Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers
Thread started 15 Oct 2016 (Saturday) 13:19
Prev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

Does a failing HD sound anything like a failing fan?

 
Perfectly ­ Frank
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Oct 15, 2016 13:19 |  #1

My Dell 15" laptop has begun to make a noise after running for about 1.5 hrs.
At first I thought it was the fan going bad (bad motor bearing?).
Kind of a rattling sound. If I shut off the laptop for a little while it will restart
without any noise. But after an hour or so the noise returns.

Or could it be the HD failing? I can't tell where the noise is coming from, without
disassembling the laptop.

Fan or HD, how can I tell the difference? Btw, apart of the noise, the laptop works perfectly.


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)
John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,359 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by John from PA. 3 edits done in total.
Oct 15, 2016 13:37 |  #2

I usually associate clicking noises with a failing drive. Having said that you might want to go to http://datacent.com/fa​iling_hard_drive_sound​s (external link) where failing hard drive sounds have been recorded/categorized by a company specializing in data recovery.

To help narrow down the problem keep in mind that a fan doesn't run continuously, nor does a hard drive. But the fan, when it runs, exhausts warm air from some point on your laptop. On my Dell the "exhaust" is at the back left corner adjacent to the power plug and it is readily evident when the fan runs. So perhaps you relate this noise you hear to the indicator that the fan is running. My fan also doesn't run very often; I have had my laptop fired up for about 15 minutes and it hasn't turned on once. On a laptop with an SSD, which I assume you don't have based on your question, the drive doesn't make any noise. That should be obvious.

Now as far as the HD, my Dell has an indicator light at the front right corner that indicates hard drive activity. Can you relate the noise to the HD activity light blinking?

If you can't find the fan or the HD activity light, provide us with the specific model of laptop and someone may be able to give you some specific help. I know some Inspiron models don't have a HD activity light but something like the very versatile utility at https://sourceforge.ne​t/projects/activityind​icat/ (external link) can help in that regard. It does a whole lot more than just indicating the drive is spinning.




LOG IN TO REPLY
Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
That's my line!
Left Handed Brisket's Avatar
Joined Jun 2011
The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Oct 15, 2016 13:43 |  #3

Generally a HD is only going to make noise when data is being read or written to the drive. I'm not the biggest Windows smarty pants, but you should be able to set the hard drive to spin down after a short time and keep the monitor and system awake. Once the disk spins down if the noise persists, it's the fan. That said, if the fan is failing the HD probably has plenty of miles on it too. And they are cheap these days, why mess around?


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

LOG IN TO REPLY
Perfectly ­ Frank
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Oct 15, 2016 17:43 as a reply to John from PA's post |  #4

Many thanks for the information. Yes, my laptop has a HD activity indicator, and from that I can tell it's not the HD.
It is the fan, and I can tell by simply putting the air inlet & outlet up to my ear - lots of noise!

The noise could be due to dirt, but I going to replace the fan. The laptop is 6 years old so it's about time.

It's a Dell XPS L502, and after checking the net I see replacement fans going anywhere from less than
$10 to $58.

Thanks for the ideas, John.


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
That's my line!
Left Handed Brisket's Avatar
Joined Jun 2011
The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Left Handed Brisket.
Oct 15, 2016 19:14 |  #5

6 years old? Seriously, replace the HD while you're in there.

Five years is my SOP.

I bought a cheap WD external one TB notebook size drive for 60 bucks on sale. SSD drives are pretty cheap and will make your old notebook much more peppy.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

LOG IN TO REPLY
Perfectly ­ Frank
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Oct 15, 2016 19:59 |  #6

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #18157872 (external link)
6 years old? Seriously, replace the HD while you're in there.

HD has already been replaced...seriously!


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
stevewf1
Senior Member
stevewf1's Avatar
769 posts
Joined Sep 2010
Indianapolis
Oct 16, 2016 02:42 |  #7

If you know the general layout of the internals, you can try getting a narrow rubber tube and hold one end to your ear while moving the other end around the laptop. That might help to isolate where the noise is coming from.


Steve

LOG IN TO REPLY
John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,359 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by John from PA. 2 edits done in total.
Oct 16, 2016 06:55 |  #8

There are instructions for fan replacement at http://www.myfixguide.​com ...ling-fan-remove-keyboard/ (external link) and the service manual is available as a download at ftp://ftp.dell.com/Man​uals/all-products/esuprt_laptop​/esuprt_xps_laptop/xps​-l502x_service%20manual​_en-us.pdf.




LOG IN TO REPLY
Perfectly ­ Frank
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Oct 16, 2016 07:47 |  #9

stevewf1 wrote in post #18158049 (external link)
If you know the general layout of the internals, you can try getting a narrow rubber tube and hold one end to your ear while moving the other end around the laptop. That might help to isolate where the noise is coming from.

Yup, good idea. At one time I had a mechanics stethoscope. But it got lost over time.


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
Perfectly ­ Frank
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Oct 16, 2016 07:51 |  #10

John from PA wrote in post #18158144 (external link)
There are instructions for fan replacement at http://www.myfixguide.​com ...ling-fan-remove-keyboard/ (external link) and the service manual is available as a download at ftp://ftp.dell.com/Man​uals/all-products/esuprt_laptop​/esuprt_xps_laptop/xps​-l502x_service%20manual​_en-us.pdf.

Thanks John, those guides are excellent.


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
That's my line!
Left Handed Brisket's Avatar
Joined Jun 2011
The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Oct 16, 2016 08:23 |  #11

Perfectly Frank wrote in post #18157892 (external link)
HD has already been replaced...seriously!

And you didn't replace the fan while you were in there?!?!

;-)a


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

LOG IN TO REPLY
Perfectly ­ Frank
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Oct 16, 2016 10:16 |  #12

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #18158183 (external link)
And you didn't replace the fan while you were in there?!?!

;-)a


Well, I've replaced the HD and memory, so I guess the fan is next.
The fan replacement requires a little more in depth disassembly, so I was in no hurry.

I bought a replacement fan via amazon for $12, hope it's decent quality.
It will be interesting to see how much dust has accumulated over the 6 years.


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
-Douglas-
Beware of DOUG
-Douglas-'s Avatar
Joined Jun 2008
------ snarf ------
Oct 16, 2016 13:12 |  #13

I just replaced the the fan in my Mom's 4 year old HP laptop about 4 months ago, it required about 95% disassembly.
Disconnect everything, remove main circuit board, flip over and do the dirty deed!
The heat sink with cooling fins were fully packed as well as the fan blades, I was surprised any air was coming out at all.
There was no amount of canned air or vacuum going to clean that mess out from outside of the case!
I found a replacement on flea-bay for about $7.50 and some shipping, around $11.00 total IIRC.
Now I wish I would of drilled some more/bigger holes in the case for better ventilation before I re-assembled it. Those little
microscopic OEM vent holes are just ridiculous! It doesn't over heat, but still, I'm thinking more/bigger holes the better.

Not sure how yours is assembled, but my Mom's had to have new thermal paste as well. Luckily, the new unit
came with a patch of thermal compound already applied and I didn't have to use my own.


>myGEAR<
Edit My Images- OK
"Brain Fart" = an essential bodily function.

LOG IN TO REPLY
Perfectly ­ Frank
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Oct 16, 2016 13:53 |  #14

-Douglas- wrote in post #18158437 (external link)
I just replaced the the fan in my Mom's 4 year old HP laptop about 4 months ago, it required about 95% disassembly.
Disconnect everything, remove main circuit board, flip over and do the dirty deed!
The heat sink with cooling fins were fully packed as well as the fan blades, I was surprised any air was coming out at all.
There was no amount of canned air or vacuum going to clean that mess out from outside of the case!
I found a replacement on flea-bay for about $7.50 and some shipping, around $11.00 total IIRC.
Now I wish I would of drilled some more/bigger holes in the case for better ventilation before I re-assembled it. Those little
microscopic OEM vent holes are just ridiculous! It doesn't over heat, but still, I'm thinking more/bigger holes the better.

Not sure how yours is assembled, but my Mom's had to have new thermal paste as well. Luckily, the new unit
came with a patch of thermal compound already applied and I didn't have to use my own.

Thanks for the info, especially about the thermal compound.

It would be great if manufactures provided easy access to the fan and ducts for cleaning.


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
-Douglas-
Beware of DOUG
-Douglas-'s Avatar
Joined Jun 2008
------ snarf ------
Oct 16, 2016 16:22 |  #15

You're welcome and good luck with the repair.


>myGEAR<
Edit My Images- OK
"Brain Fart" = an essential bodily function.

LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

1,359 views & 5 likes for this thread
Does a failing HD sound anything like a failing fan?
FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers


Not a member yet? Click here to register to the forums.
Registered members get all the features: search, following threads, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, settings, view hosted photos, own reviews and more...


AAA

Send feedback to staff    •   Jump to forum...    •   Rules    •   Index    •   New posts    •   RTAT    •   'Best of'    •   Gallery    •   Gear    •   Reviews    •   Polls

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS 1.4version 1.4
made in Finland
by Pekka Saarinen
for photography-on-the.net
Spent 0.00085 for 4 database queries.
PAGE COMPLETED IN 0.04s
Latest registered member is jjj9070749
816 guests, 303 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6106, that happened on Jun 09, 2016