My computer is making this strange beeping noise

Tonight, my computer started making this strange beeping noise for no apparent reason. It’s coming from the internal speaker, a long (2-3 sec) tone that repeats at more or less regular intervals. I was doing a lot of multi-tasking (ripping mp3s, browsing, editing my webpage) when it started, but I don’t know for how long it was going since I was also blasting my Discman (plugged into the sound card) and couldn’t hear it over the music.

I tried shutting down all programs, and it seemed to go away, until I started ripping mp3s again, and it came back. I started to worry that it’s an overheating problem, so I shut down completely and called my computer tech friend. He had no idea what was causing it but suggested I restart and see if it starts again. I spent another 30 minutes ripping more mp3s, no problem…until I came here to post about it, and now it’s started up again…

…ok, apparently it only beeps while the CD drive is spinning. This is a brand-spanking new drive btw, 48x CD-RW/DVD, and I’ve been using it LOTS to copy stuff, play CDs and games, and never did it beep until now.

Any thoughts? Oh, forgot to mention, nothing else out of the ordinary is happening, no crashes, no strange lags, no error msgs. Just beeps.

(System: P3/450, 384mb ram, 45gb HD, 32mb Nvidia video card, ancient SB64 sound card, Win98/SE)

Meh. If everything else is working OK, my inclination is to call this a nonissue. If it bugs you, open the thing up and disconnect the PC speaker. It may be signalling the beginnings of failure of a component or two someplace, but there’s not way to know what until it goes completely, and even then it may be one of those non-critical subsystems, like a filter to keep noise out of the PC speaker. Who knows?

Doesn’t the CMOS battery beep when it’s starting to run low?? Totally unrelated to the CD drive, but the only regular beeps I can think of.

Most of the boards I’ve seen display a “Low CMOS battery” during POST, but don’t beep otherwise, so I don’t think that’s it. And unless the CD-RW drive is running off the CMOS battery, I don’t think that’s it.

      • Lately I kntoced mine kinda does this also–however, it sounds as if it’s coming from the CD drive itself, when I first put in a CD and close the door. Kinda like a telephone push-button tone, very soft & faint. This could be part of the drive just working I suppose, but I never noticed it before. There is nothing else wrong I have noticed. …And after four years, I replaced my CMOS battery just last month…

Well, last night after posting I decided to poke through my CMOS and ran across the hardware monitor, which said my CPU temp was 195F(!!!) That’s a bit high, isn’t it?

The motherboard/CPU is nearing four years old so it’s possible the battery is reaching the end of its life, as DougC suggested…

Your last post about the CPU temp being high may be a clue to the problem. About a year ago, at work, our file server started making a strange high-low beeping. We couldn’t figure it out, so we called in a hardware guy to take a look. The instant he heard it, he knew what it was. Turns out, the cooling fan that sits on the CPU had an alarm attached to it so that when the fan speed drops below a certain RPM it beeps, thus letting us know the temp was climbing. Replaced the fan and no problems since. Might be worth a look.


195??? That’s not random beeping, that’s your BIOS telling you there’s a serious problem. Open up your case, grab a tube of heat sink compound and apply a generous smear of it between your processor and heatsink. And check that your processor cooling fan is running.

Ok, CPU fan is working and Speedfan says it’s spinning at 3400RPM, is that a lot, a little, what? The temp’s dropped to about 80C but that’s still too hot (program says optimal should be 50C, yikes.)

Yes, 80[sup]o[/sup]C is still way too hot. Definitely invest in a bit of heat sink compound. Pull off the CPU heat sink and smear a generous portion on and reinstall the heat sink. Also use a vacuum cleaner or a can of compressed-gas dust spray and blow out any dust in between the fins of the heat sink.

Don’t be too generous with the heat sink goop. The “bridges” on the top of an Athlon proc can be shorted out by excessive goop. On a Pentium, excess goop is just messy and wasted.

3400 rpm is probably what the sink fan should be running at.

Carefully pop the sink off the proc and clean the mating surfaces with rubbing alcohol to get the old and probably dried-up goop off. It’s possible that you’re dealing with a double-faced tape, if this was a mass-market system - either way, just be careful with the top of the proc - that bluish square in the center is the actual silicon chip and it’s kinda fragile. :eek:

Put on just enough new heat sink goop to cover the silicon without squirting out past the sides and re-assemble the sink. Be sure the fan is plugged in, fire it up and you should be closer to 50C again.

If you don’t have any heat sink goop on hand, the stuff Radio Shack sells will do if it’s all you can get, but Arctic Silver is generally considered the best available.

While you’re at it, make sure all the other fans in the box are running and that air intake holes (usually at the bottom of the front panel) aren’t plugged.

I just ordered a tube of this myself - I couldn’t pass it up.

Arctic Silver for $4.99 and free shipping

Whew! What a day but at least it worked itself out. I yanked out the CPU and bought some goop like QED & others suggested, only to find out the whole package was BOLTED TOGETHER with some round screws that I had no tool for!! I did notice it was quite dirty so I dug out as much of the crud as I could, reinstalled the CPU and…the fan no longer worked!! Needless to say, that was a major setback – I did log on here to read the replies so far to this thread, but before it could finish loading (damn hampsters) the temp was up to 85C and RISING, so I shut down and spent the whole night pacing and cursing and wondering if I’d have to replace the whole CPU, MB & case, just after spending the better part of a year scraping together enough money to buy my $60 CD-RW…

So, this morning, I take the CPU down to the local computer shop, and at first the guy didn’t even want to touch it, but finally he figured out that the round screws weren’t really bolts but latches, so we were able to remove the CPU fan from the heat sink and do a thorough cleaning. (I finally realized that the fan didn’t work because I’d jammed it with all that sticky brown gunk, and as it turned out, I was right.) Unfortunately, the CPU appeared to be epoxied on to the h/s, so I wasn’t able to apply any of the thermal grease that I bought. (Good thing I bought the 89 cent bag instead of the $2.80 bag, in light of my recent Pit thread on jewel cases, lol…)

The GOOD NEWS is, whatever we did, turned the trick. I spent the last 3 hours doing an “Emergency Sims Backup” as well as backing up other high-priority files, hi-intensity CPU work, and the temp hung right around 59-62C, with peaks no higher than 65. Speedfan still says that’s a little high, but sheesh, it’s a VAST improvement, at least!!!

Anyways, thanks to all for their help in this thread, especially Q.E.D. I’m now off to buy a large bottle of whiskey and get myself smashed. I earned it. :smiley: