Your PC has been making a whirring and buzzing noise lately—and upon further inspection, you might find this constant sound coming from your SSD. The question is, do computers’ solid-state drives (SSDs) make these low whirring sounds? If so, why?
SSDs emit a rumbling sound if your PC’s system sits idly or you seldom use the device. The noise occurs because the CPU runs in low-power mode to save energy; there is a constant buzz, whose frequency varies depending on the SSD activity. The processor’s power circuit in sleep mode emits the buzz.
So without further ado, I will explain why your PC build’s SSD makes noise and what it might mean. And to help, we shall delve into clever ways that reduce this buzzing sound from your SSD. So let us begin!
What Are the Different Sounds Emitted by SSDs?
The noises from your SSD mean that it is active and working seamlessly. Typically, you don’t need to be concerned about sounds from your SSD. When engaged, the components inside an SSD will vibrate due to the current passing through them. These vibrations will emit a low-volume buzz or hiss.
SSDs make varying noises depending on power consumption and usage. These can range from soft grinding noises to loud, high-pitched noises. You might even hear digital clicking noises or beeping sounds that turn whiny due to usage circumstances.
I will explain each of these sounds and the reason behind their emissions. Since SSDs do not have moving parts or components, you can rest easy, knowing that the noises are not malfunctioning. However, understanding each type of noise from this device can help you identify the most common ones that occur daily.
1. There Is a Cackling Sound
Many electrical devices have a cackling sound. These go back years when you would hear a low or high-pitched cackling noise every time you switched on your computer system. So if your current PC setup makes a similar sound, there is no need to worry.
However, the noise may be an issue of more serious problems such as the following:
There May Be a Short Circuit
Instead, it could lead to identifying a few problems with the PC build itself. For example, the cackling sound becomes more apparent after installing the SSD device. You should check for short circuits if the sound is loud.
Now, there are many risks to PC short circuits. For starters, it can damage several components inside your computer build. And if you are not quick to detect this issue, it could lead to costly damage.
One way to detect such shorts is if your PC’s voltage has reduced while the current has increased. The entire system then heats up and damages the wires inside. If you hear these cackling sounds right after installing a new SSD device, the device might not be compatible with your operating system.
SSD Compatibility Issues
SSDs are not compatible with many operating systems, especially those with updates before 2006 configurations and updates. Therefore, knowing which SSD is compatible with which PC build is essential. You can check out this article to learn more about SSD compatibility and computer systems today.
Of course, this is not the only reason for the cackling sound. For example, the cackling noises are often harmless, indicating that something is not alright with your audio system. These sounds will likely occur if you need to configure your audio setups properly.
2. You Hear Low Grinding Noises From Your PC
As mentioned before, there are no moving parts inside the SSD device, meaning the components do not physically interact as they expand or contract while working. So what can make the grinding sound?
The grinding noise often comes from your PC system, not the SSD. It could mean a slight malfunction in the system or even a case of your wires overheating. Sometimes, the least compatible SSDs help to understand these underlying issues better.
So if an SSD is not working with your current system, it will highlight the errors with your upgrade. Many parts of a computer are mechanical and move when the system is on. If you are not maintaining your PC well, the system might wear out and not have the ability to handle an SSD installation well. Hence, the grinding sounds from an overused system.
Hard drives and cooling fans are two significant components that need care since they are moving mechanical parts. If not maintained, these parts can do the following:
- Slow down your PC
- Freeze your screen
- Crash the computer
Installing an SSD device in such a computer is never a good idea, as it will not support your malfunctioning PC system. And since the device balances out its voltage requirements, overheating from these issues can damage the SSD.
Check these issues before installing an SSD to save time and effort. Remember, a functional PC will do more with a new SSD device than one with running technical problems.
3. Your SSD Makes Sounds Similar to Hard Drives (HDDs)
Do you have a hard disk drive (HDD) installed on the PC? If so, it is best to learn all the sounds your hard drive will make. This way, you can detect the sounds better and know which ones are coming from the SSD and which from the HDD. So, here are some exclusive hard disk drive sounds that many people often confuse with an SSDs:
- Any external HDD with an individual power supply will emit a light buzzing and humming sound.
- It is from the HDD’s heads if you hear soft and hard clicks while your PC is working. There are many movements when the HDD reads and writes data, emitting these clicks.
- An active HDD will vibrate while working. Wherever you have it working, you will notice the device shaking; anything near it will. So if the SSD is vibrating while the HDD is active, it is due to the latter.
- An active HDD also creates a whirring sound with the disk platters spinning.
- If you have an enterprise HDD, expect constant whirring and buzzing sounds as they reflect high performance. These noises are often louder than that of a regular HDD.
Since both HDD and SSD have similar components, it is hard to differentiate between the sounds made by both. So these clicks and clatter sounds are identical but not coming from the same device. So when installing an SSD in a system with an HDD, remember these sounds.
4. The Machine Is Making a Whining Sound Due to Coil Whine
While a whine is the last sound you expect from a technical device, computers make it. And if you hear this sound after installing your SSD, it could be the coil whine.
Coil whine is a typical high-pitched sound you will hear on PCs and laptops—If you work on high-graphic designing, this is a familiar noise. The coil whine results from too many components working together—meaning your system is working overtime.
So what makes this sound? Current going through an inductor will cause a vibration between the copper and its core. The sound is high-pitched and loud and creates a whine-like noise—not too pleasing for the years.
The coil whine sound also reflects current passing into the SSD, which makes the device have the same sound. Of course, the frequency is lower and more tolerable. But if it is louder, you will hear a slight hissing and buzzing.
Louder whining from the SSD is due to the vibration having a higher frequency and amplitude. The stronger the coil’s vibration against its inductor’s core, the louder the sound. Thankfully, you do not need to worry about any detrimental effects.
An SSD’s whine does not indicate any problems with the hardware. Moreover, coil whine does not damage any hardware. Instead, hearing the sound means your PC system is working perfectly. Of course, if you want to reduce coil whine, there are many ways. Here is a video that best portrays how a coil whine sounds:
5. You Hear a High-Pitched Noise
Have you heard a hissing, high-pitched noise from your PC system? If you have an SSD, you could be worried. Fortunately, the high-pitched noises rarely indicate any errors in your device. Many elements make your computer. And when working together, they will make some loud noises.
The sounds depend on how much voltage and current the component uses to function. So if your SSD is working continuously, it might emit loud noises. It is a sign that the device is working seamlessly. And if the sound is low-pitched, the machine is in power-saving mode or sleep mode to help conserve electric usage.
The sound comes due to the inductor. As explained before, the current passes through the inductor and its components inside to create a vibration. You can sometimes hear this sound in a silent room as a high or low-pitched vibration.
So this is a high-pitched yet muffled sound; vibrating is just an indicator that your system is alright. And since SSDs tend to make this noise, there is generally no cause for concern.
6. There Are Continuous Clicking Sounds
If you have an SSD device installed on your PC, the clicking sounds might be due to something other than this component. Most of the time, it is from the fan.
A dirty and ill-maintained fan will have a clicking and whirring sound. It can also be from an overloaded system. For example, if your PC is overloaded, it will have a slight clicking or ticking sound.
And one way to stop that is to turn off the computer, let it cool down, and restart it. Failing to do so might damage your SSD and have your entire system die on you. So if an SSD device is installed in your PC system and makes a clicking sound, turn off your computer immediately!
How Normal Are Sounds From Your SSD?
SSD sounds are normal as it reflects its low use and power consumption. Unlike HDDs with movable parts (spinning drive platters), SSDs are compact and non-mechanical, with vibrating pieces. Hence the technical buzzing sounds from these devices are usually expected.
Some physical components form the crucial parts of an SSD. They include:
When the SSD reads or writes your data, they take up some current usage. Thus, the current tends to oscillate between low to high instead of staying at a constantly high consumption. And due to these changes in present frequencies, components like the capacitors and the indicators charge up and discharge.
Depending on your power voltage, these parts contract and expand, which causes low vibrational sounds inside your SSD. But worry not, as these parts do not collide or rub together. Instead, these form part of the power circuitry, which helps manage the electricity flow.
These vibrational sounds are a regular part of many electrical devices and vary in frequency. Sometimes soft buzzing sounds and audible vibrations might make you look into the system. But all in all, it is a regular occurrence for SSDs to make such noises.
Tips To Reduce SSD Noises
Are you worried about the loud noises your SSD device produces? Well, there is a solution to that. Check all other components if the noises come from the system right after installing your SSD.
Chances that your computer is overloaded. And keeping the system running can cause it to fail and damage various parts, including your SSD. Remember, noises are pretty typical for electrical devices. However, if any sounds seem troublesome, keep an eye on your PC system.
All in all, SSDs do make noises, which indicates that it is working perfectly. However, there are some noises alongside, which might reflect some errors in your computer systems. So keep your ears open to detect whether the issue is a cause for concern.
If the noises are unusually loud or accompanied by other signs of deeper faults in your computer, you should seek professional advice and fix the issues immediately.