posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 12:45 PM
Might I add some feedback?
It is my experience that the hard drive mostly makes clicking noises when it is going bad. The rare exception is the few times that it first spins
up, but cant find an OS to boot to. It will begin to spin at high speed, and make a whirring noise. If it were me, I would probably put this
possibility on the back burner.
Another point is that sometimes when a hard drive is going bad, and the OS cannot be found, the pc will attempt to find a boot disk in the floppy
drive. This can make a loud noise. You can quickly look at the floppy drive light to see it light up during startup to see if this is it, but this
is usually only when it cannot find the OS on startup, so I would probably rule this out too.
The most common cause of the noise is the fan, but not the CPU fan. It is usually the fan in your power supply. The reason that I bring this up is
because of how loud you said the sound is. The CPU fan is very small, in your pc it is covered by a shroud which dampens noise, and, while it can make
the kind of noise that you related, it is usually not very loud.
The power supply fan is indeed larger, capable of making that noise, is not covered by a shroud, is at the far back of the pc, almost on the outside,
which makes it easy for debris to get into, but it would be rare that it would be so loud, unless a peice of paper (for example) or a bug got into the
fan. This is the first thing I would look at. I would blow it out with a can of compressed air. If it does eventually go bad, you will know it real
soon, as you wont have any power shortly. The good news is that these are cheap and easy to replace.
Since I am a cheap skate, the second thing I would do is unplug the build in speaker on your pc. This is another likely cause of the noise, and is
capable of making the noise as loud as you describe. In addition, it is free, quick, easy, and causes no harm. The built in speaker is usually on the
very front cover of the pc, which would help the sound be so loud. In fact, I found a forum that even discussed this very item for this Dell.
Yup, that is what I would do. Long winded today aint I?
Best of Luck