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Old 01-06-2009, 07:43 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,346,931 times
Reputation: 175

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Hey ya'll---This I do not understand. I have a new Dell XPS series PC. Bought in October 2008, no problems at all. But starting yesterday, there is this weird noise coming from the computer. It occurs sometimes about once every 5 minutes or so (even if I'm not working on the PC and it's on screen-saver). Sometimes the noise repeats over and over a couple of times. It almost sounds like the plucking of a string, like a guitar/bass string or something....up-down, down-up. Like a 'computerized' sounding plucking of a string. There have been NO new additions, downloads, anything like that.

Oh, and when the sound occurs, the cursor momentarilly changes--to the blue circle (like the old hourglass). Anti-virus stuff, firewall stuff, etc. is all up-to-date.
I've held the mouse over all the little icons on the toolbar at the bottom, nothing pops up as "updates needed" or anything like that. What the heck is going on?? My computer is suddenly 'talking to me', but I don't know why, and don't understand what it is saying!! HELP!! It's driving me crazy!!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:48 PM
 
Location: kcmo
712 posts, read 1,963,384 times
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Best guess is it's one of your many fans inside the case be it power supply or processor.. though the only thing I can think of for why it would pause windows is if your running some kind of background monitoring program..
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Beaverland, OR
588 posts, read 2,585,886 times
Reputation: 465
Could you clarify whether the noise is coming from inside the computer itself, or from your speakers? It's not clear from your OP.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
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Have you fed your mouse lately?

Could be an email notification, especially if you get a lot of spam. Fiddle with the settings of your mail to silence announcements.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
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Based on your description, I'm going to assume that the sound is coming from the speakers.

Sounds like a notification of some sort. Do you have any USB devices? Could be that one is spontaneously disconnecting/reconnecting. I've had a couple of devices that occasionally went offline for no apparent reason.

Email notification? Instant messenger? Look at programs of that class (network applications that might notify you of an event).
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
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Re-reading the description more carefully:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty3 View Post
It almost sounds like the plucking of a string, like a guitar/bass string or something....up-down, down-up.
This (IMHO) is a dead giveaway that an external device is disconnecting and reconnecting. What you describe is exactly the sound that Windoze makes when that happens.

What devices do you have attached to the PC?
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,765,214 times
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I presume you have Vista and not XP .. I can only explain my idea regarding XP, so the steps you could take may be different.

The "guitar plucking" sounds like a typical Microsoft sound one can attach to any event such as minimize or maximize a window or plug in/pull out something from a USB port etc etc. The up-down, down-up that you describe sounds to me like Microsoft sounds for an event happening and then unhappening, and it does remind me very much about the sounds I hear when I plug and unplug a thumb drive in one of my USB ports.

You could check in your sound file and see which events have which sounds attached (such as Windows starting and ending and critical stops etc). In XP I find that list in Control Panel then Sounds and Audio Devices folder then the Sounds tab (but I don't know how to find it in Vista). I can browse through the list and play the sound attached to each program event.

Perhaps you could do the same, looking for that guitar plucking and see what event it's attached to. If it's present for many different events, then maybe start changing the sounds to something else and see if the guitar plucking remains or changes.

At least this might narrow down the cause and to tell you where the problem lies, why the event is happening.

BUT BEFORE DOING ALL THIS, I'd check and double check all your connections and make certain they are tight. I once had a lousy half-broken plug on the end of a joy stick thing and it didn't make a great connection in the USB port - my computer kept telling me that with some bing bongs.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:48 AM
 
Location: NJ
11,488 posts, read 21,889,490 times
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In addition to what's been suggested, my guess is hard drive is going bad.

You probably have antivirus software that is checking for an update, and when that happens the drive spins. I suggest disconnecting the speakers to rule a windows sound out, if it still happens, you need to check the drive.

This was happening to my daughters computer, turns out one of her front fans wasn't working, hard drive was overheating.

Another guess would be another fan, you should have them in the front & back os the case, possibly at the top. If you have a video card, that might have a fan and the power supply also has a fan. In all of the years I've been using computers, I've never seen a fan on a power supply make that sound until a few months ago with my son's computer.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:20 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,346,931 times
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Well, here's another crazy thing. Today is has not made the noise even once! I did not change anything either!!

Someone asked if it could be an instant messenger, or e-mail notification thing...nope, I don't have those.

I have nothing 'extra' connected to any USB ports or anything like that.

If it starts happening again, I will unplug my speakers to see if that narrows down where it's coming from.

It's just so weird to me, that it was doing it for 2-3 days in a row, and today....nothing!

Thanks to all of you for your input----I'll be back on this post if it does it again
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:42 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 3,619,219 times
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It sounds like you are describing the sound my computer makes when I plug in or unplug a usb device. And occasionally mine will make that sound when I am not doing anything that would cause it to occur. Do you have any usb devices you can plug in to see if you can trigger that sound?

When it makes that sound you might want to check Control Panel/System/Device Manager to see if you have any devices that are causing problems. They should be indicated by a yellow dot next to the device name.
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