View Full Version : High Pitched Squeal with VPR / High CPU Usage + Norton Warning

09-24-2012, 11:52 PM
I suck at asking for help and could do with the assistance of a fresh brain which might be able to help with a keyword my own googled-out brain couldn't think of.

I've been getting the Norton 'High CPU Usage' warning with layout.exe (very rarely with modeler.exe) for a loooong time. 100% of at least one core is being used. I just ignored it because I couldn't find any further info on what to do about it within Norton (the switches made no sense to me) and Google left me with the impression it was OK to just ignore it. I'd keep Googling about this issue every now and then, but from what i've seen - the internet hasn't quite evolved that much on the subject. I'm still left with the impression it's OK to ignore the warning.

The Norton warning message often kicks in when I switch on VPR & also during intensive renders on occasion.

Recently, my computer started to develop a very piercing high pitched squeal (yerk!). Not quite a squeal, it's more like a super high frequency pitch like the old-fashioned TVs. I can still hear it if I block my ears. The sound kicks in as soon as I switch on VPR. I can hear it during the renders (e.g radiosity/high poly count etc). It happens with high CPU usage.

I'm not entirely convinced it could be an issue with my ears that's enabling me to hear & kinaesthetically feel the heart of how my CPU works. It's very fascinating to be able to feel my machine as though it were functioning like a prosthetic limb but I don't think I can continue working with this squeal noise for too much longer. My intuition senses, it's pending hardware failure.

Does my problem sound familiar to anyone?
Is there a way for me to tell my machine to stop letting VPR & renders use so much CPU? (like a volume knob, to crank it down a bit)?

I'm looking for suggestions or Google keywords on how I could troubleshoot what may be going on.

Google said it could be a gnarly capacitor making the squeal - curious to know if there's any electronics enthusiasts who might be able to confirm that.



09-25-2012, 12:26 AM
Ahh the thing is.. its the machine or the monitor?
I had similar issue with my previous monitor, just for tumbling in LW's Open GL it would start hissing. Then after a while it, "exploded" one of its capacitors and I got blind (with no monitor I meant)...
So if the noise stops if you turn off the monitor, watch out.

09-25-2012, 12:38 AM
Thanks for the heads up on exploding capacitors, probiner. It's not the monitor, so I'll be on guard when I open up the machine to examine it.

09-25-2012, 12:54 AM
It may be your fan kicking in due to the extreme CPU load that VPR causes. Yeah I get the Norton warning as well. Though, I can tolerate the fan on mine.

09-25-2012, 01:32 AM
I agree with silkrooster. If you can definitively rule out monitor, it sounds like a fan needs lubrication if you know how to handle that, or is about to die.

09-25-2012, 01:36 AM
yeah, likely it is dust in the bearing of the CPU fan. Dust out your 'puter, lube your fans and see if that helps.

09-25-2012, 02:05 AM
lube your fans

http://imageshack.us/a/img571/4088/kuvksufanshandst960.jpg "me first!"


Anyway, you guys just reminded me I dust for a while now.

09-25-2012, 02:31 AM
100% cpu usage just means good software design in the 3d side of things, it means the software is able to fully use your CPU thus rendering as fast as it possibly can. It does sound like a fan issue, CPU fans and case fans on some machines have variable speed depending on the heat detected, so it could be trying to spin up faster as the CPU heats up from the workload. I've never been able to sucessfully rejuvenate a fan, so I just replace them. You might want to replace the whole cpu cooler with a performance piece, they can be very quiet and are more efficient than stock. Zalman and CoolerMaster make good ones, go with their economy models, you don't need the expensive ones, those are made for overclockers.

09-25-2012, 03:07 PM
The 100% CPU is perfectly normal for Layout, so don't worry about it.

Inductors can often make a (very) high pitched ringing or squealing noise when they're under load. They could be in the power supply, on the motherboard, or on the video card. It's often normal and not a sign of imminent damage.

There's not a whole lot that can be done to eliminate the noise. If you can isolate which coil is doing it, you can carefully try to dampen it with some hot glue.

They look similar to this:

If you could list your motherboard make and model, I might be able to give you an idea what to look for.

10-17-2012, 08:13 PM
Thank you everyone! :)


Followed the solution located [here] (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/292915-30-high-pitched-noise-coming-area)

Summary for Win7:
1. [start/execute] REGEDIT
2 Locate: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Power \ PowerSettings \ 54533251-82be-4824-96c1-47b60b740d00 \ 5d76a2ca-e8c0-402f-a133-2158492d58ad
3. Right click [modify] Attributes, change from 1 to 0, click OK
4. [start/search/control panel to] Power Options window
- power options > balanced > change advance power settings >
- goto processor power management > processor idle disable > change setting to disable idle

I was absolutely terrified of touching regedit (oh, big dangerous stuff / don't touchy-touchy!) ...but all it did was just enable the extra 'processor power management' option within Power Options. :hey:

Noticed an option in there for setting the 'maximum processor state'.
I'm keeping it to 100% as the issue is resolved ...but i imagine that's possibly where you can tell the CPU to not work as hard(?).

Used a program called prime95 to put my CPU through some kind of torture test. I didn't understand it but the squeal instantly kicked in with high CPU usage.

Yay - some great reprieve for my ears while working with LW! ;D

GAME OVER ...for now :)

10-17-2012, 10:59 PM
I fix computers and I think what you were hearing was the temperature alarm for the cpu fan. If you go into your windows machine's BIOS (another thing like REGEDIT where you have to be careful) you may see a setting for what temp the alarm should go off at. I had to set mine at the max 90 degrees celsius to get the thing to shut up some times while rendering, esp. in hot weather.

10-17-2012, 11:22 PM
Glad you solved it. I would have just trashed Norton. :)

10-18-2012, 01:27 PM
Ah, I know that sound well. I have hypersensitivity problems so that noise can drive me bonkers. My kids are quite amazed that I know exactly when they turn on their TVs at night when they are supposed to be sleeping.

I fix computers and I think what you were hearing was the temperature alarm for the cpu fan. If you go into your windows machine's BIOS (another thing like REGEDIT where you have to be careful) you may see a setting for what temp the alarm should go off at. I had to set mine at the max 90 degrees celsius to get the thing to shut up some times while rendering, esp. in hot weather.
This is possible but usually heat warnings sound like alarms, in that you can tell you are being warned of something. What Akaracquel is describing is probably just below the dog whistle range.

I think KorbenD has it right Akaracquel. There are quite a few components that can generate this sound. Sometimes when they are functioning normal, sometimes when they are going out. Question, has this computer in this configuration always made this sound, or did it start after use? I'm avoiding saying "is the sound new" because it doesn't matter when it started. If at one point it didn't and now it does, I'm thinking a part got damaged. I'm leaning toward the power supply since the stress test software Prime95 caused it instantly but that's just a guess without more info. My suggestion though would be to make sure you have good backups. I know, I know, everyone knows that, but sometimes we let it slide right? Don't let it slide! You may have an upcoming hardware failure so be safe, backup.

Funny story, apparently as you age you become less and less able to pick up high pitch sounds. My students discovered this via a website such as this one http://www.freemosquitoringtones.org/ and figured it would be a good way for them to still use their phones without getting caught. I wondered why they wanted to know how old I was. Anyway, so one guy sets his ringtone and got the shock of his life when I turned from the board with the look of a trapped wild animal and went right for him. "WHAT IS THIS? WHAT IS MAKING THAT SOUND?" Lol, I thought he was going to pee his pants.

10-19-2012, 06:59 AM
Appreciating the tips & suggestions, thank you :thumbsup:
Maybe KorbenD FTW ^_^

@wyattharris, that mosquito ringtone link/story was hilarious! Turning 36yo soon, I would've heard it in the classroom too, FAIL! :D

Yeah, it's the [I can hear a TV on] / borderline dog whistle. Attempting to measure the kHz out of curiosity panned out to be a very interesting method to diagnose without opening up the computer. It was distinctively louder coming from the back of the PSU area in the recording, 10:1 that's what it is and not the motherboard at all, but I'll be doing the proper check up & clean to pinpoint it further this weekend. Having a spare replacement PSU ready before it dies (if that's what it is) would be a very funny first for me. Thanks for the heads-up on backup too, my critical files are safe but yeah, always good to be 'worst case' diligent with that stuff.

Question, has this computer in this configuration always made this sound, or did it start after use?

<nods> it definitely falls into the 'new' bucket, has the character/feeling of something that's either headed towards it's way out …or not-happy. The regedit method helped shut it up but it came back. Switching the processor back to enable-idle made it stop straight away so for now - there is at least a way to turn it off if I can't stand it. Whatever it is - VPR has certainly given it a fantastic whipping :thumbsup:

01-30-2013, 06:36 PM
Posting a follow-up. Inbuilt ethernet on the motherboard died (again!) ..it happened to this computer (Dell Studio XPS 8100) when it was only 3 months old, the motherboard was replaced under warranty during that time. Same-old symptoms of intermittently loosing network access, started to kick in about 3-4 weeks after my last post, ethernet died just before christmas. I don't know if this was the culprit, but the squealing has stopped. Instead of replacing motherboard, opted to put a new ethernet card into the spare PCI slot. All i hear is the fan beefing up during VPR, sounds good/healthy. Glad it's gone ...for now.

Thanks again for the feedback & input ;)

01-31-2013, 01:09 PM
As a computer doctor people ask me which brand to buy - aka "Is dell a good brand?" - Well you can walk into best buy and see five different companies computers and they all have the same Taiwanese motherboard on the inside. Only the outside looks differerent. Do you know who made the m-board?

01-31-2013, 10:19 PM
DH57M01 / REV A00 / YDO213 - there's a Dell sticker + a made-in-china sticker (which looks like it could be covering info?) - can't make out any other branding elements on it.