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SassyLady
09-13-2011, 01:25 AM
I have a Sony Vaio that is about 2 years old and just starting making grinding noises...which seem to be concentrated on the left side (which is not the cd side). This noise is not constant but is very loud. Does anyone have any idea what it might be?

J.T
09-13-2011, 01:27 AM
Generally speaking, only two things are capable of making any such noise in a computer: optical drives and some fans. Fans shouldn't be too low in pitch, though. If it's a cooling fan, you risk overheating (and a dead motherboard) if it ceases to do its job.

SassyLady
09-13-2011, 01:51 AM
Generally speaking, only two things are capable of making any such noise in a computer: optical drives and some fans. Fans shouldn't be too low in pitch, though. If it's a cooling fan, you risk overheating (and a dead motherboard) if it ceases to do its job.

Must be the fan ... so, should I take it to the Nerd Herd and let them look at it? Should I ask them to give me my hard drive while they are looking at it?

J.T
09-13-2011, 02:21 AM
If you take it in for diagnostics, keep a few things in mind:
-laptops are expensive to fix (largely because you can't just grab any brand part in a standard form factor like ATX and use it) and it's generally not worth investing too much money in repairs

-make sure the cost of the diagnostics gets applied to any parts/labor needed to repair the machine if any service is needed

-if you take it in, they should check the hard drive automatically as well as a number of other things as a part of the standard diagnostics

Also, if your hard drive has S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, you can use that to check for signs of problems before taking it in.

If it's a fan, you shouldn't be looking at more than the diagnostics, an hour of labour, and the cost of the fan (and the diagnostics fee should be applied to the final bill). Make sure to tell them to call and confirm any repairs, tests, or other billable acts before performing proceeding with anything. Make certain you don't hand it to them and say 'fix it and call me when it's done' or you could end up being told they had to replace the motherboard, ram, and thermal sensor (if it has one) and they want buku bucks before you can get the machine back. If you have another machine, I'd recommend backing up any important documents, photos, etc before taking it in just in case.

If the cost of repair exceeds 1/4-1/3 what you paid 2 years ago, perhaps consider just replacing it if you can afford to do so. Unlike a tower, laptops can't be upgraded and rebuilding them or investing in costly repairs is almost never worth it in the long turn, IMO.

lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remember that this is all just one opinion, though I did used to work in a computer shop for what that's worth.