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Fixing that Common Rattle / Buzzing Coming From your PSU (Power Supply Unit)

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So one thing I've noticed over the many years I've been a computer geek is that for some odd, God forsaken reason, PSU manufacturers must deliberately want to annoy us. Perhaps even freak us the eff out.

I have had several PSU's now, from different brands, such as Thermaltake, and even generic brands that come dirt cheap on Ebay, or with a name brand computer like a Dell, HP, and so forth, where out of seemingly nowhere you'll hear a strange rattle, or buzzing sound. If you know nothing about computers, you may think something very serious might be going wrong with your computer; like maybe your hard drive is dying Frustrated . Even if you do know a lot about computers, that may also be your initial guess until you open 'er up and take a look under the hood.

The Cause:
PSU's have a nasty habit of the fan inside of it, suddenly starting to rub up against the grill covering it. As the fan spins a little bit of one or more blades hits the metal of the fan grill causing a sort of metallic power tool sound. One way to quick test if this is your problem is to grab a pair of needle-nose pliers and carefully grab a part of the metal grill and gently pull it away from the fan while it's spinning; if the buzzing stops, there's your problem. You can also try gently pressing down on the grill to purposely cause it to buzz more. You'll be able to tell quickly by the sounds if it's the same issue. I'm not sure whether it's the bearings inside, or something similar loosening up over time or what, but for the sake of this discussion, it's from my own experiences harmless, and a relatively easy (and free(!) thank God) fix.

Here's all you have to do:

  • First and foremost, make sure you have no power going to the PSU. Unplug it's plug, as well as switch the power switch on it to the Off position. And even after that, be super careful where you touch inside, and stick anything, like a screwdriver. Just stay focused on the fan and grill itself and you should be fine.
  • Now, unscrew it from your computer as much as you need to, to open the PSU up.
  • Once it's out of your computer, or at least out of it enough that you can work with it (I don't usually need to unplug all the devices the various plugs from the PSU are going to in order to do this) unscrew any screws on the PSU that are holding the case on.
  • Now, just unscrew the fan grill, which is usually on the inside of the case, and move it to the outside of the case; screw it back onto the outside of the case. You may also be able to flip it upside down to give you more space from the fan. The object here is to give more space between the fan itself and the grill. Usually putting it on the outside of the case give syou more than enough room to end the rattle.
  • Now that you've screwed the fan's grill to the outside of the case, go ahead and put it all back together the way it originally was. Plug it in, power it on, and you should no longer ever hear that annoying buzzing sound again!

The fan blades are hitting the fan grill; move the fan grill from the inside of the case to the outside of the case. Problem solved!

I have done this to several PSU's now and it always works perfect. Let me know if this solved your problem as well! I love hearing happy endings. Wink

I Averaged: 3.3 | 3 votes

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nitallica's picture
Birmingham, Alabama
Premium Member (Gold)I use FirefoxI use Google ChromeI use SafariWindows UserFormer Phrozen Crew MemberSTaRDoGG <3's you ;)
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Re: Fixing that Common Rattle / Buzzing Coming From your ...
STaRDoGG wrote:

...I love hearing happy endings. Wink

Cuz SDC is all about them "happy endings"  ....  Wink

Quirky sysadmin. Geek. Gamer. Comic fangirl.

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