system alarm
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Thread: system alarm

  1. #1
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    system alarm

    hi, i am at a friends house, on his computer. i was trying to figure out why, after about a half hour, the computer will start to make a really loud siren noise, like an ambulance type of sound from the speaker within the computer box itself (not the peripheral speakers). i did some searches around google for it, but i get nothing and was wondering if this has happened to anybody else.

    the ringing will go on constantly until the computer is shut down and restarted and there is no popup or system messages.

    windows ME is the operating system.

    thanks to anybody that can help. this is the first time ive been on antionline in a really long time as i forgot i had an account here! then i was searching for some time and it just occured to me this is the place i could probably get some quick answers
    know how to sell your wares. intrinsic quality isnt enough. not everyone bites at substance or looks for inner value. people like to follow the crowd;they go someplace because they see other people do so. uniqueness appeals both to the taste and to the intellect.

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Can you give more details on the hardware? (Motherboard type, etc)
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  3. #3
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    i am here at my friends house, and i cant find any of the cd-roms with the drivers or a box that would tell the motherboard type. i did just look in the bios though, there was something about a warning beep, it is enabled, and i also enabled the cpu_fan detection option, which i think might have something to do with it. this sounds so stupid, but i cant even find a screwdriver around here, to take apart the computer, i want to see if the cpu fan is on, the fan in the rear of the box is on.
    know how to sell your wares. intrinsic quality isnt enough. not everyone bites at substance or looks for inner value. people like to follow the crowd;they go someplace because they see other people do so. uniqueness appeals both to the taste and to the intellect.

  4. #4
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    I can think of two things that could make that sound. One is the "internal PC speaker",
    a legacy device dating back to days before sound cards were invented.
    The other in an internal modem. You could have some software running that makes the
    sound on purpose, or something screwed up talking to the wrong device.

    Is this sound associated with some particular action you are taking, or is it random?
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  5. #5
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    I beleive your friend might be using a very old computer, Perhaps a pention 386. Not completely sure but I remember something about the old bios having a beeping sound for everything. Long beeping might be caused by an inteference or something going wrong in the motherboard. Plz give me some more information on what type of proccessor and some of the system's specs so we could help you more.
    [gloworange]\"Imagine a school with children that can read and write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live.\" Peter Cochrane[/gloworange]

  6. #6
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    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

    download that free tool, then from there you can see what kind of motherboard you have, CD-ROM, HD, Flopyy, processor, etc
    =

  7. #7
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    If it is a siren type sound, or long persistant beeping, you were just saying that there are options in the BIOS about sensors on the motherboard, you said something about a fan sensor. There is a good chance that there is a thermal sensor(s) somewhere else on the board, a possibility is that something is overheating, CPU or chafe, and that the motherboard is alerting you of this. Check for something about max operating temperature, or something similar. If this is the case, simply up it 5 or 10 degrees.

  8. #8
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    Taking a stab in the dark.. the unit is over heating...?

  9. #9
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    Originally posted here by The3ntropy
    If it is a siren type sound, or long persistant beeping, you were just saying that there are options in the BIOS about sensors on the motherboard, you said something about a fan sensor. There is a good chance that there is a thermal sensor(s) somewhere else on the board, a possibility is that something is overheating, CPU or chafe, and that the motherboard is alerting you of this. Check for something about max operating temperature, or something similar. If this is the case, simply up it 5 or 10 degrees.
    As far as I know, most PC BIOS' still do indicate error conditions by the beep "pattern" during boot up... a single beep is normal, where-as something other than that, such as a long beep or multiples (or various short/longs) mean different things - often calling the BIOS manufacturer and giving them the beep pattern, they can tell you what's happening... of course, there's always the "remove everything and slowly add things back in until the problem repeats" sort of troubleshooting approach, too (well, you get the picture I hope).

    But, in any case, if you're getting a heat issue... my personal recommendation would be to not simply up the threshold on the temperature - perhaps as a last resort or to give you a little more time to troubleshoot it after bootup... but generally, you'd ideally like to figure out how to bring the temp back down -- look at the airflow in the case, possibly adding another CPU fan, etc. There are lots of ways around the problem, but, in my opinion, simply up'ing the alarm threshold can be asking for more problems further down the line and should be done as a last resort (remember that the defaults were burned in to the BIOS by the manufacturer... people who, in-thoery, know more about the board than we do... I wouldn't muck with settings where you might not like the results of "something bad" happening... hehe)

    Just my $0.02...
    \"Windows has detected that a gnat has farted in the general vicinity. You must reboot for changes to take affect. Reboot now?\"

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    If it is a continuous screeching I would say it is almost certainly an overheating alarm. You need to take the cover off and check that the CPU fan is operating, and that it is not clogged up with dust and lint ("fluff" to us Brits). Whilst you are there, clean out the other fans (case & power supply), and the heatsink. Try to make sure that there are no cables obstructing the fans or their airflow (particularly the flat cables!). You should also check that the heatsink is firmly attached to the processor and motherboard and there is no leakage of thermal compound from around the processor.

    Run the machine with the case off (be careful!) and check to see that all fans are operating smoothly, and not making any unusual noises. Make a note of the time in case the alarm starts again. If it does, check to see if it is the system speaker or the modem that is making the noise.

    If the problem persists, and it is the system speaker, let the machine cool down, set your air conditioning to the lowest temperature possible and set up a domestic room fan or two to blow over the motherboard and processor. The problem should either go away, or take a lot longer to happen. If this is the case, you need to replace the CPU fan and reseat the heatsink with fresh thermal compound. I recommend a silver based one, as these are much more thermally efficient.

    Please DO NOT disable the system speaker or increase the alarm thresholds. At best you will fry your processor and motherboard, at worst you will fry yourself and your friend. Remember that with electrical fires it is the toxic fumes from burning plastic that get you long before the fire does!!!

    Good Luck

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