Laptop Makes Whirring Noise on Start Up - does it need maintenance?

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#1 May 17th, 2009, 10:25
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#1
In the last week, when I turn on my laptop there is a strong whirring sound as it starts up. I never had this before. After it is running, the fan runs with a normal sound and everything is fine.

Is this a sign that something is not quite right? Should I be taking it in for a check-up? I have a Compaq Presario Model C301TU and it will be 3 years old this coming October.

The nearest place I think for repair would be Dehra Dun, I don't think there is anything in Mussoorie, although I can check this out. If experts think it's nothing 'serious' I shall continue on here for the next two months and have it checked in Jodhpur where I purchased it.

Any advice will be much appreciated, thank you!


Editted to add - just now a power cut so had to turn off, and now back on 5 mins. later. It didn't make that louder sound on turning it back on. It seems to be when it has been turned off for a longer period of time. (My battery lasts only about 10 mins. these days - still haven't got the new one - so if a power cut comes I turn the computer off).
Every cloud has a silver lining!
#2 May 17th, 2009, 10:47
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#2
Nice, this is my field

The noise could be caused due to 2 reasons:
1. Any of the fans is malfunctioning and need to be replaced. If this is the case, just let the laptop run for some time (at most 1-2 mins) and see it hangs up or shuts down. If yes - then its serious, if no - then it can wait till you can get it serviced.

2. The hard-disk is starting to fail. This is more serious. Does your laptop also make clicking noises? The computer runs but behaves strangely (throws errors, etc.)? Did it experience any physical impacts recently? If answer to any of the questions is yes, then don't wait - get it checked before the hard-drive fails completely and you lose your data.

Data on Hard-disks is recoverable up to some extent, even if it is completely dead - but it is a very lengthy and expensive process (You will need to send it to data recovery company, etc). Better option is to get a new harddisk and move your data while it's still working.

I'll check on google if I can find address of any Compaq repair shops in Mussoorie.
#3 May 17th, 2009, 11:01
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#3
You should clean the fans and vents regularly.

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#4 May 17th, 2009, 11:19
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Very many thanks Vikas, and goan - I think it is a fan problem not your no. 2 Vikas. The computer runs normally, no funny stuff, once it's on. The fan is currently running now with a normal noise. So, it looks like cleaning and dust in a fan.

Is it possible for me to fix this - I have never touched or opened my computer and am a complete novice in this regard. If it is rather complicated, or I need special screwdriver (I have one small normal one with me here only) I guess it would be better to take it to a service place.
#5 May 17th, 2009, 11:22
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A fan in a PC at least (don't know about laptops) isn't very difficult to replace, however you're gonna be looking at a lot of wires going all over the place and stuff. Probably tinier and more intimidating-looking even in a laptop. Moreover, your hardware will probably sit neatly buried amidst all that, can be something of a pain to take it out and re-insert it, meanwhile worrying all the time if you're doing it right.

So if you're not totally sure of what you're doing, I'd rather have someone do it for you. Won't be very complicated, and hence not costly.
#6 May 17th, 2009, 11:28
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#6
What I was thinking, Mach - much better someone who knows what they are doing, than me! Thanks for your reply.
#7 May 17th, 2009, 11:35
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Yes; plus, if they screw it up, you have someone to yell at

(I am really kidding btw, there shouldn't be much to screw up in the first place. But, well, you know what I mean.)
#8 May 17th, 2009, 11:48
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#8
.
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goangoangone View Post You should clean the fans and vents regularly.
Aishah: You need to get some 1/2inch paint brushes or pastry brush and clean the computer fan and other vents.
Last edited by RWeHavingFunYet; May 17th, 2009 at 20:37..
#9 May 17th, 2009, 11:58
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A can of compressed air is best but hold the fans while blasting them to stop them spinning uncontrollably.

#10 May 17th, 2009, 12:02
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PC fans are easy and safe to clean with compressed air, but The laptop lids and fans are a bit complicated - I would recommend you take it to a service center. If the laptop is running fine, its not urgent.
#11 May 17th, 2009, 12:08
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aishah View Post Editted to add - just now a power cut so had to turn off, and now back on 5 mins. later. It didn't make that louder sound on turning it back on. It seems to be when it has been turned off for a longer period of time..
Yep, that's typical of a fan problem.
#12 May 17th, 2009, 14:12
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#12
Aishah, I just opened up two laptops and used a straw jerry rigged to the end of a vacume hose very succesfully. Of course, that assumes..
#13 May 17th, 2009, 19:49
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#13
edwardseco! I shall not touch it, is my motto. And just this afternoon, speaking to the owner's wife of where I am staying, she has an excellent contact for a man to come here to check it out for me. So in the next day or so, will have it done. (He works at one of the 'prominent' schools here as their computer maintenance technician, and she's had him do work on her computer as well).

I think it's the fan problem, Vikas - not too serious we hope. So luckily, no need for that trip down to Dehra Dun or Mussoorie.

Thank you all for the helpful, and funny, not quite so helpful, replies!
#14 May 18th, 2009, 11:04
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aishah View Post :
I think it's the fan problem, Vikas - not too serious we hope. So luckily, no need for that trip down to Dehra Dun or Mussoorie.

Thank you all for the helpful, and funny, not quite so helpful, replies!
Why do you think your fan starts whirring in the beginning, and then becomes normal after 5 minutes ? Its not a tempermental little weasel is it ? Its a mechanical doodad that might be required to do some unexpectedly heavylifting at startup

Just an idle-speculation from a mac-guy The only time my ibook or macbook would have a fan start whirring was when the CPU(s) was/were running >85% - That too typically when I tried to open an illformatted peecee documents with openoffice.
#15 May 18th, 2009, 11:37
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post Why do you think your fan starts whirring in the beginning, and then becomes normal after 5 minutes ?
Oh, I've had it on PC's alright. A tight slap would often temporarily resolve it

I assume (and it's arguably no more than an assumption) that any muck and dust aside, the fan is no longer perfectly calibrated & so touches something, and/but will then settle into its correct position after a while.

As Aishah described (and Vikas seems to confirm), it typically also won't happen on each start-up.
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