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Old 10-22-2009, 09:16 AM   #1
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Unhappy Rattling/knocking sound from laptop. Help!

Hi, I have a problem with my Dell Inspiron 1525. It's just 1.5 years old, but six months ago, I couldn't even turn it on (long story), but my tech geek brother took it apart, fixed it, reformatted, and it was working fine until a few days ago.

It's making this rattling sound that gets pretty loud. It's not constant, but once it starts, it's like it will never end. It sounds like the mild rattling that you hear during tiny earthquakes (I'm in Southern California; it's a common occurrence).

It's not the CD-Rom drive; it sounds like it's coming from the back/bottom of the laptop.

Anyway, does anyone have any ideas as to what might cause this? It's not only driving me crazy, but making me worried that the thing will fry or something (obviously, I have no technical knowledge).
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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It's pretty much got to be the fan or hard drive seeing as nothing else really moves inside the computer. That or the optical drive but as long as nothing's in there when you notice the noise, that can be eliminated.

I guess the easiest way to see if it's the fan is to essentially heat the machine up enough until it comes on. On Vista, you could right-click the battery icon, select High-Performance, then do something like play a HD youtube video. That should be enough to get the fan going. If the rattle starts, it's probably your fan.

Otherwise, it's probably your hard drive. Look under the computer and you should see a rectangle plate with two cylinders near the screws (at least on my 1420...) Under that plate is your hard drive. Listen around that area and see if that's where the noise is coming from.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:08 AM   #3
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I'd second the-other-one, sounds like a fan problem; or the hard drive. Those HDD's arent that expensive, neither are the fans, why not just replace 'em both to be on the safe side?

And dont take a chance, buy an exterior HDD and backup your computer. I use a Western Digital 500GB and a program called Acronis that uses "images" of your HDD to back it up.

There is the chance that there could be debris in the fan, have you checked it?
Lets all be careful out there to prevent wildfires!

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