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High-pitched noise from Inspiron 15R

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My laptop has been making a high-pitched sound nonstop as long as the laptop is on. It's inaudible if there is other background noise (from a TV or music) but in a quiet place like the library, the noise drives me up the wall. Is there anything I can do about this? It seems to be coming from the left side of the keyboard. I've only had this laptop for two months.

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  • I have the same problem. I got my Inspiron 15R (N5010) about two weeks ago.

    When the laptop is plugged in, the whining sound is not very noticeable. When on battery, the whining sound is clearly too disturbing. Sometimes, even when plugged in the sound is just too disturbing.

    I am considering returning the laptop because of this sound.

     

  • Could be something in the fan perhaps.

    Is it coming from the laptop or power brick?

    If the laptop itself and not the fan then high pitched whines can also be faulty capacitors and this is usually fatal. Or even arcing between the positive pin on the power socket and the systemboard.

    I suggest return to Dell and demand a  replacement.

     

  • The noise does not come from the power supply and clearly comes from inside the laptop.

    The problem may well be a "CPU whine" noise and might have something to do with the Intel SpeedStep technology. One way to see if SpeedStep is involved is to force it to NOT operate temporarily. One very simple way to do this is to do an infinite loop with a simple program, like a script.

    You can try the following:

    1) Boot the laptop

    2) After you log in, wait a bit to make sure the hard drive is no longer active. This can take a while. The hard drive noise may change the way you hear the high pitch noise. When the hard drive is completely silent, the high pitch noise is usually more noticeable and disturbing.

    3) Create a text file "loop.js" in your "Documents" folder containing only one line: "while (true) { }" (hit return)

    4) Open a command prompt, go to your Documents folder and type "cscript loop.js". The following will appear in the console window:

    Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.8
    Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    You should not hear the high pitch noise any more while the script is running.

    Now press Ctrl+C to cancel the script: the high pitch noise will be back.

    The difference is more noticable when the laptop is on battery.

    The Inspiron 15R / N5010 has a BIOS option to disable SpeedStep, which I haven't tried yet.

     

  • I have just disabled SpeedStep in my BIOS and, to my surprise, it doesn't make a difference: SpeedStep is still enabled when Windows is started.

    I suspect there is a problem with my BIOS and disabling SpeedStep just doesn't work (?)

    Checking the status of SpeedStep is easy under Windows:

    1) Download Core Temp here: http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

    2) Run Core Temp then go to Options > Settings > Extra icons: Processor frequency

    The current processor frequency will show up in the system tray. Careful with Windows 7, system tray icons are often only visible when the little 'up' arrow is first pressed.

    If SpeedStep is not enabled, the frequency should be your processor's maximum frequency. I have a Core i3 at 2.26 Ghz so Core Temp will show 2.3.
    If SpeedStep is enabled, the frequency will change dynamically depending on CPU load, for me it goes from 1.3 to 2.26 Ghz.

    Again, being on battery exacerbates the problem.

     

  • I don't see how speedstep could have anything to do with it, except in the consequential operation of the fan. The CPU itself does not generate any mechanical noise. Speedstep will reduce the operating frequency of the CPU to save power when not stressed. E.G. to extend battery life. And also to prevent the CPU going over temperature.

    Hard drives can be noisy but not usually a high pitched whine.

    It could be a fault somewhere in the power circuit such as the screen inverter.

    Bottom line is that a new laptop should not be making such a sound. Send it back.

  • You write "The CPU itself does not generate any mechanical noise".

    The CPU does indeed generate noise sometimes. This is called a CPU whine, search Google and you will find articles on that.

     

     

  • The CPU itself does not generate any mechanical noise. The running mode of the CPU might induce noise elsewhere on the systemboard. However a good design with good components should not do this. And the CPU whine issue seems to mainly affect older models of CPU.  Yours is the latest generation.

    If such was the case here then the noise would vary according to the load on the PC. The original post suggested that the noise is constant.

    A low volume pitched constant whine can be caused by a faulty screen inverter,  faulty systemboard, or even a fault with positive power pin on power socket.

    You could try connecting the laptop to an external monitor. Switch off the internal display. If the noise goes away then I would suspect the screen inverter.

     

  • The whine is always on unless the processor never enters to a deep sleep state like C4.

    The noise is not really indexed on system load. If the CPU can never enter idle state, and only if this condition is met, there won't be any noise. In any other case, the noise will be there.

     

     

  • If it was my new or nearly new laptop and had a constant high pitched whine I would return it to Dell or the dealer and insist on a refund or a brand new replacement.

    Reading between the lines (perhaps incorrectly) you feel that all Dell Inspiron 15R's will have the same noise issue, a design issue if you like, so a replacement will not be any better. If any research I did suggested that such was true I would be looking for a refund and would buy something else.

    I have recently tried a Lenovo, Compaq and an HP with the i3 CPU and none have made a high pitched whine.

    Another trouble with high frequency pitch (exacerbated by low volume) is that the older you are the less likely it is that you can hear it all. Especially against ambient noise.

     

     

  • xderriickx and jdinspi15r: Did you ever get your issue resolved? I just got an Inspiron 15R 6 days ago and I have the same exact problem you described.  Motherboard and heat sink were replaced but the problem is still there. I'm going to request a new laptop be sent to me but I am worried it's just going to have the same problem. I'm just curious to know if and how it got resolved since I am in the middle of it now.

  • xderriickx and jdinspi15r: Did you ever get your issue resolved? I just got an Inspiron 15R 6 days ago and I have the same exact problem you described.  Motherboard and heat sink were replaced but the problem is still there. I'm going to request a new laptop be sent to me but I am worried it's just going to have the same problem. I'm just curious to know if and how it got resolved since I am in the middle of it now.

  • Hi I have issue with my dell inspiron 17R and I would really like to know how to stop it. How do you do step number 3?(((((( (3) Create a text file "loop.js" in your "Documents" folder containing only one line: "while (true) { }" (hit return) )))))) Everything else I understand. 

    Thanks

  • Hi- I wanted to repost and see if my solution solves anyone elses high frequency noise issue.  I spoke to a different tech person and he narrowed it down to my bluetooth service.  Try this:

    1. Go to start menu and in search type "config"

    2.  Click on "system configuration"

    3. Select the "services" tab

    4. Bottom left, check mark "hide microsoft services"

    5.Find and Uncheck "bluetooth service" by clicking on the box next to it

    6. Click apply and then restart your computer. This may stop the noise. 

    This stopped the irritating high frequency noise. I  just had the bluetooth chip replaced but when I re-enabled bluetooth the sound was there again.  Of course this creates the problem of not having bluetooth if you disable it so I don't know what the next step will be as far as my issue. I just want to get this resolved.

     

  • I have a new Inspiron 15R and have the same issue! Isn't anyone at Dell reading this thread??

  • somebody could solve the problem or there is no solution, happens to me when I connect a usb device and I'm using the battery, when I use the power whine(annoying sound) is minimal