Clicking noise from MB

Discussion in 'MSI' started by Brianm, May 22, 2009.

  1. Brianm

    Brianm Guest

    I have a rather old motherboard, an MSI KT3 Ultra2 about 4-5 years old,
    but have never had any big problems. Except recently it has developed
    this thing where it goes into a "clicking" mode, where the clicking
    lasts 10-20 seconds sometimes. When it happens, it just does it once
    and then stops, which happens once every few weeks or so. I have no
    idea what is happening or why. Does anyone know what this might be? I
    believe the CPU freezes while it is clicking as well, but then once it
    stops it's OK.

    Brianm, May 22, 2009
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  2. Brianm

    Horst Franke Guest

    No TIA (what about a true name)!?
    Nicknames here in a NG look like TROLLS.

    That clicking has nothing to do with hardware but with applications!
    So recheck your applications (even as backround tasks)!

    Do you have "MSI Alert" installed and active?
    Horst Franke, May 24, 2009
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  3. Brianm

    Paul Guest

    One problem with computer noises, is locating the general area in the
    computer making the noise. Sometimes, the noise will seem to be coming
    from one area, when it is coming from something entirely different.

    A failing hard drive will "click" or "clunk" when recalibrating.
    The noise is fairly distinctive.

    The fans in your computer can make noise as they wear out. Some
    of those noises are worst, just as the motherboard starts.

    Motherboards don't normally have relays, so the clicking won't be coming
    from something like that.

    The most "energetic" part of the motherboard, is around the processor
    socket. The switching power conversion, consists of MOSFETs (for switching
    power), coils (for storing energy magnetically), and capacitors. It is possible
    to get noise from a coil, and sometimes in power circuits, they place some
    "goop" on the coil, to suppress noise from it. The noise there, might give
    a tone type of noise, as opposed to a clicking. On some of my motherboards
    here, I get "coil noise" while running Prime95 stress tester.

    Capacitors can also make noise. The dielectric changes dimensions, depending
    on the state of charge. Some capacitor types are worse than others for
    making noise.

    Capacitors also have different noises they make, when they're failing.
    For example, my Antec power supply which recently failed, had leaking
    and bulging capacitors on the output side. When the power supply would
    first turn on, I could hear a muffled "arcing" sound coming from
    the capacitors. Eventually the arcing stopped after 30 seconds or so.

    I would start with a visual inspection of the motherboard. Check that
    the problem is not related to the Northbridge fan, or one of the many
    other fans in the computer. Then check the condition of the capacitors.

    You can see some leaking capacitors in this photo. The capacitors are
    cylinders, with a plastic insulating sleeve on the outside. The top of
    the capacitor, has pressure relief lines stamped into the
    top, in the form of the letter "K" or something similar. The
    top of the capacitor should remain flat. When it starts to bulge, it
    is getting ripe. Soon, it will start to leak electrolyte. Before
    the pressure becomes too great, the pressure relief in the top will
    open. Capacitors also have a "rubber bung" near the bottom, and
    sometimes the bottom of the capacitor starts to push out of its
    housing. (So instead of pressure relief at the top, it pushes
    out of the cylinder, near the bottom.)

    In that picture, you can see the bigger blue capacitor in the
    center of the picture, has a convex top on it, and that means
    it is ripe. Four other capacitors, have already started leaking
    orange-brown stuff on the top.

    When the capacitor fails, the noises you hear will be what happens
    when the power conversion circuit starts to malfunction, caused
    by the shorting inside the failing capacitor. If you stop using
    the product, before the failed capacitors get too bad, you
    can actually replace all the capacitors and get a few more
    years from the product. But the key there, is the price the
    repair person will charge to do it. One guy used to "re-cap" a
    motherboard for about $50, but I think those days are over.
    If anyone is still offering that service, they'll want more
    than $50 to do it. (You can get lead poisoning, if you're not
    careful setting up your repair environment - at work, the
    staff doing that kind of work, were given a blood test to
    detect poisoning, every three months. While that might not
    stop you from injuring yourself at work, it does give the
    company better feedback on workplace safety, and what
    constitutes good enough tools and techniques to avoid poisoning.
    For example, eating a sandwich with one hand, and soldering
    with the other, would not be considered good practice.
    Breathing the solder smoke is also bad for you, and the
    work area should have proper ventilation.)

    Paul, May 24, 2009
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