles

17-12-2011, 11:37 AM
Yesterday, my computer died, but whistles.

Nothing on screen,
Hard drives probably still be working but can't hear because of the noise of the whistles (I thought I heard
All fans work; both those wired direct to the PSU and those powered by the motherboard
I've tested the voltage of several of the PSU connections and they were OK
Resetting the BIOS battery did not help
No sign of heating in the CPU or motherboard.
Temperature of CPU tops out at 40 degC (I have a temperature gauge wired in)
PSU appears to be operating completely normally.

I unplugged everything to leave just: PSU, motherboard, CPU and fan, general fans, RAM (2GB). Still whistles, not a flicker on the screen.

So it appears to be either a dead CPU or a dead motherboard with my money on the CPU. Any thoughts on what it may be?

Motherboard = Gigabyte GA-MA69G-3SH CPU=AMD 64 X2 5200+

17-12-2011, 12:00 PM
Were you using the onboard graphics?

17-12-2011, 12:15 PM
Computer has onboard graphics. I was logging off when the computer failed.

Speedy Gonzales
17-12-2011, 02:12 PM
Could be capacitors. I would open the case and check the mobo for stuffed / leaking capacitors / bulging capacitors

17-12-2011, 02:51 PM
what kind of screen and is it possible the screen is what has died?
When you first turn it on does it beep?

Tracking down the source of the whistle would be a good start, maybe listen through a tube to locate it.

17-12-2011, 08:34 PM
Could be capacitors. I would open the case and check the mobo for stuffed / leaking capacitors / bulging capacitors

That was one of my first thoughts too. Not much can whistle, but caps are known to do it. Otherwise you're left to eliminate moving parts - fans and drives - as the source of the noise.

Mobo and PSU caps should be thoroughly examined. You're looking for caps with a bulging top (even the faintest of bulges) or a stained (brownish) top, or a black rubber 'gasket' pushed out from the base, or an odd lean (caused by bulging gasket), or a darkish stain on part of the motherboard.

If one is screaming hot, then it's immediately a candidate for failure, even if it hasn't failed.

17-12-2011, 10:15 PM
Can't be dead if it whistles - impossible :)

17-12-2011, 10:22 PM
Depending on your interpretation of the sound, your "whistling" noise could also be an inductor.

But if the sound is so loud you can't even hear if your hard drives are spinning or not, it could be coming from the little case speaker, try unplugging that and see if the sound stops. Some BIOS put continuous beep sound for some errors, and with a cheap piezo buzzer that modern cases often have, it might sound like whistling.

18-12-2011, 09:55 AM
It's obviously not whistling 'Whistle While You Work' then. :thumbs:

18-12-2011, 10:53 AM
I've examined the motherboard and can see nothing wrong. There are a number of leaning components but that is not new.

The whistle appears to be coming from the vicinity of the CPU but I can see no speaker - could of course be under the massive CPU heat-sink and fan; and it is near impossible to identify the location of a pure mono-tone.

There are no beeps.

The screen is working just fine.

If I unplug the discs, then nothing works; but at least the whistle stops!

Looks like a new motherboard and CPU. Only 3 1/2 years since my last computer failed.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

Speedy Gonzales
18-12-2011, 11:20 AM
Could be what it says here the last post (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/319930-28-makes-whistle-noise-turned)

The whistling noise is coming from the 5V standby power supply transformer, because of lose lamination's. It is nothing to worry about Switch mode power supplies can be noisy but if the noise is annoyingly loud the only cure would be to replace the power supply.

18-12-2011, 12:24 PM
What is your PSU and have you tried another?

18-12-2011, 02:21 PM
If I unplug the discs, then nothing works; but at least the whistle stops!

There's a big clue. Care to elaborate further?
Discs (plural)?

What if you unplug only one disc or the other?

If it's a screaming HDD then it's the HDD that is stuffed... although that shouldn't normally be enough to suppress the start of the boot sequence.

18-12-2011, 05:15 PM
I mentioned listening through a tube, it sounds silly but it can help you pinpoint a sound. And yes as Paul mentioned it could well be the drive that has failed try and isolate which one it is.