Question Sudden Grinding Noise - Having Trouble Identifying The Cause


Nov 9, 2013
Hello. So I did some re-arrangements yesterday in the computer room, including installing a new internal 8TB HDD. Got things sorted and done, got the data onto the 8 TB safely that I wanted - powered down, disconnected the power and sata from the back of the internal to just have it off until next backup time.

Something wrong though, I fire the system up and I hear some sort of grinding noise. This is partly why I decided to disconnect the 8 TB as it was the only change I made to the hardware and felt it was a safe assumption to be causing the awful noise.

Fire it back up with no HHD connected, noise persists while booting into the Windows OS. I removed both panels with it on and gently pressed my finger on the center of the top case fan and rear case fan and one of the CPU cooler fans couldn't reach the second one as the gap is way too small for a finger to fit in. None of those fans are causing it. I opened MSI Afterburner to drop the fans to minimal speed and maximum speed on the GPU - the sound just continued as unaffected. Rules those fans out.

When I trace the motherboard with my ear closely the sound seems to be coming from the CPU. It's a Core i9 9900k and this is quite a new system.. so I'm really confused what is actually making this noise and what kind of problem I can be dealing with here.

Any help from the tech experts out there who can help me identify where the sound is coming from and what I can do to test and isolate the problem, would be greatly appreciated

Thanks a lot!


Do a very through internal inspection with a bright flashlight and magnifying glass. Look for some piece of debris in a fan. Or some cable or other component touching a fan and vibrating/resonating with the fan's speed.

Use a long cardboard tube such as you would find in a roll of paper towels. Carefully, with one end of the tube to your ear, move the other end of the tube around to verify the source (CPU?) of the sound. A rolled up sheet of paper will also work.

Check the screws/fasteners - some gentle loosening or tightening may end some resonance that is occurring.


Nov 23, 2013
Sounds like a fan blade is hitting the shroud around it or the heatsink under it...not much else would make a grinding noise. Usually this happens on flimsy GPU shrouds when a card is moved or bumped.