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View Full Version : Escalated Speaker Static - Dust the Cause?


Donna J.
01-15-2007, 09:38 AM
I have a Dell Dimension 4700 Series, Intel Pent 4 Processor 540 w/HT Tech (3.2GHz) 2H9PG61, 512MB DDR2 SDRAM at 400 MHz. I bought this system new 2 years ago. The speakers (A425) started escalating static about 15 minutes after turning computer on. It gets to LOUD and simply AWFUL that I have to turn the speakers off. I've unplugged everything and replugged same. Connections seem ok. I've even acquired new speakers (same model) thinking the speakers were bad, but NOOO! I read that DUST is a major factor with computers (inside) and I also read that these Dell models have been known to have had their FANS INSTALLED BACKWARDS initially!??? I'm, by no means, computer literate and I desperately need help in being advised STEP BY STEP (AND PLEASE TALK TO ME LIKE A SIX YEAR OLD!) I embarrassingly, have never opened my computer to clean it because I really don't know how and am afraid if I go ahead and try, I'll mess up being able to use the computer at all. I will follow your step-by-step instructions to the letter if someone will teach me the proper way to clean the dust from inside the computer. Hopefully, it will eliminate the static in the speakers IF that, indeed, is the cause. If you have any other suggestions as to the static cause, I'd appreciate being advised. Thank you so much in advance. Donna

sirfredrico
01-15-2007, 09:44 AM
I have a Dell Dimension 4700 Series, Intel Pent 4 Processor 540 w/HT Tech (3.2GHz) 2H9PG61, 512MB DDR2 SDRAM at 400 MHz. I bought this system new 2 years ago. The speakers (A425) started escalating static about 15 minutes after turning computer on. It gets to LOUD and simply AWFUL that I have to turn the speakers off. I've unplugged everything and replugged same. Connections seem ok. I've even acquired new speakers (same model) thinking the speakers were bad, but NOOO! I read that DUST is a major factor with computers (inside) and I also read that these Dell models have been known to have had their FANS INSTALLED BACKWARDS initially!??? I'm, by no means, computer literate and I desperately need help in being advised STEP BY STEP (AND PLEASE TALK TO ME LIKE A SIX YEAR OLD!) I embarrassingly, have never opened my computer to clean it because I really don't know how and am afraid if I go ahead and try, I'll mess up being able to use the computer at all. I will follow your step-by-step instructions to the letter if someone will teach me the proper way to clean the dust from inside the computer. Hopefully, it will eliminate the static in the speakers IF that, indeed, is the cause. If you have any other suggestions as to the static cause, I'd appreciate being advised. Thank you so much in advance. Donna



its most likely dust in the volume control of the speakers. go to radioshack and get some contact cleaner. spray a bit around the edge, and turn back and forth. then spray again and turn a few times. if the cleaner is reaching the inside contacts, the screech sound should stop.


edit.... im sorry, you tried new speakers so its not that. im sure someone will know. stick around. :)

Donna J.
01-15-2007, 09:52 AM
The A425 Speakers and Subwoofer are NEW. They've only been connected for 2 weeks and they act the same as my original speakers and subwoofer. Same problem exists with these new speakers. When I initially turn the computer on, the static is NOT emitted from the speakers - the computer is cold. But, within 15-20 minutes, when the computer warms up (to the touch) the static starts, then gets worse the longer the computer is on. Then I have to turn the speakers off. Doesn't this sound like something in the computer itself? Again, thank you for your response. Donna

surferdude
01-15-2007, 10:11 AM
You probably should wait till the brains get here, but if you're not far from a computer store, you might get a can or two of canned air & remove the side of the pc usually with a screw driver & spray it inside but make sure it is OFF & UN plugged. I wish you the best. :atpc:

Dr. Tom
01-15-2007, 11:52 AM
Good morning.

I am not one of the brains surferdude refers to. My guess is that you either have some kind of electro-magnetic interference or a problem with your speaker/sound drivers.

What else is turned on near the speakers. I had a pair of Accent speakers that went nuts when I used my paper shredder. I replaced them with Creative speakers and no more problem. When the static starts, try moving your speakers around. Note if the static volume changes. See what is near the speakers when the static gets louder. Perhaps a fan or power supply needs to be replaced.

Dell speakers are not the best quality. Try to borrow better quality speakers from a friend and see if the problem goes away.

If neither of the above work, then go into your Device Manager and remove the sound card drivers. Shut down the computer. Then reboot and let XP reinstall them. If necessary, get the sound card drivers from the Dell site and manually install them. If you need help with this post back.

Tom

Donna J.
01-19-2007, 12:38 PM
Dr. Tom, thank you so much for your suggestions...it's greatly appreciated. I went through the gammit of possibilities (1) there is nothing connected or near the speakers or computer that was not there initially - nothing new has been added - so, it appears interference is not coming from what's around them. I even moved the speakers around, here and there, but there's no difference in the static/crackling/popping emitted. I don't have anyone that I can "borrow" speakers from - the Dell speakers connected now are brand new (I purchased them recently, thinking that was the problem). I do know Dell's speakers are definitely not Rolls Royce caliber, but, being new, wouldn't they work okay - if only for awhile? My original speakers worked fine until approx. 3-4 months ago (my system is approx. 2 years old). There is NO STATIC when I initially turn the computer on (it's cold). When it warms up (approx. 15 mins.), the static/crackling starts and I have to turn the speakers off. COULD IT BE THE FAN NOT DOING IT'S JOB? IF SO, HOW DO I CHECK THAT? Now, my technical ignorance is really going to show... You suggested going to the Device Mgr., removing my Sound Card Drivers, rebooting & letting XP reinstall them OR get Sound Card Drivers from Dell's site & manually installing them. I'm an Old Dog - trying to learn new tricks! I use computers, but don't understand them! I'm afraid to remove/install anything for fear of losing use of the computer itself, which would NOT be a good thing. I don't have anyone I can ask to check all this out - unless I pick up the Yellow Pages and pay them...which I might have to do and that's okay. But, if it's something simple, with explicit instructions, I will gladly do it myself, if it will correct the problem. In getting sound cards from Dell, does that mean purchase them and literally receive them in the mail (snail) or are they downloaded? See, my ignorance! Could it be the FAN - if so, how do I go about checking that out. Whew! Sorry to be so lengthy...I'm just at a loss. I'm willing to try anything, but just need instructions. I do all my husband's work (Mortgage Broker) daily, so am really hesitant to try anything that might disable the computer completely - that would be a catastrophe! I can do without sound, but am worried about the possibility of a heating or cooling problem (fan or dust buildup) that could cause the shutdown of everything. And, I miss my sound! So, any suggestions are appreciated immensely and I thank you in advance. Donna

sirfredrico
01-19-2007, 12:46 PM
disconnect the speakers and see if you still hear the sound.
also, its possible new speakers can be bad, but not likely...
could be the drivers, but also could be the soundcard itself.
if you had another soundcard to try it would be great. usually xp
has a default sound driver that works with all cards ive ever tried.
so that shouldnt be a problem.

Dr. Tom
01-19-2007, 01:07 PM
Hi Donna:

If I understand you correctly, you have two sets of Dell speakers. Both have no static when the computer is first turned on, but develop static about 15 minutes after the computer is turned on.

This is not a driver problem. It is more likely something in you computer is failing when it heats up.

First.

Since your computer is a desk top, the side panel comes off easily. Turn the computer off and remove it. Clean out the inside of any dust build up. The safest way is to get a can or two of compressed air. I know Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, CompUSA, Circuit City, and Best Buy have them. About $8.00 per can. Blow out any dust build up that you can see. Especially from the heat sinks (look like a bunch of metal fins). Then remove the front plastic cover. This may be tricky, but your manual should show you how. Behind the front cover are the air inlets. Make sure they are also free of dust build up. After all the dust is gone, replace the front cover and side panel. Boot the computer and see what happens.

Second.

If the static returns, some internal part is defective. Is the computer still under warranty? It makes no difference whether it is or is not. You will need to call Dell to get it fixed. If it is not under warranty, ask Dell what is the cause of the static. Post back with Dell's answer and we may be able to save you some money.

If it is not under warranty, you can try swapping out parts yourself. But this is hit and miss. You could spend lots of money buying parts you do not need.

I off to Dell. Will post again after I get some specs on your computer.

Tom

Dr. Tom
01-19-2007, 01:19 PM
Hi Donna:

Dell Dimension 4700 series computers had a problem with the fans. Some were installed backward at the factory.

When your computer is on, place your hand near the case fan to determine if it is blowing air out of the computer. If it is not, and it is blowing air into the computer, that may be your problem.

Post back with the direction the fan is blowing. If wrong, you will get instructions on how to correct this.

Tom

Donna J.
01-19-2007, 02:40 PM
Hey, Tom! I checked the computer - in back, where the "vent" is, the air IS BLOWING OUT. It is warm air, but is IS blowing out. I have not yet shut everything down, taken the cover off and air blown the dust, etc. My Better Half just came in with a load of paperwork needed "yesterday", so I can't stop everything right now. I'm still anxious that, once I do it, something will happen and we won't have the computer AT ALL! I guess I'll just have to get over it, right? Anything else you can think of for me to try is appreciated......more than you know! Process of elimination is my only mantra at this point. Donna

bad_andy
01-22-2007, 05:36 PM
I can tell you right now that the speakers are not the problem. However they are sensitive to interference such as electrical overload or internal humming. Especially if its at the source. I agree with Tom about internal heating. Thinking about this I feel that your power source could also be the problem. (Big box that the power cord plugs into and has wires coming out that go to everything inside) I would go in with the compressed air from the back where the fan is since that is really the only way to get air in there. My thought is that once the computer runs for a bit that its getting hot and is using more power than its supposed to. Hence the electrical interference that is causing the sounds you dont want to hear. And if you're worried about hurting anything with the can of air, as long as u dont actually touch anything with the little straw on the can and just use the air you will be fine.

sharber60
01-22-2007, 06:05 PM
Hey, Tom! I checked the computer - in back, where the "vent" is, the air IS BLOWING OUT. It is warm air, but is IS blowing out. I have not yet shut everything down, taken the cover off and air blown the dust, etc. My Better Half just came in with a load of paperwork needed "yesterday", so I can't stop everything right now. I'm still anxious that, once I do it, something will happen and we won't have the computer AT ALL! I guess I'll just have to get over it, right? Anything else you can think of for me to try is appreciated......more than you know! Process of elimination is my only mantra at this point. Donna

When my Dimension 4550 speakers would start to hum, I went to device manager chose uninstall for the sound card which was Creative 5.1 PCI &
restarted, Windows reloaded the sound driver & the humming was gone..
But, yes clean out the inside of the case as dust build up would be alot if it
hasn`t been opened & cleaned out in awhile.
Especially if you have pets in the home.
Had that surprise with my eldest Daughter`s PC when opening up to install
a new Video card, RAM & DVD Burner Drive.
We had to take it outside and blow all the fur & fluff before even being able
to use any canned air.
This PC wasn`t a Dell and was only about 8 months old at that time.
Wish we had a camera handy then.. :)

MMFELL
01-22-2007, 07:23 PM
See page 54 of this http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4700/en/om/Y69490LRs.pdf on how to take off the covers. Try running the PC with covers off ans see if the problem occurs - if it does then its too much heat build up.