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Discussion Dell Inspiron 3847 Makes Grinding Noise

Jul 6, 2020
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My Dell Inspiron 3847 makes a loud grinding sound on cold start up for 30 seconds or so then goes away. I checked the fans and they're ok. Hard drive??? I'm stumped. I bought it in 2015 and it has the optional 2-TB HDD.
Regards,
Sam
 

Furzumz

Upstanding
May 28, 2020
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The only moving parts in a computer are hard drives and fans.

What you can do to test it is turn off your computer, unplug the power cable from your hard drive and then power on the computer. If the grinding persists its probably a fan. When you go to plug the hard drive back in make sure the computer is off before doing so.

If the grinding persists despite the hard drive being unplugged its likely a fan. Keep in mind your power supply likely has a fan as well. Might be hard to see it but it should be in there, those can go out too.
 
Jul 6, 2020
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I'll try that. I've got two bd/dvd/cd optical drives in it too that I unplugged a few minutes ago. It only does it on cold start after it's been shut down for several hours and it sounds awful. It sounds like a bearing eating itself, not clicking. It was doing it this morning when I started it up so I took the side panel off. The two visible fans were ok, I stopped them with my finger and it kept grinding away. It sounded like it was coming from around the hard drive but I'm not certain. After around thirty or forty seconds it stopped.As I'm typing this it's so quiet I can barely hear it running. Hadn't thought about the power supply fan so I need to check that. If it turns out to be the hard drive can I upgrade it to something better? If so, which one, HDD or SSD?
 
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Furzumz

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May 28, 2020
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I'll try that. I've got two bd/dvd/cd optical drives in it too that I unplugged a few minutes ago. It only does it on cold start after it's been shut down for several hours and it sounds awful. It sounds like a bearing eating itself. As I'm typing this it's so quiet I can barely hear it running. Hadn't thought about the power supply fan so I need to check that.

Yeah its gotta be a fan or the hard drive. As for optical drives I'm doubting they would be that loud and awful sounding but unplug the power to them just to check

If it is the hard drive I would recommend backing up anything you care about to a online storage service while you can, or to a external hard drive or USB stick

If it turns out to be the hard drive can I upgrade it to something better? If so, which one?
Dell's website lists the storage as SATA 3.5 inch , so assuming they don't use some wacky proprietary connectors you should be able to use any 3.5 inch SATA hard drive.

If you want another 2TB hard drive I'd recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H2RR55Q/ref=twister_B088VRPJCS?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

Just double check the connectors on the hard drive to make sure they're normal sata connectors. They should look like this:
https://previews.123rf.com/images/fotogigi85/fotogigi851805/fotogigi85180501143/101276101-sata-hard-drive-connector-electronic-board-with-electrical-components-electronics-of-computer-equipm.jpg
 
Reactions: slovell1
Jul 6, 2020
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Thanks for the info. I should know what's wrong tomorrow when I start it up. Yes, it has regular SATA connectors.
Yeah its gotta be a fan or the hard drive. As for optical drives I'm doubting they would be that loud and awful sounding but unplug the power to them just to check

If it is the hard drive I would recommend backing up anything you care about to a online storage service while you can, or to a external hard drive or USB stick



Dell's website lists the storage as SATA 3.5 inch , so assuming they don't use some wacky proprietary connectors you should be able to use any 3.5 inch SATA hard drive.

If you want another 2TB hard drive I'd recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H2RR55Q/ref=twister_B088VRPJCS?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

Just double check the connectors on the hard drive to make sure they're normal sata connectors. They should look like this:
https://previews.123rf.com/images/fotogigi85/fotogigi851805/fotogigi85180501143/101276101-sata-hard-drive-connector-electronic-board-with-electrical-components-electronics-of-computer-equipm.jpg
Found it, it's the power supply fan. Looks like it's enclosed in it's case and I can't see a way to get it out. I guess I need to find a power supply for it and change it out as a unit. I'll be spending the day looking for the part number or a used one.
 

Furzumz

Upstanding
May 28, 2020
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Found it, it's the power supply fan. Looks like it's enclosed in it's case and I can't see a way to get it out. I guess I need to find a power supply for it and change it out as a unit. I'll be spending the day looking for the part number or a used one.
A power supply is the one thing you don't want to go digging around inside of. Even when unplugged it can still be dangerous to do so. A new one is the way to go, just isnt worth the risk trying to change out the fan if you ask me.

Whats your processor and if you have one what video card are you running? I can give you a power supply suggestion based off that.

Were you also looking to upgrade your processor / video card in the future? If so a higher wattage power supply could come in handy
 
Reactions: slovell1
Jul 6, 2020
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Yeah, I know about messing with power supplies from tinkering and upgrading audio gear for many years. They're snakes just waiting to bite you.
I ordered a replacement with a matching part number from Amazon today. It'll be here Thursday. Judging from the photos the wiring loom matches along with the screw pattern, specs match also. Everything in the 3847 is oem and I really have no need to mod it for what I use it for.
Just glad I finally found the problem and it's a cheap easy fix. I really appreciate your help.
 
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Reactions: Furzumz

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