You do your best to keep your computers in good shape. You clean them regularly, and you have a computer repairman service them at least once a year. You’ve trained your employees on how to use them safely as well.

However, despite your best efforts, your computers have begun making unusual sounds. Theses noises don’t sound healthy, so now you worry that you may have to pay for replacements or extensive repairs. You want to avoid these expenses if possible, so you need to know what your computer’s sounds mean. Do you really have to worry?

Below, you’ll find a list of common computer sounds that indicate a problem.

1. Clicking Hard Drive

Your computer’s hard drive saves all your information, making it one of the device’s most important parts. When you turn on your computer, you should expect to hear a soft humming or whistling coming from your hard drive.

However, if your hard drive starts making a clicking or thumping sound, then you have a problem. These sounds indicate that your hard drive has failed or will soon fail. When it does, you will lose all the information stored on that computer. If you use this computer for business purposes, any loss of information could have disastrous consequences.

If the hard drive hasn’t failed yet, back up all the files on that computer, then give your IT experts a call. They’ll probably replace the hard drive instead of replacing the entire computer. If you didn’t get the chance to back up the files, ask them if they can salvage any information on the broken drive.  

2. Whirring, but Empty Disc Drive

Disc drives usually make noise when they have a CD or DVD in them. However, if they whir while empty, then you have a faulty drive. This won’t usually ruin your computer, but it may disrupt you and your employees in the meantime. It may also limit your computer’s ability to read discs, which could affect your employees’ productivity. Call a professional to repair the disc drive as soon as possible.

Your disc drive may also have a problem if it clicks when running. This means that one of its moving parts is defective and needs repair. And if your drive stays silent after you insert a disc, then the entire drive has broken and requires replacement.

3. Abnormally Loud Fan

Your computer has a few different fans. These fans prevent your computer from overheating, as excessive heat could force the computer to power off. The heat could also permanently damage your computer’s hardware. Without fans, your computer wouldn’t last very long.

Like all fans, the ones in your computer make a faint whirring noise while they run. If they don’t make this noise, turn off your computer and contact a repair technician immediately.

Your fans also have a problem if they make too much noise. If your computer sounds like a hurricane every time you turn it on, this means the fan has to work extra hard to keep up with your computer’s heat. You’ll probably have to clear dust out of the computer to fix this problem. If a thorough cleaning doesn’t do the job, contact a professional to take over.

5. Ticking Fan

Your computer’s fans could also make a ticking noise, similar to the sound a stiff piece of paper makes when it hit a bicycle wheel’s spokes. This noise sounds less electrical than a clicking hard drive.

When your fans make this noise, it could mean a few different things:

  • A wire may have fallen into the fan’s blades. Turn off your computer and simply move the wire if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • The fan has come loose and started vibrating. This problem requires a simple repair or replacement.
  • The entire fan unit has gone bad and will soon fail. You will have to replace it.

Whatever you do, don’t procrastinate this repair. Your computer needs its fans to function properly. Without them, important parts like your hard drive could become damaged, and you’d lose valuable information.

6. BIOS Beeps

All computers make BIOS beeps at startup. These give your computer a way to communicate its health before it fully launches any systems. If it has any problems, it will give you a corresponding series of beeps. Most people don’t realize this until the beeps suddenly change.

Common BIOS beep codes include:

  • No beep: The computer doesn’t have any power, or it has a loose card or short circuit.
  • One short beep: The computer doesn’t have any problems, so you have nothing to worry about.
  • One long beep with two short beeps: The computer has a video or display error.
  • Five short beeps: The entire computer has suffered a process failure.

Your computer may have different codes depending on your manufacturer. You can look up codes for your company’s computers online, or you can ask an expert.


If your computers start making strange noises, use the information to handle the situation. Don’t forget to call IT experts for replacements or repairs.