Tech Support Forum banner

Is my power supply failing?

1623 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  wrf1981
I hope I have picked the correct section for this, I'm sorry if I haven't.

I own a Dell Dimension 4600, bought in 2004 so it's old, but its always been a fantastic little computer.

In the last few months it started making a strange sound when I turned it off, like a cross between a pop and a click, which reminded me of the noise an old CRT monitor makes when you turn it on.

About two weeks ago it started making this sound while the computer was operating, maybe just once every few hours, but the computer still worked properly, no freezes or crashes when it clicked.

This started getting me worried so I opened up the case to see where the sound was coming from in case it was the hard drive, but it seems the sound is coming from near the back of the computer where the power supply & fans are located and not the front where the hard drive is. All the fans appear to be clean and free from dust & working normally.

Last night I was listening to music with headphones on and using the computer and when I decided to go to bed I took the headphones off and realised even though the computer was working normally it was actually clicking every 15 seconds or so! I frantically turned off the program I was using and suddenly the computer started clicking furiously, every two seconds and completely froze. I had to power it down with the reset button because windows was totally frozen, but the fans on both the CPU & the power supply were still blowing.

I figured that was it, my computer was dead, but this morning I turned it on to see if I could figure out what went wrong and it booted completely normally!

Has anyone got any idea just what is failing on this computer? Is it the power supply, the fans, the hard drive? I can't figure it out.

I would really appreciate any help on finding out whats wrong with it. Thanks in advance!

Computer Dell Dimension 4600
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3

CPU Type Intel Pentium 4, 2800 MHz (21 x 133)
Motherboard Name Dell Dimension 4600i
Motherboard Chipset Intel Springdale-G i865G
System Memory 2048 MB (PC2700 DDR SDRAM)
DC power supply: Wattage 250 W

Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (128 MB)

Audio Adapter Intel 82801EB ICH5 - AC'97 Audio Controller [A-2/A-3]

Disk Drive Maxtor 6Y160P0 (160 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/133)

Hope this is enough info.
See less See more
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
The noise sounds more like a Hdd but any OEM PC that old is a candidate for almost any component failure.
The noise sounds more like a Hdd but any OEM PC that old is a candidate for almost any component failure.
I did listen to some MP3s of the sound of hard drive failures and it did sound very much like the noise I heard, it just seems strange that it sounded like it was coming from the back of the machine rather than the front where the hard drive is. I have 90% of the stuff on here backed up, I guess I'll get to work on the other 10% now before it fails completely :grin:

I have a couple of programs on here that aren't working now. I dunno if that was from the reset or if it means the drive is failing, but oddly it hasn't clicked at all this afternoon! (and of course now I've said that the hard drive will probably crash to a grinding halt....:laugh:)

Thanks for the reply!
see if you can borrow another psu to try in it

check a wire is not touching a fan blade
see if you can borrow another psu to try in it

check a wire is not touching a fan blade
I ran some tests on my hard drive and it failed all of them so I'm assuming for now thats what the problem is. Ive checked the fans to see if their is a wire near them but cant see anything. Once I get the new hard drive up and running I'll def try another power supply.

Thanks for the reply :)
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Not open for further replies.