weird computer noise
August 19, 2006 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Clueless about computers filter: Very strange computer noise..

I have a cheap Compaq presario desktop running windows XP that sometimes will make a sound exactly like a door on rusty, squeaky hinges being swung open. The sound is not so much a mechanical sound being generated by my hardware (like fan noises) but more of a "sound effect". I have run my virus/spy bot stuff but it is still there. I know enough not to use WD-40 on it but that's about all. I admit openly to being a bit clueless about things so keep your answers simple please.
posted by Iron Rat to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Can you hear the sound with your speaker muted?
posted by davcoo at 11:48 AM on August 19, 2006

Best answer: It's very common for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) to have this sound effect play as the default noise when someone on your buddy list signs on or comes back from being offline. Do you have AIM installed? Can you go into the options/preferences there and see if sound effects are enabled?

If they are, you should see an option to disable sounds entirely, along with a way to preview the sounds that are currently selected. Preview the door sound, and if it's your squeaky hinges, you've found your culprit.
posted by anildash at 12:00 PM on August 19, 2006

i vaguely remember one of those 'paper clip help thingies' on MS Office, in one of its animations, would open a door and 'walk' out, before offering to 'help'. The door opening in the animation would make the sound you describe - squeaky hinge door opening.

(if thats what it is, right click the paper clip animation and select 'hide').
posted by jak68 at 12:02 PM on August 19, 2006

Response by poster: davcoo- I do not think I would but it happens only every now and then, maybe twice a week. I will turn off the speakers and see though.
posted by Iron Rat at 12:04 PM on August 19, 2006

Try turning the sound off on the computer and see if the sound goes away. Or plug in a pair of headphones and see if the sound emanates from there exclusively. I agree it's probably some dumb IM sound.
posted by todbot at 12:06 PM on August 19, 2006

Response by poster: anildash, jak68, I will check these, thanks all
posted by Iron Rat at 12:06 PM on August 19, 2006

If it's not AIM, my next guess would be a dying hard drive. My last hard drive that died made a sound like a siren when the computer started up.
Regardless of the cause of this noise, it never hurts to make sure you have your hard drive backed up.
posted by GregX3 at 6:29 PM on August 19, 2006

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