FIX: Computer screeching sound on Windows 10 PC

Elsie Otachi By: Elsie Otachi
6 minute read
Computer screeching sound

Home » Windows » FIX: Computer screeching sound on Windows 10 PC

It’s not every day that you hear a screeching sound from your PC or laptop.

The sound could be caused by the heads scraping platters inside the drive and this could lead to data loss, which means you’re close to total drive failure. It could also mean the head on the reader may have made contact with the drive so you need to power it down.

In other cases, it could be a dead fan that’s not rotating, in which case you need to replace it.

However, the first line of action would be to restart your computer and install the latest Windows Updates as this may help in some cases. If it doesn’t, you can try some of the steps listed here.

How to fix computer screeching sound in Windows 10 PC

  1. Run the audio troubleshooter
  2. Perform a clean boot
  3. Update audio drivers
  4. Reinstall audio drivers
  5. Use generic audio driver
  6. Place your hard drive
  7. Check if Safe Mode with Networking
  8. Check volume and BIOS settings

Solution 1: Run the audio troubleshooter

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons

control panel


  • Click Troubleshooting

troubleshooting control panel


  • Click View all option on the left pane
  • Locate Playing Audio

fix audio issues

  • Run Playing Audio troubleshooter (opens a pop-up window – follow the instructions)

Solution 2: Perform a clean boot

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes of the computer screeching sound. These conflicts can be caused by apps and services that start and run in the background when Windows starts normally.

  • Log on as administrator
  • Go to the search box
  • Type msconfig
  • Select System Configurationsystem configuration
  • Find Services tab
  • Select Hide all Microsoft services box
  • Click Disable all

clean boot windows 10

  • Go to Startup tab
  • Click Open Task Manager > disable Startup programs

disable startup programs

  • Close Task manager then click Ok
  • Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try and check if the computer screeching sound goes away. If not, try the next solutions.

Solution 3: Update audio drivers

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Expand the Sound, Video and game controllers option

device manager sound

  • Right click on the Sound card and click Update driver software

update driver

  • Restart your computer

Solution 4: Reinstall audio drivers

If you tried updating the audio drivers and it didn’t work, uninstall and reinstall your audio driver by doing the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Expand the Sound, Video and game controllers option
  • Right click on the Sound card

uninstall driver

  • Click Uninstall
  • Restart your computer. Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver.

Update drivers automatically

Downloading drivers manually can permanently damage your system by choosing and installing the wrong versions. In order to prevent this type of issues, we strongly suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and will help you not damaging your PC by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
    2. driver updater starting windowOnce installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.tweakbit driver updater updating
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      tweakbit driver updater tool scan finished
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some function of this tool are not free.

Solution 5: Use generic audio driver

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manage
  • Expand the Sound, Video and game controllers option
  • Right click on the Sound card and select Update driver software.
  • Select Browse my computer for driver software 

install driver from computer

  • Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

  • Select High Definition Audio device and follow installation instructions.

Solution 6: Replace your hard drive

If the computer screeching sound persists, then it may be a problem with the hard drive when the heads scrape the platters inside it. Before you replace the drive, back up all your data from the computer as the damaging may cause data loss.

Check to confirm that it is not the hard drive, as it may be the computer fans making the noise as they also go bad. If you hear clicking sounds, then total drive failure is imminent.

Replace your drive ASAP after backing up your data, then restore it to your computer.

Note: if it is the fans, and not the hard drive, take off the side case and check if all fans are rotating. If there’s a dead one, you can replace it easily and affordably. While the side is open, you can also vacuum clean all air vents to remove any accumulated dust.

Solution 7: Check if Safe Mode with Networking

This starts Windows in safe mode, including the network drivers and services you need to access the internet or other computers on the same network.

  1. Restart your computer
  2. When the sign-in screen is displayed, hold down SHIFT key while you select Power then Restart
  3. After the computer restarts to Choose an option screen
  4. Select Troubleshoottroubleshoot pc
  5. Click Advanced optionsAdvanced options troubleshoot windows 10
  6. Click Startup Settings
  7. Once it restarts, you will see a list of options. select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking

Once you’re in safe mode, you can perform a System File Checker (SFC) scan, which checks all protected system files, and then replaces the incorrect versions, with the genuine, correct Microsoft versions.

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Click Start
  2. Go to the search field box and type CMD
  3. Right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administratorcommand prompt admin
  4. Type sfc /scannowSFC scan
  5. Press Enter
  6. Restart your computer

Do the following to exit Safe Mode:

  1. Right click Start button
  2. Select Run
  3. Type msconfig
  4. A pop up will open
  5. Go to the Boot tab
  6. Deselect or uncheck Safe Boot option boxdisable safe boot
  7. Restart your computer

Solution 8: Check volume and BIOS settings

Sometimes the playback recorder may be set to ‘listen to this device’, and this, along with mic amplification can be set higher than normal causing a feedback loop. So the computer screeching sound you hear is an amalgam of the cooing fans, system sounds and other ambient noises recycled through the mic and amplified continuously through the speakers. Change the range of sound from high to one that’s optimum for the speakers to output.

You can also check your BIOS settings as sometimes – and on different computers – this is set to alarm when the CPU hits a specified level (degrees). You can raise or lower this threshold and see if the computer screeching sound goes away.

Another reason for the computer screeching sound is your frame rates may be too high for the monitor so you need to check the monitor refresh rate normally at 500-60Hz and set yours to match. This will stop the noise from the capacitors on your graphics processor unit (GPU).

Let us know if any of these solutions worked by leaving a comment in the section below.



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