A noisy computer can be a real distraction in the workplace and at home. If there are multiple computers in the same room then the offending noise can reach intolerable levels.
There are several steps you can take to mitigate this noise.
1) Clean your computer case fans. If you computer is struggling to stay cool then the fans will spin faster and generate more noise. Simply cleaning some of the accumulated dust out of the case can help reduce noise.
2) Replace your case. Cheap cases used for pre-built computers are usually made of steel and are not very big. Upgrading a computer case, both in size, and quality of materials can help reduce noise. With improved airflow and higher quality materials (to improve heat dissipation), fans do not have to increase in speed to cool components.
3) Replace your case fans. When you buy a pre-built computer it is likely that the cooling fans will be of inferior build quality. There are a wide range of upgraded fans available to retrofit to your computer. Some have improved bearings and alternate fan blade designs to help reduce noise. If you replace your case you also have the opportunity to install larger, slower moving fans which which can reduce noise.
4) Install rubber mounts and washers. Fans and components with moving parts (hard drives) create vibrations. These vibrations travel through the case and create noise. It is possible to add rubber mounts and washers between fixings of fans and components to help reduce the transmission of these vibrations through the case.
5) Install sound deadening materials. If your computer has sufficient airflow you can install acoustic material to the inside of your computer case. This material simply absorbs sounds and reduces vibrations from case side panels.
6) Upgrade your hard drive. Replacing old hard drives with new solid state hard drives (which contain no moving parts) can dramatically reduce noise. They also have the benefit of increasing computer start-up times and computer responsiveness when opening programs.
If your computer is running slow, here are some steps to speed it up.
1) Uninstall any programs that you do not use anymore.
2) Run a deep level virus scan. Within the advanced options of your antivirus program you will have the ability to run a deep level antivirus that will run a complete scan of your entire hard drive.
3) Disk Cleanup. This is a tool available within Windows that will cleanup files that can be safely removed from your computer.
4) Malware Bytes. A free program (a paid version is also available) that will scan your computer, identity any malicious files (usually used to hijack your browser with ads) and remove them.
5) Ccleaner. This free program (a paid version is also available) will scan your computer and give you the ability to remove temporary files and old registry files. https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
6) Defragment. Windows has the ability to move files on the hardrive from one location to another. Moving this data into consolidated blocks improves the speed at which your computer can retrieve data.
Note: If you have a solid state drive it is not advisable to defragment this. You should disable automatic defragmentation within Windows.
7) Check RAM with Windows Memory Diagnostic. Sometimes RAM can fail but not cause any obvious problems, apart from your computer running slow. You can check the amount of reported RAM within Windows. If it is less than expected you may need to replace this.
8) Limit startup programs. Some programs when installed will set themselves to automatically launch when the computer is turned on. This can cause your computer to take longer to startup and become fully responsive. Using Task Manager (Windows 10) or MsConfig for previous versions of Windows allows you to disable these programs.
The summer is nearly upon us and we’ve already had a few warm days.
One of the driving factors behind computer failure and premature hardware faults is overheating.
Computer components are designed to work within a given temperature range and they manage this by using fans. Unfortunately these fans suck in a lot of debris and dust (you can purchase filters to help reduce this) and overtime this dust can clog up fans and heatsinks.
Much like a car requires a regular service, so does a computer or a laptop.
Here is a step by step guide on cleaning your PC.
Before you begin:Install temperature monitoring software to record your initial temperatures. Run this again after the work has been carried out for comparison.
We use HWMon which you can download here.
1) Remove the side panel of the computer by removing the screws at the back and sliding the panel off. Some computer cases have clips to release the panel.
2) Identify the fans and ensure they spin freely by gently rotating them with your finger. If they make any unusual noises then they may need replacing. Replacing fans with upgraded ones can help reduce noise.
3) While the computer is open, check for any unusual marks on components. These can include burn marks and bulging capacitors. If you spot anything, be sure to get an experienced PC technician to take a look.
4) Using a can of compressed air, blow the dust away. You may want to have a vacuum cleaner on standby to collect the dust. Make sure you clear the dust from between the heatsink fins.
Important:Don’t use the hover directly inside the machine as this can create static electricity which has the potential to harm components.
5) Some computer cases have removable fan filters. If this is the case you can take these out and clean them separately.
6) Using an alcohol based cleaner dab this onto a cotton ear bud and gently wipe the fan blades clean.
7) Other components inside the case may have fans attached to them e.g. graphic cards. You can certainly use compressed air on these items but we recommend seeking assistance before attempting any more advanced cleaning of these objects.