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southern_ocean
1 Copper

XPS15 i5 9550 2016 Noise coming from hard disk?

Hello

I have a Dell XPS15 9550 with 1TB Hard disk, it is the basic XPS15 Model from 2016. Purchased from Amazon in August 2016.

It makes a noise. Listen to attached mp3 sound file.

The noise happens at 5-9sec, 25-33sec and 45-1:03secs during the recording. It repeats generally lasting 18seconds duration. This was when the laptop is switched on, and only running windows 10, no other programs. 

I used a sound recorder on my iphone and when the hiss noise kicks in it reads 58db compared to a normal 45-50db range without the noise.

It is a hissing noise coming from the bottom right corner(facing the laptop keyboard) - where the hard drive is located.

No one at dell support can listen to this file to tell me if it is normal noise or not. I have had dell support remotely update all BIOS and chipset files. We replaced the hard drive for a new one and it makes exactly the same sound. Its not the sound card or speaker. Its definitely the hard disc spinning. Dell support said maybe it was a "capacitor" and it should be sent in for a motherboard replacement???

Please tell me I am not going mad. It is a noticeable noise, you can hear it throughout a large room. When watching a film etc.

Please some answers!

1) What is the noise?

2) Is this normal?

3) How do I get rid of it?

4) If I cant, which XPS15 variant does not have this noise? Is the i7 with SSD quieter?

Many thank you for your help.

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1 Reply
8 Xenon

RE: XPS15 i5 9550 2016 Noise coming from hard disk?

Some hard drives have wear-leveling algorithms that move the head stack assembly at random when the drive is idle -- so they're not flying over the same position on the disc for long periods of time.  If you've had the drive replaced and the replacement is from the same manufacturer, that's probably what you're hearing.

If the noise is bothersome, replace the hard drive with a solid state drive -- which will make no noise at all.

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