New and worrying sound from my PC!


Active Member
Powered up my PC today and there was a new and previously unheard noise from it! It's what I would describe as a whirring sound but louder and lower than my usual PC hum. Sounds to me like something is wearing out so may go wrong at some time. I'm guessing that it's my HDD making this noise as the sound dips and rises in tone occasionally. However, as you can see I have successfully booted up the machine so it's not a fault that has yet done its worst.

I use Acronis to back up my PC to an external SSD and the Acronis Cloud so I should be safe with a recovery exercise if I need one.

Can anyone guide me towards what component this might be? What should I do, replace something now, or just wait until it faults irrevocably?

I have Windows 10 Home 64bit as my operating system. The HDD is a Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 ATA; 1GB.

Any ideas would be welcome.


Distinguished Member
More than likely a case fan


Active Member
Thanks for the replies. A bit of a relief if it turns out to be a case fan/processor fan. So if I get a serial number off the component(s) and do a search, I should be able to find something at a reasonable price and replace it myself?

Although it sounds lowly, a failed cooling fan won't do my computer any good?


Distinguished Member
Not long term. Get it changed they are cheap enough


Distinguished Member
Nah, it's been many years since overheating was likely to be fatal to the computer. These days they all have thermal shutdowns.

On a desktop a fan failure is unlikely to get to that point, the heatsinks would either need to fall off or be otherwise incapacitated for the computer to actually shut down.

A fan failure will typically just mean the power/heat management systems just back off the computer's speed a bit in order to reduce the heat output.

Many desktops will have standard case fans - you go by the length of the side - but if it's from a large enough company such as dell it may have custom ones - especially if it's some sort of small form factor machine.

CPU coolers are somewhat more likely to use a custom fan and they can be harder to replace, but cooler mounting systems are generally standardised so if you can't get the fan you can almost certainly replace the whole cooler (fan and heatsink).

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