What is this sound my PC keeps making?
November 28, 2006 2:52 AM   Subscribe

My new computer keeps making this sound, and I can't make it stop, or figure out what is doing it.

The sound is being played through the speakers. It turns up randomly, seeminly regardless of what I have open.

It's a white noise type sound that goes "shk...(pauses for a second)...shk". Almost like the recycle bin sound, but definitely not.

It's obviously something deliberate, rather than random system noise, but it's not a windows system sound as far as I can tell, and I don't know what else is doing it.

It's so intermittent that I can't tell if I've stopped it by shutting down applications or not.

I was recording some streaming audio, and it kept showing up.

I've checked every .wav file on my hard disc, and it's not one of those.

Does anyone have an idea what could be doing it? It's driving me crazy!
posted by tomble to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Wild stab in the dark: Interference?

Does the sound get louder if you turn the speakers up? Might help us determine the source of the sound.

Are you sure one of your applications doesn't have a default sound set to that?
posted by IndigoRain at 2:58 AM on November 28, 2006

Is your cell phone sitting anywhere near the computer?

Cells often communicate wth their networks even while you are not using them, and are known to interfere with computers. Try leaving it in another roon and see if it happens.
posted by pjern at 3:59 AM on November 28, 2006

er, room.... *sigh*
posted by pjern at 4:00 AM on November 28, 2006

I think there's a default sound for clicking links, I would reccomend just setting the sound scheme off from the control panel, system event sounds are a waste of resources.
posted by psychobum at 4:21 AM on November 28, 2006

Make sure that your speaker wired do not cross any power cords. Is it a laptop? Sometimes the charger units for batteries will cause an interesting sound if interfering with speakers.
posted by scooters.toad at 4:36 AM on November 28, 2006

I had an AOL trial thing pre-installed on my computer and it started up every N startups, sitting in the background and making a noise. Can't remember how I got rid of it, though... If this might be the problem try removing everything AOL.
posted by handee at 4:45 AM on November 28, 2006

Might be a nearby cel phone. They can make random interference/
posted by psychobum at 6:28 AM on November 28, 2006

Best answer: Well, someone a few months ago had this problem. I can't really have multiple browser windows open on this computer so I can't look for it, but they basically had Windows search screens open. That little dog animation makes "fun", rather quiet dog noises. Could that be it?

Fine...I'm obsessively checking MeFi from my PDA.
posted by niles at 6:32 AM on November 28, 2006

I second the the cell phone interference. I've had the exact same sound come from my car speakers.
posted by wzcx at 8:03 AM on November 28, 2006

My husband has some kind of Yahoo! thing installed on our PC that alerts him when he gets a new e-mail. Took me forever to figure out what was making that damn noise. It was sort of recycle-bin-like.
posted by xsquared-1 at 8:04 AM on November 28, 2006

Cell phones aren't that bad, but blackberries are DREADFUL. They are barely shielded at all and constantly cause that kind of noise on my computer speakers if they are anywhere nearby.
posted by The Bellman at 8:07 AM on November 28, 2006

My wife had an old eMachines computer that had some truly bad circuitry design. Whenever she moved the mouse, an electric-sounding noise came from the speakers. This noise could possibly be described as "shk," and the seemingly random pauses might correspond to your mouse movement.

I can't remember if the fix was muting the microphone input on the sound card, or just muting the speakers altogether when she wasn't using her computer. Hope that helps.
posted by cebailey at 8:10 AM on November 28, 2006

Best answer: I'm with Niles. I bet it's the search dog, as mentioned in this AskMe question. The fact that it always comes in pairs makes it a good bet.
posted by llamateur at 10:19 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: It's definitely not interference, because I've heard that before. This is the same sound every time.

The search dog makes sense because I haven't turned it off yet. I'll give that a go and see what happens!
posted by tomble at 7:16 PM on November 28, 2006

Best answer: it's the search dog. i have the same problem, and i never figured out what it was before. but if you get the search dog up and click on it, and makes the noise. it's that noise all right.

windows is so idiotic.
posted by tabulem at 1:39 AM on November 29, 2006

Response by poster: I turned off the search dog, and haven't heard it since! Thanks all!
posted by tomble at 5:24 PM on December 3, 2006

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