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 Post subject: Help! SPCR is NOISY!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:43 pm 
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Location: Manchester, UK
OK, it's not just SPCR, but this site is one of the main offenders (because I visit it fairly frequently) :wink:

Here's the problem - I have a "new" refurbished IBM Thinkpad T23. It's not particularly quiet, but I can live with that. The thing that's driving me mad is that when I visit certain websites, I get an annoying whine - almost constant, but it fluctuates as I turn the mouse wheel or run the mouse pointer over web links. Not all websites are affected by any means - bbc.co.uk and amazon.co.uk are both OK for instance.

The problem is not just confined to websites; when I open up windows media player I get the same problem, even if I'm not accessing any web info and even if I'm not connected to the internet.

I have to say that I'm not very optimistic that even the great brains at SPCR can solve this; but I would be somewhat happier if I at least had an explanation for what was causing it. Any ideas anyone?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:01 pm 
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Location: Bristol, UK
My first instinct is to go for the monitor. Turn it off (close the lid or whatever you need to do) and see if the noise goes away. I know occasionally my CRT makes clicking noises when websites download, and turning it off confirms this.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:28 pm 
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Thanks. I'll try that tomorrow at work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:53 pm 
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Yeah, my CRT monitor sometimes whines when certain things are on the screen. Usually lots of white, such as a Word document. But I don't know what it could be in a laptop, unless you are using a docking station?

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 Post subject: Re: Help! SPCR is NOISY!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:42 am
Posts: 232
Location: EU
RachelG wrote:
I get an annoying whine [...] as I turn the mouse wheel or run the mouse pointer over web links.


I have same notebook (it is great, but little too hot underside) and i don't have such problems. I'm using trackpoint (that ibm red stick between keys) - mayby you could unplug your mouse and then try? Maybe it is mouse related problem.

I had similar problem with my PC - whinning on mouse pointer move. Replacing PSU sort it out.

So you can also check if the problem is power (battery/ac) related - try runing your notebook on batteries or AC adapter and see if it makes difference. You can also try to remove battery completly from notebook when running from AC adapter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:44 am 
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I have now tried various combinations of screen on/off, mouse plugged in/not plugged in, ac power on/off, and I can report that unplugging the ac power gets rid of the whine.
I still find it very mysterious that it should whine for only a few specific sites and applications, but I'm very happy to have found a partial workaround. The laptop battery life isn't great, but then I shouldn't be spending too much time on SPCR while I'm at work :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:58 pm 
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Location: Toronto
If it's the AC apaptor, then you probably can do something about that. Besides replacing it, maybe it would react differently if it was getting power from a UPS(although those can also be noise sources, but at least you wouldn't need a very powerful one for a laptop). And of course the adaptor can be isolated. However, all that is assuming that the noise is comming from the AC adaptor.

If it isn't, it might be a problem with the battery being charged.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:44 am 
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As a rather belated follow-up to this topic, just in case anyone has the same problem...

I have now discovered that if I block all animated ads (using Firefox and Adblock) this gets rid of the whine, even when I'm connected to AC power.

This has radically improved my browsing experience (not to mention the benefit of not being distracted by flashing ads on all sides).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:28 am 
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Location: Dublin, CA / Liverpool UK
That crazy whine stuff is unfortunately a somewhat random factor of power harmonics. I don't know if that is actually the right term but it can occur when computing. I *think* it can be alleviated with better shielding so maybe you're refurb is a little too refurbed?

Given an individual's specific component combinations (and we're talking individual product and not just a brand/model) you may experience this. I know one of my old desktops did the exact same thing, the psu would lightly whine whenever scrolling the mouse wheel...

If you really wish to experiment, a number of shops can sell you a replacement psu for that thinkpad, usually small computer shops in the phone book will know what you need (they service a lot of businesses that have fleets of IBMs) better than, say PC World. Just tell them you have a Thinkpad T43 and would like to buy/try a new power brick.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:33 am 
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Thanks for the suggestion, but in a month's time my job is going to change radically and my laptop usage will drop radically too. I did debate on changing the power brick, but I really don't think it's worth it now. If my laptop usage changes again in the future, I will definitely revisit the idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:56 am 
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I had an old Compaq Presario laptop that use to whine when scrolling documents like webpages or word files. The solution? None, it's either the inverter for the LCD display backlight buzzing under the power drain from switching so many pixels in a sequential order (most likely) or it's actually that you can hear the LCDs changing position (least likely). Newer LCDs have higher power inverters and shouldn't cause this problem.

On a related note, the noise started to get really bad the last year or so of the displays life. Then the inverter cut out, now I don't use the laptop as it's worth about 1/5 of what a new display would cost.

Hope that helps,


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