So for a while now, my laptop has been produced a certain clicking sound from the left side. This clicking sound occurs at a rate of about once every 1-2 minutes and it really varies. Some times I don't hear it or it only occurs once ever 10 minutes.
I did some research as to what it could be and was scared at the results. Some people say this could be due to a failing hard drive (which would be VERY bad), or it could be due to some junk hitting the fan (less serious).
I still have my warranty on this laptop so I would like to know what you guys recommend... Should I sent it in for a hard drive replacement? If I do decide to do this, how will I ensure I get all of my data back? (losing all the current data on this laptop is NOT an option for me).
Since, I'm posted here anyways, I also have another totally unrelated concern about my laptop. Whenever I begin doing something intensive like playing a video game, the left side of my laptop becomes dangerously hot. The fans become very loud and the top left of my laptop starts getting super hot. This always happened to me even after I cranked down the graphics of most games to medium-low. For the specs this laptop provides, I expect that it should handle these games / other high intensity activities better. Is there a known solution to this? Could this also be a hardware issue that could be fixed by replacing the fan or something?
Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say.
Thanks a lot in advance!
Warranty or not, Dell isn't responsible for your data. If you do not have a backup, it's time to make one -- NOW. Purchase an external hard drive or a flash drive large enough to hold all your data and get the data backed up. An external hard drive runs well under $100 -- data recovery starts at over $500 and can easily double or triple that.
Once that's done, realize you can't just "send it in for a hard drive replacement". Dell will only replace a drive if it fails the diagnostic (F12 at powerup). That's next - run an extended hard drive diagnostic. This will also test the operation of the fan.
If the system is running hot, thoroughly vacuum out the air vents in the system - if that doesn't solve the problem, it may be necessary to replace the thermal interface material between the CPU and heatsink.
Thanks for the response. So, I've done a full backup of all my data to an external hard drive.
The diagnostic test (extended version) passed without any complaints. However, I still hear the clicking sound every once in a while when using my laptop. What could be the cause of the hard drive passed all tests?
Regarding the heat, I observed the thermistor temperature values during the test and here is the data I collected.
CPU: Low: 55°C High: 75°C
Ambient: Low: 40°C High: 54°C
Video: Low: 48°C High: 60°C
Chipset: Low: 64°C High: 71°C
SODIMM: Low: 41°C High: 79°C
Are these values abnormal? If so, what can I do to fix them because blowing compressed air into the vents did nothing.
None of those temperatures are abnormally high -- as for the clicking, some hard drives will move the heads (or park them) when a system is idle.
If the drive passed its tests and you keep your backups current, you should be all set for the time when the drive does fail.
I have the exact same clicking sound. Have you figured out what it is yet? It comes from the left side of the laptop at irregular intervals.
I have the same, it comes from the left side too. SSD is ok, i think CPU can't make that noise. It's probably chipset or graphics/screen because this sound is intensified when something moves on the screen, especially animations in web browser. It hasn't been happening since I bought the laptop. Temperatures are ok because I clean it and change thermal paste very often.
I'm getting the exact same thing, can't be the HDD because that's on the right side, and CPU / fan I seriously doubt it. When the clicking occurs there's also a high pitched sound that accompanies it, it's probably the GPU or the motherboard or whatever else. Sometimes when the sound keeps repeating for more than a couple seconds the screen freezes as well for the duration of it. Pretty concerned but I do keep my backups updated and the BIOS tests were passed flawlessly as well...initally thought it's the strain on the HDD, but added an SSD and still getting the same thing, if not even more often.
These phantom clicks in my laptop with the day of purchase. I have a very rich history of replacement parts under warranty. I even twice changed the motherboard, but clicks will still remain. Also, the replacement of the cooling system and the cooler. Top panel laptop with a touchpad, I changed the screen 5 times by guarantees.
Clicking appears only when the back of the notebook is raised relative to the front. Clicks easily heard if you use a laptop cooling stand.
I still can not understand the nature of these clicks, but it is very annoying. Literally every two seconds if the laptop is used for demanding tasks.