Friday, 12 August 2011

Annoying High Pitched Laptop Beep

A call from Tita Glo greeted me this morning. After 1.30 am to 4.00am oncall duty, I was still drowsy around 9.30 am. The call was about her laptop making a noise. My mind imagined a clogged fan, or hard disk issue.

On second thought, it might be more serious that she needed to call me up. I have some noisy fan before, especially with my desktop which is easily solved by cleaning it. But on a laptop? Though hard drive noise can occur, it will not cause such alarm or prevent you from using a laptop.

The  laptop was delivered an hour after through Carol, and I plugged it in. At the start up, the high pitched beep begins, and it seems like it beeps every after a program or application starts loading up. It stopped after a while and when I start an application, it started again.

Suspects and fix
  1. My first was suspect maybe the laptop is set to play a sound file every time  an application is opened. I checked this but it was not. (Start, Control Panel, Sound, Sound Tab) 

I tried to test and play a sound  file within and  the high pitched beeping sound goes off loudly when I clicked the test button. I tried to play a movie file at windows media player and the same annoying high pitched beep was on the background and couldn't distinguish the sound from the playing movie. So I put on a head set, not to disturb members of the household. Amazing is I could hear the footsteps of my daughter through the headphone as she was coming down the stairs. This has given me another clue to the problem.

 2.       The second suspect is the microphone is turned on! How could it be? 

I noticed SKYPE and Yahoo messenger account on and Tita Glo’s profile's logged in automatically.  I tried SKYPE, a deafening beep came out from the laptop after I hit the test button for the voice chat ! The sound was long and it seems like forever. This time the application has caused the laptop a major crash. It showed me a blue screen and a message of the error saying a bios upgrade or a recently installed hardware is at fault. I do not have any idea about these and I am sure Tita Glo  do not even think about installing a hardware or upgrading a bios.

After a new start up and the annoying high pitched beep, I checked the microphone setting and found out that it was at +30db boost. I tried to put it down to +10 and tried to play a music file, the high pitched beep did not went off! (Start, Control Panel, Sound, Recording, Internal mic properties, Levels )

I tried SKYPE again, and the high pitched beep came back. When I opened the microphone setting, the boost is back to +30. 

3.       I suspected SKYPE as the culprit and uninstalled it ultimately.

 I do not know why this thing happened and how it changed the microphone setting when it is on, I did not tried to reinstall it as I need more research to do. Good thing is, she can watch her favourite online programs without the high pitched beep on the background!And I am sure Tita Glo can live with facebook chat or yahoo messenger for a while!


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