What do these strange beeping and clicking sounds from my computer mean?
July 25, 2004 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Strange sounds from my computer: a beep, followed by a click, followed by a beep. Not at startup, but while I'm booted into Linux (but not Windows!).

A brief description of my system: It's an MSI motherboard, running an Award BIOS. The CPU is an AMD XP 1800+ (or something like that...). There's a 450 W Antec power supply, that, while only about a year old, is occasionally noisy. All of my fans seem to be functioning just fine (I have a window in the case), and, in Windows (where I have access to temperature monitoring software), the CPU temperature is normal. The beep is coming from the PC speaker, tied into the motherboard. I can't quite triangulate the source of the (very mechanical-sounding) click. Ideas?

sorry about the parentheses
posted by mr_roboto to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Clicks often come from hard drives. Check this article for an introduction to smartmontools.

Also, lm_sensors lets you monitor CPU temp, voltage levels, etc.
posted by Eamon at 7:55 PM on July 25, 2004

Thanks, Eamon!

Though the very thought of hard drive problems makes me want to weep. The oldest drive on the system is 16 months old....
posted by mr_roboto at 8:17 PM on July 25, 2004

Look at it this way: set up and run smartmontools (you might need to make sure it's enabled in your BIOS first), and then you'll be able to rule out hard drive problems.
posted by Eamon at 8:22 PM on July 25, 2004

I'm not too familiar with any current linux distributions other than debian, but maybe your distro of choise spins down your HDs when idle? you could try this:
sean@tau:~$ sudo hdparm -S 0 /dev/hda
setting standby to 0 (off)
for each drive, to make sure spindown is off.
posted by duckstab at 8:25 PM on July 25, 2004

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