Every time a user turns on the computer in the morning, the user hears a loud clicking noise. Which device should the technician check first?

  • hard drive
  • internal speaker
  • motherboard
  • CPU fan
Explanation & Hint:

When a user hears a loud clicking noise every time they turn on their computer, the first device a technician should check is the hard drive. Clicking noises from a computer are commonly associated with hard drive issues, particularly mechanical failures or read/write errors. This type of noise, often referred to as the “click of death,” can indicate a significant problem with the hard drive, such as the failure of the read/write head or spindle motor.

The other components listed are less likely to be the source of a clicking noise:

  • Internal Speaker: It’s unlikely for the internal speaker to produce a clicking noise unless it’s being driven by specific audio signals, which is uncommon during the startup process.
  • Motherboard: The motherboard itself doesn’t have moving parts that would produce a mechanical clicking sound. Issues with motherboards typically manifest in other ways, such as failure to boot or system errors.
  • CPU Fan: While fans can sometimes make noises, these are usually more of a whirring or buzzing sound rather than a distinct clicking. However, if a fan blade is hitting an obstruction or if there’s a bearing issue, it could produce a clicking sound. This is less common compared to hard drive issues but could be a secondary check if the hard drive is not the culprit.

Given these considerations, the hard drive should be the primary focus of the technician’s initial investigation.

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