Question Some part is making a scraping noise/crackling noise, not sure what

zephah

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I built a computer a couple months ago, a few weeks ago I noticed when I had my headphones off this kind of metal "scraping" noise (not sure what else to call it) happening. I recorded it on my phone.

There's kind of this constant bubbling noise, and then scraping intermittently. It doesn't happen always, but it happens frequently enough that I'd say it's happening nearly constantly.

Uploaded a video that hopefully helps someone figure out what this is, as I'm not too familiar with hardware.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwZ7e4Yuoq4


The video is quite loud on my phone but for some reason putting on YouTube has made it considerably quieter.

I've checked to make sure no cables are potentially hitting any fans, no fan is loose, and tried tilting my computer while off for a few minutes as per suggested on some other forum posts about air bubbles with AIO coolers.

Specs are:

H110i RGB cooler
EVGA 2080ti XC Ultra
i9-9900k
asus maximus hero xi
evga supernova 750 g3
 

zephah

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It's never really under tremendous load -- i haven't checked a benchmarking application, do you recommend one/settings to run to see if it gets worse?
 

zephah

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Noise didn't get any worse throughout the test. The kind of general cracking noise was still present, but only in the way it is at all times.

The scraping noise didn't increase in frequency, and wasn't present during the benchmark (although it has already started again.)
 

COLGeek

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Noise didn't get any worse throughout the test. The kind of general cracking noise was still present, but only in the way it is at all times.

The scraping noise didn't increase in frequency, and wasn't present during the benchmark (although it has already started again.)
Not the pump then, unless it just didn't speed up. Are you system temps staying reasonable (even when under load)?

Have you stopped each individual fan (case cover off and being VERY careful) in the attempt to isolate the source?
 

zephah

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My temps have been great across the board.

I'm not sure what else could be causing the bubbling/crackling noise that isn't the pump.

I can try stopping the fans but it would probably be a multiple day process of elimination because the grinding noise isn't permanent, it just happens throughout the day.
 

COLGeek

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I listened again, at max volume. Seems with the side cover/panel removed from your PC, you should be able to zero in on the source of the sound. It seems rather distinct. The only things that should be moving inside your PC are fans, pumps, and disks.
 

zephah

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Okay, is it safe to stop the fans while it's running? Just stop like one at a time and see if the grinding noise stops?

The bubbling noise is constant, it never stops at any point while the computer is turned on -- the kind of grinding/scraping noise is what happens somewhat sporadically.
 

COLGeek

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Is there a better way to do it? Should I just unplug each fan one at a time?
You could do this, but only if you power the system down each time to connect/disconnect a device. Never play with connections while powered on.

You can also just place a finger on the outside of devices and (sometimes) determine where a sound/vibration is coming from. Like touching the outside area of a fan or GPU or HDD, etc.

You can get odd sounds from side panels that are tightened too much as well.
 

zephah

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Alright, I suppose I'll try that and report back. Is it fine to just bump this in a day or two when I've gone through all the steps?
 

zephah

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So, today I stopped each individual fan and the bubbling noise never stopped. I also noticed through today, that while the noise never actually increased during the benchmark test -- the 'scraping' noise typically doesn't happen until some sort of actual load takes place (opening a game that takes a lot of resources for example.)
 

COLGeek

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So, today I stopped each individual fan and the bubbling noise never stopped. I also noticed through today, that while the noise never actually increased during the benchmark test -- the 'scraping' noise typically doesn't happen until some sort of actual load takes place (opening a game that takes a lot of resources for example.)
I still think this is your AIO (pump/liquid movement), as the most likely culprit.
 

Darkbreeze

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Sounds like regular noise PLUS possibly a hard drive head crashing noise. That is what that scraping/clicking noise sounds like to me. DO you have a connected drive that is not working properly?

Do you have a mechanical hard drive connected to this system, at all? Or is it an all SSD system?

Also, as far as the pump goes, it could still be related. Most systems these days are designed for the pump to be at 100% speed at all times, whether under a load or not, so an increase on the load won't generally mean an increase in pump speed, and therefore won't mean an increase in the frequency of the noise occuring. Unless the pump was on a header that was configured for variable speed operation, which is not how it should be for most systems (Most should be full speed pump with variable speed radiator fans), then the noise should be fairly constant and consistent if it is coming from the pump.

If it's not a drive, which I suspect it might be, you could probably find the issue much the same way that I find failures in bearings in automotive applications, which is to take a screwdriver and hold it against the side of any device you suspect to be making the noise. Be very careful to not touch anything that you might short out. There is little danger of that if you are careful but I have to mention it because some people are fairly negligent when it comes to obvious careful behavior.

If the device is making THAT particular noise, whether it is a hard drive with an internal crash or a pump with some part clicking or scraping, you SHOULD probably be able to lightly feel it through the screwdriver. Be sure to press it up against a non-moving part of the device. There isn't much that could be doing this other than the pump or a drive, since the noise is pretty clearly not RPM dependent or it would be occuring much more frequently than it is I think. A fan for example, would probably not have such a long pause in between repeat noises, unless it was only running at like 100-200RPM and even then it might be more frequent than what I'm hearing there.
 
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ex_bubblehead

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<Puts on the SONAR headphones>

The recording is a little soft but I hear two very distinct mechanical sounds here:

  1. A quiet rattling that sounds very much like a bushing or bearing that's run out and the shaft is bumping around as it spins.
  2. A slightly louder sound that is very much like that of a hard drive head repeatedly seeking (ka-chunk, ka-chunk....). The pattern is very much like that of a mechanical drive that's failing.
There is also a third sound way back in the background that sounds like the quiet whirr of a case fan.
 

zephah

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Not sure how to just quote specific parts -- but I have one harddrive, an m.2 ssd.

Also, not sure how relevant, but my parts are sub two months old, I only built this in late January.

edit;

From just kind of putting my ear into the case the best I can, it sounds so centralized that I'm not sure how it could be anything but the pump. The scraping noise is super inconsistent but I can try getting a better listen to it when the case is open if it starts happening again. Unfortunately I can't find any sort of real trigger that causes it to happen.
 
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Karadjgne

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Sounds exactly like fan bearings going out. You get the tinyest off-center spin and the blade scrapes the side of the housing. It's most common with fans in a horizontal position.

Pull the side off the pc, then pull/replace after a few seconds, every single fan one at a time. With an aio you have plenty of time for cpu cooler fan stoppages. The only fan you cannot verify is the psu fan, but that can be speed checked by applying a heavy load and blocking some psu intake air, which heats up the psu and makes the fan spin faster.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
A Mechanics Stethoscope would help here but it sounds like an HDD to me. Keep in mind I'm at work and listening thru crappy "All-in-one" PC speakers.

Since the HDD isn't the boot drive, you could disconnect just the power cable the next time you startup. Even if windows won't load without it, you'll know if the sound is gone. If it's not the HDD then the sound will still be there.
 

Darkbreeze

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Yes, disconnect the HDD and see if the noise goes away. It should be obvious that you want to do that with the system shut down and the power off. Then power up and see if you still get that ka-chunk noise or not.

Eliminating one noise at a time is probably essential. Maybe they are all related, but it is not a given.

As far as it being fan noise, unless it is in the power supply, then it's doubtful, since you said you stopped each fan and the noise continued. I'm assuming that includes the CPU cooler fan, radiator fans and all case fans, yes?

If so, then clearly it can't be a failing fan unless it's in the power supply and you certainly ought to be able to identify if that is the case by putting your ear up against the side of the power supply exhaust grill in the back.

And again, if it IS a HDD or pump problem, putting a screwdriver against it should transfer the "feel" of that noise through the screwdriver to your fingers when it occurs. If you can't decidedly feel it doing that, then it probably isn't coming from that part. You can do this for the HDD, the pump, the power supply, fans, etc. They all have cases or frames that will transfer the feel of a noise which is as heavy and obvious as that noise is.
 

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