HP Vectra spooky problem

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by heruti, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. heruti

    heruti Guest


    My Vectra VL400 (1GHz P3, 512MB RAM, 80GB, Windows 2k)
    has retired itself independently from service:
    when turned on, boot starts normally, and right after the Bios finishes
    testing the 512mb of RAM,
    and shows all the IDE devices:
    an increasing high pitched squealing (sort of like a Cat meowing in
    reverse) sounds from the motherboard (inside the case- not from the
    speaker, I disconnected it), the monitor turns dark, and all the
    indicators (Hard drive, power etc) light up simultaneously and remain
    so until power is cut off.

    I have tried disconnecting all peripherals internally (hard drive, CD
    drives, floppy etc) and all possible cables from the back (Except
    monitor and power) and removing each of the memory SIMS but the problem
    still occurs.

    It started this morning, but then I cleaned some dust from inside the
    case and it seemed to go away, but this evening it returned in full
    is it worth trying to change the power supply or could it be some
    sort of virus? (I had norton antivirus 2003 fully updated).

    It doesn't seem to be power supply related, as I plugged into the
    motheboard a power supply from another PC and the problem remained.

    Thanks for reading
    heruti, Jul 7, 2005
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  2. heruti

    PC Guest

    I know it's crude, but place a length of plastic pipe in your ear and wave
    the other end over the motherboard until you locate the source of the

    PC, Jul 7, 2005
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  3. heruti

    old jon Guest

    Possibly the CPU fan bearings in trouble.
    old jon, Jul 7, 2005
  4. heruti

    J-McC Guest

    I have seen this with a p/c, not a vectra, and it was a faulty power
    supply. When I replaced the p/s everything became normal. I took the
    cover off the old power supply and a small electrolytic capacitor
    (47mf) on the -3v (or maybe -5v) had spilt its guts all over the
    I didnt try and repair it though.
    J McC
    J-McC, Jul 7, 2005
  5. heruti

    heruti Guest

    lucky for you, in my case it doesn't seem so,
    as I have already tried to connect the faulty PC's motherboard to
    another PC's power supply instead of its own (a-la-'ER' heart
    transplant style, both PC's near each other)
    and the problem presisted.

    I'm trying to find a new replacement M/B on the internet now.
    heruti, Jul 7, 2005
  6. heruti

    Jimmy Dean Guest

    You can try this: Leave the CPU cooler in place but disconnect the
    power from it. Start the system FROM DEAD COLD - DO NOT leave running
    for more than a minute. If this seems to consistently avoid the noise
    it's probably CPU fan bearings.

    The other way is to simply replace the CPU fan assembly.

    Jimmy Dean, Jul 8, 2005
  7. heruti

    heruti Guest

    I did as suggested, disconnected all fans, but the problem continues.
    The screeching noise seems to come from the motherBOARD itself, from
    one of the microchips...
    as fantastic as that sounds
    (doesn't seem visibly possible for any of that lot to produce any noise
    whatsoever, but something there does).
    perhaps its a bios infecting virus.
    heruti, Jul 9, 2005
  8. heruti

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Probably not a virus.

    I've heard that same screeching sound integrated circuits overheated just
    before they blew up. Literally. You've got problems. Is the system under
    Toolman Tim, Jul 9, 2005
  9. heruti

    Me Guest

    Probably not a virus.
    no, its 5 years old.. we take preverse pleasure in resisting the "new
    year- new computer" slogan of the Adopt-a-Bill(G...) charitable

    tomorrow we will drive out to the local HP repair depot and beg them
    for a motherboard. (they said 2 weeks- but we are facing a mutiny in
    the office, its a small business server)

    I got so desparate that I thought of finding a doctor's stethoscope
    and trying to check "where does it hurt, dear?" while telling it to
    cough.. (boot)

    Me, Jul 10, 2005
  10. heruti

    Toolman Tim Guest

    The stethoscope is actually a good idea. Because if it can be traced to a
    non surface mounted component (capacitor, etc.) it may be repairable.

    I know what you mean about the mutiny! Our ISP was down for almost two days
    recently. The whole office staff kept calling over and over. I told them I'd
    let them know when we were back online, but they had the patience of a
    charging herd of buffalo <g>
    Toolman Tim, Jul 10, 2005
  11. heruti

    Ben Myers Guest

    Try removing and reseating the processor.

    Ben Myers, Jul 10, 2005
  12. heruti

    PC Guest

    Possibility that comes to mind is the switchmode powersupply on the
    Your case powersupply lowest voltage is 3.3volts. Most CPU's run at a core
    voltage down in the 1.5-1.9 volt area.
    The onboard switchmode (converter if you like) reduces the 3.3volt to that
    needed by the CPU.
    It has been known for the components associated with this powersupply to
    'ring' at an audible frequency, usually the inductor.
    See if there is a ferrite ring with some windings on it close to where the
    noise is coming from and using a piece of plastic gently push/load it to see
    if the screech stops/changes.

    If it does respond to this try 'gluing' it, ie get some contact adhesive and
    apply it between the windings to 'fix' them in place.

    PC, Jul 10, 2005
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