Originally Posted by kornkob
I disagree that a 6 year old IDE drive is the most likely culprit based on those symptoms. I vote for a bad fan ans the most likely with the HD and CD/DVD drive in second place.
Here's another thing to try: open the case and turn it on. Take a pencil and stick the eraser in each fan. If the whining stops, you found a bad fan. Stopping the fan for a few seconds will not do any appreciable harm to your system. Make sure you get the fan (or 2) in the power supply as well.
I'd lay good odds on the video card fan.
I popped it open and it was filthy. I vacuumed off everything I could find for dust. Had to pick out
matted dust in the CPU fan/heat sink fins, but it wasn't the whine. Then I checked the power supply, and it was not as dirty, but stopping both fans together, I still had the noise.
I slapped the sides back on and came back here.
I reread the posts, and had missed the last sentence. I go back in, and sure enough there is a small fan on a card, and it was filthy. I cleaned it up with a brush and vacuumed, and the noise was gone.
There is no case fan
It is running quiet again, but can you just replace a card fan, separate of the card (Nvidia, I think), if this one dies?
Obviously I need to back stuff up. Can I just buy a flash type stick and use that?
Also, should I get a cheap case fan?